Philips Arena Continues To Transform Food Experience With Addition of Six Popular, Local Restaurants

Atlanta Hawks

ATLANTA –- Philips Arena announced plans to add six popular, local restaurants when Atlanta’s best sports and live entertainment venue re-opens in October. Personally selected by Executive Chef Joe Schafer, the six award-winning restaurants augment the diverse dining options available to fans at the nearly-200 events and shows held annually.

Husband and wife team, Todd Tucker and Kandi Burruss-Tucker opened the first Old Lady Gang restaurant in Castleberry Hill in honor of Kandi’s mother and two aunts who shared their Southern recipes with the family. Known for its outstanding Soul Food and Southern cuisine, OLG has quickly won recognition, being honored by Open Table (2018 Diners Choice Award) and Taste of Soul (25 Best Atlanta Soul Food Restaurants). Burruss-Tucker, a star entertainer and native Atlantan, and her husband are long-time Hawks Season Ticket Members.

“My husband, Todd Tucker, and I came up with the concept of Old Lady Gang centered around the amazing recipes of my mother and aunts.  As a native Atlantan and season ticket member, I have seen the changes at the Hawks and we’re excited,” said Kandi Burruss-Tucker, Owner Old Lady Gang. “We are extremely proud to bring a little bit of Southern soul to Philips Arena.”   

Atlanta restaurateur Giovanni DiPalma brings his version of Italy inside Philips Arena. Starting with Antico Pizza on the Westside of Atlanta, DiPalma quickly expanded his restaurants and menu of traditional authentic Italian dishes into Little Italia featuring Antico, Gio’s Chicken Italiano & Maccheroni and Caffè Antico.

“First of all, I’m a guy who came to Atlanta from New York 10 years ago with nothing and this city has been so good to me,” said DiPalma, Founder and President. “When sports teams ask me to do this, it’s an honor. I feel I owe it to the city of Atlanta; it’s been so good to me. That’s why I’m here. I want to be a part of it.”

Three-time GRAMMY award-winning artist Zac Brown, of Zac Brown Band, will open his next restaurant under the Southern Ground family of brands, Zac Brown's Social Club. The restaurant will be run by Southern Ground Executive Chef, Chef Rusty Hamlin, who has been cooking alongside Brown for over a decade and is the host of the renowned pre-concert dinner party, the "Eat & Greet". Pulling inspiration for the restaurant from Zac's own style of southern living, Chef Rusty is designing a menu fit for Atlanta and in the tradition of southern cooking.

“We’re very excited to bring Zac Brown’s Social Club to our backyard and the heart of Atlanta, the new state-of-the-art arena. Our locally sourced, chef-driven, southern inspired menus are highlighting who we are as a family and organization,” said Chef Rusty Hamlin, Executive Chef, Zac Brown’s Social Club.

An Atlanta staple since 1982, J.R. Crickets is annually voted among the best wings in north Georgia. The wings are so revered that FX’s hit show “Atlanta” depicts a scene where its characters get emotional enjoying their signature item.

The 2017 Eater Atlanta Restaurant of the Year, B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque, brings its authentic Southern-style BBQ to the venue. With two locations, the first burned and then rebuilt in Savannah and the latest addition in Riverside in 2016, the restaurant has quickly become a destination for barbeque lovers.

With a promise of “Ice. Custard. Happiness.”, Rita’sItalian Ice adds a sweet dessert to the list of Arena offerings. The world’s largest Italian ice and Frozen Custard franchise with over 600 locations will have one of its fun-filled restaurants within the building.

For more information about the arena transformation or to book an appointment at the sales preview center, visit www.PhilipsArena.com/Transformation.