News & Events

A Letter from Founder I. Pano Karatassos

Dear Friends,

As part of our extended family of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, I appreciate the trust you have always placed in us and our team for over forty years in allowing us to serve you the finest quality food,  unsurpassed service with the highest of industry standards.

As always, the awareness and responsibility for the safety of our guests, and our team have always been paramount. Regardless of the current situation of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we hold extremely high standards for ourselves every day and adhere to strict health and safety standards that already exist in our industry. We are closely following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and local agencies.

According to a statement released from the FDA, food is not known to transmit coronavirus. Specifically, the FDA states, “We are not aware of any reports at this time of human illnesses that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging.

Rest assured the Buckhead Life Restaurant Group Restaurants have always adhered to the highest standards of cleanliness and food safety and we will be working day and night to make sure our restaurants are safe for our guests and staff to dine and work in.  The following are some of the procedures we are executing:

  • Sanitizing dispensers and anti-bacterial soap have been placed all over our dining rooms and kitchens for ease of use by our guests and staff.
  • Our staff has intensified the continuous cleaning of commonly touched areas such as menus, phones, doors and handles to ensure your well-being and confidence while dining in any of our restaurants.
  • We continue to update and train our staff on best practices daily, to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and how it relates to a safe dining experience.
  • We also will not allow any employee to come to work that is remotely sick or under the weather.

Additionally, we know that times are tough, therefore we are offering the following to make this time a little bit better.

  • We will be adding a 15% BONUS to all New Ultimate Cards and Ultimate Card Reloads online and in the restaurants for a limited time.*
  • We will be offering value-priced menus in all our restaurants.*
  • We have taken 15% off all DoorDash prices.*
  • If you would like to dine (at home), all of our restaurants offer to-go by calling the restaurant directly.*
  • All Atlanta BLRG restaurants are on DoorDash Chops Atlanta will be offered on DoorDash soon. South Florida restaurants will be added as soon as possible.
  • Select bottled wines will be offered at 50% off daily.*
  • Pano’s Shop (located at the Atlanta Fish Market) is open Monday to Saturday (10 AM to 6 PM). We offer fresh seafood (that you can cook at home or we can cook for you).
  • Pano’s Shop (located at City Fish Market in Boca Raton) is open 11:30 AM to 9:30 PM, daily.

* All offers will be in place by Tuesday, March 17, 2020, if not sooner, until further notice. 

Always Sincerely,

I Pano Karatassos

Founder & CEO, Buckhead Life Restaurant Group

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We Love Stone Crabs! Now Available

Stone Crab Season!

Stone Crabs

Stone Crabs at Buckhead Life Restaurants

At Buckhead Life Restaurants, we pride ourselves in providing the finest and freshest seafood and Stone Crabs are no different!

To be sure that we will have them, please call first. Our supply can vary and very much depends on the harvesting schedule!

Why are Stone Crabs so special?

Perhaps the most anticipated seasonal seafood, Stone Crabs have officially arrived in our kitchens! Praised for their sweet taste and delicate texture, these delicacies are open for harvest beginning October 15th. Our stone crabs are responsibly fished and only sourced from the Florida Keys where the warm waters result in exceptionally sweat claws. Our stone crabs are delivered daily and served over ice with our famous secret sauce. You can enjoy stone crabs in our Atlanta restaurants at Atlanta Fish Market & Chops, and our South Florida restaurants at City Fish Market, Chops Lobster Bar, and Lobster Bar Sea Grille. Also, Pano’s Food Shop will carry them from time to time!

Aside from their delectable flavor, here are some of our favorite things about stone crabs:

Stone crabs can regenerate their claws.

While blue and Dungeness crab are valued for the meat from their legs, claws, and abdomen, stone crabs are sought after for their claws alone. The two front claws are not only delicately sweet, and powerful enough to crack an oyster shell (stone crabs feed on oysters, mussels, and fish)—they’re also “renewable.” Stone crabs can regenerate their claws if they’re removed correctly. To properly remove the claw from a live stone crab, first make sure it’s large enough to harvest legally (the claw must be 2.75 inches long). Then snap downward with a quick pop. This will help ensure the muscles and tissue the crab needs to rebuild the claw remain healthy and intact. In about three years, the claw should return to an adequate size for another harvest.

Look for the “fingerprint” to know if the claw is original.

You can tell if a stone crab claw is the original—or if it’s regenerated—by looking for a faint fingerprint-like marking on the propodus (the last segment of the pincer). If the fingerprint-like lines are unbroken, it’s the original claw. If the lines are broken, it’s a regenerated claw.

The stone crab’s weight is in its claws.

As a stone crab ages, the percentage of body weight may increase in the claws. An older male crab may have as much as half their body weight in their large claws.

Stone crabs are resourceful.

Seashells that wash up on the shore are often taken home as a beautiful memento. But for stone crabs, seashells are useful tools.  Stone crabs use shells to burrow and dig to create a home among the seagrass in shallow waters near docks, rocks, and bridges. Piles of underwater shell pieces near holes in reefs and rocks may be a good indication you’ve stumbled upon a stone crab’s home.

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Three Buckhead Life Spots Named Among Jezebel’s Best of Atlanta

JEZEBEL Magazine's 2018 Best Steakhouse JEZEBEL Magazine's 2018 Best Seafood JEZEBEL Magazine's 2018 Best for the Fam Buckhead Diner, Chops Lobster Bar, and the Atlanta Fish Market are named among Jezebel’s 2018 Best of Atlanta List!

Buckhead Diner: Best Spot for the Family 


Chops Lobster Bar: Best Steakhouse 


Atlanta Fish Market: Best Seafood 

  Thank you to our friends at Jezebel for the recognition, and congratulations to our hardworking teams at all three restaurants!    

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Hosting Tips from Atlanta Fish Market’s Private Dining Manager

Brian Steiper

Brian Steiper, Atlanta Fish Market’s Private Dining Manager, is no stranger to event planning. Everyday he hosts parties large and small- from corporate lunches for some of the largest companies that call Atlanta home to intimate dinner parties where guests feel like they’re at home. We sat down with Brian to learn more about the art of planning the perfect event.

How far in advance should people start planning their event?

Usually it’s best to start as soon as you’ve picked the date. The availability of the venue is one of the key components to the whole process. When it comes to large family or business functions, it is very important to plan as early as possible, and I suggest anywhere from 6 months to a year is ideal because finding large space venues last minute could potentially be your biggest issue that arises.

What tips do you have for first time event hosts?

Ask a million questions! It’s our job to be here and make sure everything you envision can come to light! Whether you are curious about lighting and decor or you have a clear vision of the party’s  flow of service and staff, make sure you ask. I really prefer when a guest is thorough so I can make sure we’re on the same page, even if their requests seem challenging! Expectations are higher in the Private Events department of a restaurant, and they should be. By asking the questions, we can make sure you know what is about to happen step by step so there is never any worry or woe.

What tips do you have for selecting the perfect event space?

Find the perfect event space by finding the space that speaks to you. When you see a space, ideas and thoughts should immediately rush to your head.  I think this is the truest indicator that you have found what you are looking for. Just like an artist finding their muse, the space should be your blank canvas that you can paint with your own ideas.

What tips do you have for sticking to a budget?

Come to the table knowing what your restrictions are. Mock up a per-person cost that you can be happy with. As an event coordinator, I would prefer a client knows what they can spend because we can always work with that budget and ensure you are comfortable and can enjoy your event.

How important is it that hosts visit the potential event space?

It is crucial to visit a venue before the event. You should know the layout and every detail we provide such as the tables, chairs linens etc. This will make you better prepared for when you plan on decorating or how you’d like the  floor layout to be.  You can look at photos of a space all day, but there’s nothing like seeing it in person.

How do you create the perfect atmosphere?

That is the best part of my job! It is our job to awe you as a client. Attention to detail is key. Lighting and floral arrangements are two simple items that can completely transform any venue with minimal cost.  Having pristine linens on the tables is another easy trick. Utensils and plates set at the perfect positions. Even the smallest detail helps to create a perfect atmosphere because by paying attention to the every little thing, will make a client/guest know that this room and this event has been created for them.

What’s the biggest mistake people make in event planning?

Not utilizing what the venue can provide. Be sure to ask what a venue includes such as specialty linen, floral arrangements and decor. Work smart not hard when it comes to planning your events. If the venue can put the flowers you were going to buy on the table for you with the tealight candles you were already planning on, why not have them do that? It’s cost effective and it helps us set the perfect atmosphere before you even arrive. Let us take the stress out of some of the little things.

How should hosts choose Décor and Entertainment?

If you are not sure, ask us! We work day in and day out with  people in the entertainment and event design business. We know what works for us and what people enjoy. I’m always happy to connect clients with people I trust- ranging from musicians to magicians. That’s one of the great perks of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, everyone in the city has at some point worked with us.

What’s the Golden Rule of Event Planning?

Let your event venue work for you to create the most astonishing evening that your guests will want to talk about, not only the next day, but until you do it all over again. CLICK TO SEE ATLANTA FISH MARKET’S PRIVATE DINING SPACES

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What We’re Eating: Belon Oysters

Belon Oysters Also known as “European Flats”, the famed Belon is our favorite oyster this time of year. Atlanta Fish Market is one of the only restaurants in Atlanta serving this hard-to-find gem, so we often hear the question “what’s so special about belon oysters?” Well for starters, these oysters are essentially a species unto their own in the oyster world. In fact, their shells are impossibly round and more closely resemble a large scallop than a common oyster. As the nickname might suggest, these oysters are “flat”- so flat in fact that many of these oysters cannot close their shells after being removed from the water and must be banded (notice the red rubber bands above) and packed upside down to stop the shells from draining. “Belon” is actually the name of a river in Brittany, France that’s said to cultivate the finest oysters in Europe. In fact, the species wasn’t introduced to the United States until the 1950s, but it flourished in the chilly waters of Maine and 70 years of cultivation has resulted in an oyster that’s incredibly unique in that it has none of the briny, salty flavors commonly associated gulf-raised bivalves. Instead, they’re known for their strong mineral, metallic, and sometimes even hazelnut flavors that many find polarizing. When it comes to Belons there’s one thing we can agree on one thing- this is an oyster that will leave few without opinion.

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It’s Stone Crab Season!

  Perhaps the most anticipated seasonal seafood, Stone Crabs have officially arrived in our kitchens! Praised for their sweet taste and delicate texture, these delicacies are only fished October 15th- May 15th. Our stone crabs are responsibly fished and only sourced from Key West where the warm waters result in exceptionally sweet claws. Our stone crabs are delivered daily and served over ice with our famous secret sauce. You can enjoy stone crabs in our Atlanta restaurants at Atlanta Fish Market & Chops, and our South Florida restaurants at City Fish Market, Chops Lobster Bar, and Lobster Bar Sea Grille.    

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