We're back with our series Inside Atlanta—each week, we sit down with influential locals to talk about what Atlanta means to them. Today we’re chatting with Tim Dahlen, general manager at W Atlanta-Buckhead. Having lived in Atlanta for the last 18 years, Dahlen knows a thing or two about the city. He’s also worked at nine Starwood hotels and was named “General Manager of the Year” by Where Magazine.
You may even recognize him from TV—Dahlen tried out his acting chops as a zombie for an episode of “The Walking Dead.” Today we get a tour of The Big Peach lead by Dahlen himself.
I live in… “The Lake Spivey community on the south side, but I love to explore the unique and diverse neighborhoods of Atlanta when I have time. I make the commute to Buckhead every week, so I still get to enjoy the in-town aspects of Atlanta. I wanted to live in a lake community because I love being out on the water.”
I Wish People Knew… “Atlanta has become a hub for those seeking inspiration from street art aesthetics. With organizations like Living Walls and Outerspace Project, artists and muralists have integrated graffiti and street art throughout the city, adding even more character to neighborhoods like Cabbagetown and Inman Park. I’ve incorporated street art murals into my last two hotels.”
It’s Dinner Time, I’m headed to… “UMI—they have the best sushi in the city and I’m hooked on their chocolate balls.
Who doesn’t want to break their dessert with a hammer? When I’m out celebrating a special occasion, Sotto Sotto and The Optimist are my go-to places. I love Sotto Sotto’s intimate space, which sets the scene for a romantic night. It’s such a sweet place with great service. Bone Garden Cantina is my Mexican darling.”
Clock strikes 5 o’clock, I’m drinking… “Miller Union’s signature Miller Thyme. It’s gin, lemon and thyme syrup. This was my summertime go-to drink for sure. When I’m looking nearby, I head to our gastropub Cook Hall – which updates its cocktail menu seasonally. My favorite at the moment is the Smoked Old Fashioned.”
If I Had to Stay in a Hotel, I’d check into… “I may sound a little biased here, but W Atlanta – Buckhead is my favorite hotel in the city. It has a boutique feel and it’s located in the heart of Atlanta’s fashion and entertainment capital.”
Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret Is… “The Edgewood Speakeasy in Old Fourth Ward. Pizzeria Vesuvius is hiding this tiny bar behind a secret door to the left of the bathrooms. You didn’t hear it from me, but the bookshelf isn’t a bookshelf. Once you’re there, be sure to snack on some pizza and toast to the weekend with one of their generously boozed up cocktails.”
When I’m Playing Tourist, I go to… “Westside Provisions District or Krog Street Market. I think Krog Street and the Atlanta BeltLine area in Old Fourth Ward were designed to have a little bit of West Coast flavor.”
I Get My Sweat On… “At Orange Theory Buckhead, at least three days a week.
Time is precious and I love being able to get in and out quickly and still feel like I got a complete workout.”
I Love Spending My Money At... “Suitsupply. I can’t walk in there without wanting to buy half the store.”
Best Quick Getaway from Atlanta… “A short drive to historic Senoia and food at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Social Club. Zac is no stranger to serving southern-style dishes. In fact, the restaurant is so ardent on serving good quality culinary dishes that its motto is ‘Love it or Leave.’”