Hyatt Regency Atlanta To Reopen Iconic Polaris Menu

Famous blue domed lounge, city’s first rotating restaurant, “re-turns” to the skyline during milestone year for Atlanta

Hyatt Regency Atlanta To Reopen Iconic Polaris MenuPolaris, the legendary rotating restaurant and lounge atop the historic Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel, a symbol of Atlanta’s progress for nearly 50 years, will “re-turn” to the city skyline in June, the hotel announced today.

Hyatt Regency Atlanta Revives Iconic Polaris Menu – Featured in Food & Beverage Magazine

To celebrate the reopening, the hotel will turn off, and then relight the famous Polaris blue dome before its official opening to the public on Tuesday, June 10, after a series of preopening events.

The new Polaris will serve handcrafted cocktails and chef-inspired shared plates with an amazing panoramic view of the Atlanta skyline. Guests will shoot 22 stories up in the hotel’s glass elevators and be transported to a breathtaking space that is both completely modern and a tribute to Polaris’ retro history (Jim Morrison likened the experience to flying in “Victorian Rocket Ships”).

The new Polaris has been a 10-year project for Hyatt Regency Atlanta to restore the iconic restaurant to its hometown, said Peter McMahon, Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s General Manager. Polaris is reopening as Atlanta enjoys its most exciting year since the Olympics, debuting new projects like the Center for Civil and Human Rights, College Football Hall of Fame and Atlanta Streetcar, and attracting record numbers of visitors, he said.

“In its day, Polaris was a symbol of Atlanta’s tremendous cultural and economic growth,” McMahon said. “Now Polaris is coming back as the city is buzzing with new projects, revived neighborhoods and unprecedented tourism. The timing couldn’t be better. And just as it was in years past, we intend for the new Polaris to be a symbol of Atlanta’s progress for the next 50 years.”

Conceived by visionary Atlanta architect John C. Portman, Jr., Polaris is one of Atlanta’s most recognized landmarks. It was Atlanta’s first rotating restaurant when it opened in 1967, and quickly became a symbol of the fast-growing city, featured on souvenirs, postcards and murals.

Polaris was so popular guests lined up just to ride the elevators and take in the view. In its heyday, Polaris hosted dignitaries, presidents and celebrities, as well as everyday Atlantans celebrating birthdays, wedding proposals, anniversaries and prom nights.

Hyatt Regency Atlanta To Reopen Iconic Polaris Menu

Inspired Chef’s Plates, from the Bee Garden

Executive Chef Martin Pfefferkorn will lead the kitchen at Polaris. Pfefferkorn grew up on a farm in Austria, was classically trained in European resorts and has been a creative force at Hyatt Hotels Corp. since joining the company in 2001. He has been widely acclaimed for setting a new standard for hotel dining with his creation of Sway, Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s Southern-influenced dining experience based on locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

For the inventive Polaris menu, Chef Pfefferkorn has created unique plates inspired by many cuisines. The debut menu will feature tributes to classic dishes such as a deconstructed Maine lobster cocktail; Steak Oscar (locally raised beef filet topped with asparagus, crab and béarnaise sauce); braised veal cheeks; and rabbit sausage with quail eggs. Polaris will source high quality, “soil to city” ingredients from local purveyors, as well as produce from the hotel’s rooftop garden.

“I want to draw upon global flavors to create surprising dishes that guests can enjoy with a cocktail after a show or gearing up for a night on the town,” Chef Pfefferkorn said. “The menu will change regularly to showcase the freshest ingredients and keep guests pleasantly surprised each time they visit.”

Visible from the restaurant, the Polaris Rooftop Bee Garden features homegrown tomatoes, herbs, peppers and other produce, ingredients that will be served in Polaris’ plates and cocktails. The garden also grows flowers, seasonal plants and the only peach tree on Peachtree Street.

But the garden’s most interesting features are its bees. Chef Pfefferkorn tends two hives of more than 10,000 honey bees in the rooftop garden, busy insects producing several gallons of fresh honey to be served in Polaris and sold in the hotel’s gift shop. The bees, which were rescued from a truck accident, came to the hotel through an ongoing partnership with the Metro Atlanta Beekeepers Association.

Golden Age Cocktails, with our own Polaris Bourbon

Hyatt Regency Atlanta beverage director Mehdi Natanzi heads the Polaris mixology program. Polaris’ cocktail menu will celebrate the golden age of spirits, from stiff old fashioneds and dry Manhattans, to mint grasshoppers and tart gimlets, rickeys and tonics – all served in a menagerie of vintage glassware. And the new Polaris will present a modern version of its throwback signature drink, the peach daiquiri.

Behind the bar, Natanzi has assembled a collection of one-of-a-kind, small batch spirits made by storied American distillers, from High West Distillery (Park City, Utah) and Tito’s Handmade Vodka (Austin, Texas) to Four Roses Distillery (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) and Templeton Rye (Templeton, Iowa).

The Polaris wine list has been collected from smaller, noteworthy producers from around the world, with an emphasis on quality, drinkability and the stories behind the labels. Selections will include The Prisoner, Saldo and Abstract from renowned vintner Orin Swift and The Prisoner Wine Company.

The Polaris bar also will offer its very own barrel of “Polaris Bourbon,” through a partnership with Elijah Craig, the award winning Kentucky distillery. The 12-year old Polaris Bourbon has notes of wood, peat and smoke, the perfect base for Manhattans, an old fashioned or derby juleps – or served neat, in a fine glass (as it was intended).

Hyatt Regency Atlanta To Reopen Iconic Polaris Menu

Designed to be an Unforgettable Experience

Hyatt Regency Atlanta chose Atlanta’s award-winning The Johnson Studio to be the architect and interior designer of the new Polaris. Architects Bill Johnson and Brian Finkel and interior designer Anna McGrady White built a contemporary space with homages to the original design that creates an unforgettable guest experience.

From the hotel’s atrium lobby, guests will soar 22-stories up in the hotel’s original glass elevators, shoot out through the ceiling into the skyline for a brief moment, and end up transported into the dramatic Polaris interior.

The new Polaris has been designed with four sections, each loosely based on the home – an open dining room with an inviting, communal table, a sumptuous living room, a clubby library, and the dazzling bar.

While inside, guests will rotate comfortably around the dynamic kitchen where chefs will prepare the evening’s plates in full view. The kitchen also is designed to evoke a high-end residence, and the energy of the chefs, as well as their fresh ingredients, cookware and techniques, are part of the dining experience.

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The space has been designed with surprise and delight touches throughout, right down to the restrooms, which give guests a peek inside the Blue Dome. And from every seat in the house are the unparalleled, panoramic views. Twenty-five stories over Peachtree Street, guests can see the Midtown, Buckhead and downtown skylines, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Dome, Atlantic Station and, in the distance, Kennesaw Mountain and Stone Mountain.

And, just as it did in 1967, Polaris will rotate once every 45 minutes.

Polaris will be open Tuesday through Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. The restaurant will not take reservations. Polaris will be available for private events.

For more information about Polaris, please visit the Polaris Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PolarisAtlanta.

About Hyatt Regency Atlanta

Hyatt Regency Atlanta, with its signature Polaris rooftop restaurant, has been Atlanta’s premier hotel since opening on Peachtree Street in 1967. The 22-story hotel is located in the heart of Atlanta, just blocks from the Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola and Atlanta’s major attractions. Hyatt Regency Atlanta features 1,260 guestrooms and 180,000 square feet of ballroom, meeting and hospitality space. It was the world’s first contemporary atrium hotel, and today is a preferred destination for business and leisure travelers from around the world. For reservations or more information about Hyatt Regency Atlanta, please visit: www.atlantaregency.hyatt.com.