Double Duty

Open the door to a new world at Buckhead’s new hybrid wine bar-bookshop LUCIAN BOOKS AND WINE

The world is at arm’s reach in Lucian Books and Wine, conceptualized by owners and real-life partners Katie Barringer and Jordan Smelt, along with business partner Mickey Mixson. There’s a special aura surrounding the hybrid wine bar-bookshop—one that, despite the bustle of Peachtree Road outside, embraces sophisticated simplicity.

The interiors, led by Seiber Design, were inspired several years ago by a Josef Albers piece. Wine-colored walls, statement lighting and a black-and-white tile floor demand attention, but the real stars of the show? Rows upon rows of wine storage above the kitchen entrance for Smelt, and an entire wall of filled-to-the-brim bookshelves for Barringer. “What we envisioned was something polished but not pretentious; welcoming, warm and above all, beautiful,” she says.

The menu, created by Lucian’s executive chef Brian Hendrickson, is curated around simplicity, seasonality and the flavors’ friendliness to wine. With a 300-bottle wine list that is organized by grape then by region (and also A-Z if you turn to the back), Smelt makes it easy for guests to find exactly what they want. “We wanted the wine list to be equally accessible for guests who know exactly what they like to drink, and for those who are open to exploration.” 

And that’s what Lucian is about: exploring life, whether with a sip of wine or a beautiful book, says Barringer. “After the sudden shrinking of our worlds in 2020, things that once felt small and routine—like a bottle of wine, a book, a meal with friends—now feel much more significant and special.”