The White Owl, that sprawling bar with a vegetarian and heavy metal edge in Southeast, officially changed hands on September 1. AJ Fosik, Matthew Relkin, and Jason Radich take over ownership from Michael McKennedy and Matthew Jacobson, owners of the newly expanded Sizzle Pie. The new owners also own The Woods in Brooklyn, New York (which Relkin describes as, "like, the first dance club in Williamsburg") and Mother in Atlanta, and while they're mostly staying true to The White Owl formula, they're bringing new drinks, dishes, and discounts.
Fosik, Relkin, and Radich have been managing The White Owl since April, and they tell Eater that they've focused on making drink waits shorter, and they've also added cocktails like the Old Man Fashion, a mashup of an Old Fashioned and a Manhattan. To the food menu, they've added such dishes as a gluten-free fried chicken sandwich, black-eyed pea hummus, and a lamb burger and introduced more local sourcing.
Putting drinks and food together, the new White Owl is beginning Taco Tuesdays, offering $2 Tecate, tequila shots, and tacos. Each night will bring five types of tacos—two will be vegan, and all will be gluten-free. It's also seriously revamped its happy hour, which Radich says was good but needed to be rad. Now, as the menu below shows, happy hour offers typically high-end food items for $5, along with $5 cocktails and $3 taps.
Former owner Michael McKennedy told Eater that it was hard to sell The White Owl, which was gaining popularity and only getting more successful. "It was really just a question of bandwidth," said McKennedy, who, with business partner Jacobson, is currently expanding Sizzle Pie and opening up Quality Bar beside Sizzle Pie West.
"I've been joking around that it's probably the most mature decision I've ever made," adds McKennedy. "We just wouldn't be able to do what we're doing right now if we also ran White Owl."