Atlanta Music Scene

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Lakewood Amphitheatre upgrades include wine bar, healthy food

Any Atlanta concertgoer knows that Lakewood Amphitheatre isn’t the prettiest of venues.

But improvements have been made to the 19,000-capacity venue that will at least provide music fans with more food and beverage options.

Those entering on the Pryor Road side will notice the light-colored gazebo, elevated and illuminated, that now houses Cellar 89, a wine bar named for Lakewood’s opening year (yep, it turns 27 next month).

In addition to glasses (starting at $9) and bottles ($34-$150) of wine, the new establishment also sells a fruit and cheese plate, crudités and a few other quick-yet-elegant snacks.

Those seeking a more extensive food selection should check out Zora’s Fresh Market – also on the Pryor side of the venue – where fruit cups, salad shakers, hummus, pre-packaged sushi rolls and bottles of wine are available.

The goal of the new additions was, of course, to provide something other than typical concession fare, said Lakewood’s general manager Akeasha Branch.

Expanded choices have been installed along the Lakewood Avenue concourse as well.

Doc & Roc Henderson BBQ has an outpost with a neighboring deck/seating area. Among their offerings are a smoked turkey leg ($13), roasted corn on the cob ($7) and smoked mushrooms ($5).

Fans who prefer a grab-n-go concept will find plenty to like about the 500 General Store, its name a nod to Lakewood Speedway, which existed on the property from 1919-1979.

Coolers stocked with beer, a standard soda fountain, movie theater-style boxes of candy, hot dogs and pizza lurk behind the garage doors framing the entrance of the store. Also, if you forgot your earplugs, need another spritz of sunscreen or bug spray or require an aspirin, this is your sundries spot as well.

Other cosmetic improvements were made to the amphitheater during the off-season, including, said Branch, a couple of bathroom upgrades. The walls have a fresh coat of paint, and numbered stalls and an attendant help the lines move more quickly.

Repainted handrails and light posts might not be the first thing patrons recognize when they enter the venue, but those little things matter in the upkeep of a decades-old building.

Upcoming shows at Lakewood include Journey with The Doobie Brothers and Dave Mason June 8; The Cure June 24; Dierks Bentley with Randy Houser and Cam July 15; Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa July 22; 5 Seconds of Summer July 24; and Def Leppard Aug. 12.

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Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers the Atlanta Music Scene and entertainment news for print and online.