Short Takes: January 2018

Vineyard Vines partners with Club Car on exclusive patchwork golf cart design

Club Car®, a global leader in golf, utility and consumer vehicles, along with a brand of Ingersoll Rand and vineyard vines, a brand best known for its whimsical neckties and smiling pink whale logo has created a partnership. Inspired by their passion for golf and created with a nod to the brand’s East Coast roots, the collaboration features a special edition vineyard vines Patchwork Onward® vehicle emblazoned with its signature heritage patchwork print.

Featured online at, the vehicle is a consumer    

offering from Club Car and will be available for purchase through the vineyard vines catalog, at and select Club Car dealers.


Insider’s Tip:

The 5th Annual Hay Bales and Cocktails January 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Julian Smith Casino

It’s the Official Augusta Futurity Party, a wild west themed charity fundraiser that will be a night to remember. Festivities will include: a wine and craft beer tasting, BBQ from Shane’s Rib Shack, a bourbon bar, mechanical bull riding, The Homegrown Band, a raffle and dancing. Proceeds to benefit the Golden Harvest Food Bank. Tickets are $30 each.

For more information or to purchase tickets directly, visit




Cake lovers, rejoice!

Vera Stewart of VeryVera and The VeryVera Show is set to release her first cookbook, The VeryVera Cookbook: Recipes From My Table, in 2018. While the official release is in April, you can pre-order your copy on starting January 25th.

The book will contain every recipe she sold in her cafe and across the country via mail order. That’s right–all the layer cakes, pound cakes, casseroles, soups, and salads you haven’t been able to get since 2013. If that’s not enough, renowned food photographer Peter Frank Edwards beautifully captured many of Vera’s most noted recipes, making this book as much a picture book as it is a well-tested cookbook.

Each pre-ordered copy will be signed by the author and will come with a special gift. Don’t wait–reserve your copy as soon as you can!






Why Go?

Millions swing by yearly to Georgia’s capital city to feel its historical significance and get a taste of it’s vibrant culture. With abundant museums, a booming restaurant scene, ample green space and a nightlife culture full of live music venues and comedy clubs, Atlanta, is a city that is filled with quirky, fun and diverse areas to explore.

Where to Stay?

The Ellis Hotel, Atlanta’s Chicest Boutique Hotel. Choose a historic Peachtree Street landmark with a legendary past and an impeccable tradition for guest service, or a chic and stylish boutique decked out with every modern luxury. Whatever you settle on, you’ll find the Ellis to be a breath of fresh air among the conventional, seen-one-seen-‘em-all downtown hotels. The Ellis Hotel offers enhanced experiences that you can enjoy such as Fresh-Air floor by Aerus with a private- access entry, a purified breathing environment that is allergen-free so that you can enjoy the health benefits of breathing purified, fresh air during your visit.

There is also a dog friendly floor that provides a complimentary Ellis logo neck bandana, courtesy bags and a travel food bowl as well as a map of the best dog friendly spots in downtown. Traveling alone? Try the Women’s Only Floor featuring a private-access entry, L’Occitane and Gilchrist & Soames amenities, comfy slippers and a curling and straightening iron.

There is also a Wellness Room by Nikken Health that brings 7 wellness benefits right into your guest room, designed for a great night’s sleep. It is like a greenhouse for the human body.

Relax and savor your favorite beverage and market fresh, farm-to-table cuisine in the new Terrace Bistro and Lounge, or enjoy the Bistro patio right on Atlanta’s famous Peachtree Street. Happy Hour (open to the public) from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm nightly, features $6 small plates and $6 select specialty cocktails and Ellis Hotel guests can enjoy $2 wine tastings each evening from 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Located at 176 Peachtree St. NW. Visit

At The Social Goat Bed and Breakfast, you get sterling Southern hospitality, plus a menagerie of goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, goldfish, and rescue cats. The rambling Queen Anne Victorian homestead, urban barnyard is set on three-quarters of an acre near sprawling Grant Park and offers a charming selection of master suites and cottages outfitted with pine floors and French antiques. When the host tells you breakfast is prepared using farm-fresh eggs, you’ll know exactly where they came from. Just one block from Grant Park, guests can enjoy all the attractions and much more while visiting.

Hotel Indigo Atlanta Downtown. In 2004, the first Hotel Indigo property opened its doors across from the Fabulous Fox Theatre in the eclectic arts and entertainment district of Midtown Atlanta. Designed by famed architect John Portman, Hotel Indigo’s soaring atria and cloud- grazing glass elevators grace skyscrapers around the world. Portman shaped the city’s skyline throughout the years and today, the architect has reimagined a one of kind, original design. From the curved, glass-and-steel staircase that greets you in the lobby to sleek guest rooms, Hotel Indigo Downtown nods to Portman’s midcentury design that merges seamlessly with the latest technology and amenities. Easy access to downtown’s biggest draws including AmericasMart, another Portman work and an accessible via skywalk makes this a perfect location. After a day on the town, settle in for a cocktail at a circular bar, where a floating glass-and-steel canopy mirrors a grand staircase, or enjoy dinner at JP Atlanta. The gleaming 206-room hotel is walking distance to the Georgia Aquarium and 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park. Located at 230 Peachtree Street NE. Visit

What to Eat?

Steve Palmer, an Atlanta native owns fifteen bars and restaurants in the South East including Atlanta’s Oak Steakhouse, and Colletta. As part of the Indigo Road Restaurant Group, Palmer also runs a nonprofit, Ben’s Friends (named after fellow chef Ben Murray, who sadly took his own life after years of alcohol dependence) and gives culinary professionals the emotional support they need to continue their work while providing a spiritually whole and physically safe environment.

Oak Steakhouse Atlanta presents a fresh take on the classic steakhouse and offers contemporary small plates and entrees that celebrate Georgian ingredients fresh from neighboring farmers and purveyors in a modern and refined environment. Oak is passionate about supporting local farmers and fishermen and proudly showcases their bounty throughout their menu. Located in Alpharetta’s new premier community, Avalon, Oak Steakhouse house favorites include housemade ricotta gnudi, a seasonal vegetable plate, daily fish selection, Grassroots Farms roasted half-chicken, grilled swordfish steak and a whole fried lobster. Oak’s wine list highlights California Cabernet and Old World reds. The cocktail program pays tribute to classic cocktail recipes, while enhancing the flavors with creative, modern ingredients. Oak offers a curated selections of beers, available on tap and in bottles, from local breweries. Located at 950 Third Street, Alpharetta. Visit

Colletta is a modern Italian restaurant and The Indigo Road’s newest endeavor. Led by Chef Jason Stern, Colletta presents new interpretations of Italian cuisine using fresh and locally- sourced ingredients. Surrounded by white brick and Colletta’s open kitchen, this is the perfect place to gather with friends and family to reminisce and make memories over a meal. Colletta’s cuisine draws influence largely from Northern Italy and reflects Chef Michael Perez’s novel interpretations of Italian food.

Following Italian dining traditions, Colletta’s “For the Table” menu offers options for a communal, family style dining experience. A full menu is also available a la carte. Designed by David Thompson, Colletta boasts a total of 4,600-square-feet, reclaimed barn wood, along with timber and wood tiles that are juxtaposed with refined ceramic tile. A four foot signature metal dome light fixture hangs over a white marble wait station, creating a focal point in the room. Colletta’s bar also opens to the restaurant’s courtyard, with an added service window to serve cocktails to guests strolling in Avalon. Located at 900 Third Street, Alpharetta. Visit

What to Explore/What to Do? What to Do?

Walk the Eastside Beltline. The Beltline, a historic railway corridor turned multi-use trail and green space, is one of the South’s most ambitious revitalization projects, linking 45 neighborhoods in Atlanta across 22 miles. Because it’s so popular with bikers, joggers, dog walkers, and tourists, you’ll want to get an early start (preferably on a weekday).

You can try a Stumptown fix at Chrome Yellow Coffee + Dry Goods, soak up some sunshine and a cold brew on the outdoor patio, then take a peek at the boutique in back. Owners Kyle and Kelly Taylor have stocked their hip space with brands like Ace & Jig, Rogue Territory, plus a peppering of ceramics, candles and indie coffee magazines.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Learn about The American Civil Rights Movement and its significance for the progress of human rights across the world. In June 2014, the $68 million National Center for Civil and Human Rights welcomed its first visitors to a landmark downtown building designed by Phil Freelon. Emotional exhibits include one by Tony award-–winning playwright George C. Wolf about the American Civil Rights movement, in which visitors pull up stools at a mock lunch counter and imagine the pain faced by peaceful protestors while their seats rattle from fictional kicks and their headphones echo with abuse. The individual galleries engage visitors through a combination of powerful imagery, compelling artifacts and poignant storytelling. Visitors leave inspired and empowered to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their communities. Located at 100 Ivan Allen JR. Blvd. Visit




François Léger

François Léger is the owner and CEO of FPL Food, LLC, the largest privately owned, fully integrated beef processing facility in the Southeast. FPL Food is built on a belief of sustainability, traceability and animal welfare and pairs an intimate knowledge of French provincial farming traditions with a dedication to innovation.

After more than 25 years of experience in the beef industry all over the world, Léger bought a facility and opened FPL Food, LLC in June 2004. Located in Augusta, GA., FPL is now the 12th largest beef business in the U.S. The company wholesales traditional and specialty products to some of the largest retail chains in the world. Léger’s two decades of industry experience includes experience in the beef and retail industry in France as well as international and domestic senior level positions in distribution and manufacturing at Keystone Foods LLC, a global manufacturer in 20 countries.

A calculated risk-taker, Léger possesses the ability to build a team from the ground up and turn a business around with little or no capital investment. Working his way from the bottom to the top of the beef industry, Léger has filled the diverse roles of logistics manager, planning manager, financial controller, sales person, production director and senior vice president before reaching the peak in his journey to success as CEO of FPL Food. As part of an integrated process from Pasture to Plate, FPL Food’s farm, Châtel FarmsTM, allows consistent quality beef and is a major employer in the Augusta area. FPL Food is a major sponsor of SafeHomes, Ronald McDonald Charity House, The Boys & Girls Clubs and Augusta Burgers and Beer week.



Article appears in the January 2018 issue of Augusta Magazine.

Have feedback or a story idea? Our publisher would love to hear from you!

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RSS Augusta Magazine’s Front Porch

  • Episode 11: Jay Jefferies
    Jay Jefferies stops by to deliver the weather and much more!
  • Episode 10 - Nesia Wright
    We had the pleasure of sitting down with Nesia Wright, owner and CEO of the Georgia Soul Basketball Team. Ashlee and Nesia discuss life as the owner of a basketball team, retirement and more.
  • Episode 9: Venus Morris Griffin
    Venus Morris Griffin, one of the top real estate agents in the Augusta area, stops by our front porch to talk about her success and her upcoming book. This episode is sure to set a fire in you to go for your dreams!
  • Episode 8: Michael Romano
    Michael Romano, self-proclaimed carbohydrate king and executive pastry chef for Edgar's Hospitality Group stopped by our front porch to chat with Ashlee.


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