In Midtown Atlanta, amidst the highrise office towers, hotels and shops, sits a giant ship’s anchor that, until recently, had rested at the bottom of Boston Harbor for over 200 years. This tall, pockmarked and rusted vestige is the welcome mat for Lure, a new concept owned and operated by Fifth Group Restaurants. Lure marks the second collaboration among Fifth Group, ai3 and Peace Design. Alma Cocina, which opened in 2012 is located just a few blocks away from Lure and was also designed by ai3 and Peace Design.
Lure takes its name from the fresh seafood that populates its menu. It’s design is inspired by the commercial fishing industry, the very grand and efficient mechanism that makes it possible to design a menu around fresh seafood in Atlanta in the first place. Unlike typical seafood style, however, which tends toward a vacation-like experience, Lure goes deeper, taking guests away from the sand and sunsets to the massive ships and harbors that are the landscape of industrial fishing. That said, there is nothing massive or rough about the experience at Lure. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Though ai3 drew inspiration from a world that is synonymous with scale and might, the result is an experience that is warm, airy and inviting.
The design is a blend of wood and metal elements that conjure the feeling of being in an unusually clean ship’s hull. The walls, floors and ceiling feature rough-hewn timbers and beams. An antique wooden pulley and chain, with links the size of car tires, hangs from the ceiling behind the host station and acts as a beautiful surprise as guests arrive. Oversized and weathered elements like this add authenticity to the space. At one end of the bar, in the lounge, a large lamp hangs at eye level over a booth. It’s shaped like a giant bell, but is, in fact, a lamp made from the nose of a World War II bomber. Brass portholes and fittings add warmth and reflect the light.
Throughout the space, metal and wood work together to establish an industrial vibe. Pale neutrals such as birch wishbone chairs and creamy vinyl bar stools add to the cleanliness and freshness of the space. A wall of windows looks out on to the patio and gives Lure an airy quality. The outdoors play a big role at Lure, and the patio is much like the harbor where wood and concrete mingle in the fresh air. Large concrete planters are filled with greenery and shade trees to anchor the space. They work in conjunction with wooden privacy shutters that shield diners from the busy sidewalk outside.