Rose and Rye: Rich in History

Architect Mike Lantham purchased Midtown’s historic “castle” in 2010. It is one of the city’s most architecturally unique properties. In 2017 Mike and his partner, James Laura, opened Rose and Rye.

“All of our decisions have centered on how to bring the historic Castle building, with its celebrated history in the Atlanta arts community, back into public use,” Mike says.

The aura and design of the space along with the feel of its history create an alluring appeal.

“Dress everyone a little more formally and, at the two-tops at the far end of the bar, it could be 1959,” Mike says.

Ambiance is a given, and when the menu is introduced, the experience is enhanced. Lead bartender Ryan Fitch explains the details behind the libations.

“Rose & Rye is our namesake drink. It is a classic rye whiskey Old-Fashioned with a drop of rosewater to add a floral component and bring another subtle dimension to a simple, understated classic,” he says. “I would say the drinks are unique to Rose & Rye in the sense that as a historical landmark in Midtown, our menu is derived from the historically relevant drinks of the golden era of bartending: straightforward cocktails that blend the modern with the classic.”

The main bar is located in the original office space of Ferdinand McMillian, the veteran who built the castle. There he kept an infamous skeleton to ward off his wife and children from meddling around.

“We have a rotating daiquiri variation called the Skeleton Room featuring platinum rum/blended scotch, blueberry-rosemary syrup and lime,” Ryan says.

Chef Jose Marcelino has been with Rose & Rye since its inception and was instrumental in creating the diverse brasserie menu. 

Some of the favorite pairings include:

  • Gruner Veltliner and Gougenheim sparkling malbec rosé with lighter offerings like tuna tartare which is accompanied by avocado, mango, micro greens and ponzu-marinated tuna.
  • Pouilly-Fuisse to pair mussels with garlic-lemon cream or crab-stuffed cremini mushrooms
  • Antica primitivo with bone-in duck leg confit with cauliflower cream, crisp pear and savory onion jam

“What sets our menu apart is the dynamic that the guests create and the things that they request and the trends they set,” Ryan says. “We’re a cocktail lounge with an esoteric wine list, we are a martini outpost for office workers all around the neighborhood and we are a restaurant and event space. Cheers to more!”