Downtown favorite The Atomic announces closure later this year

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The Atomic
The Atomic has been serving cocktails in a cool environment since 2013. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

One of Birmingham’s most unique cocktail bars will soon close its doors. The Atomic Lounge recently announced that they’ll close on Saturday, October 9. Keep reading to learn why this bar is special to so many in Birmingham.

Last call for sex panthers

The Atomic
The Atomic is unique inside and out. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

On Friday, August 6, The Atomic announced that it would be closing its doors in the fall. In the release, they thanked the city of Birmingham while encouraging their patrons to knock back a few more drinks.

“It’s been a tumultuous year, both for this industry and for us personally.”

The Atomic’s official statement

The Atomic Lounge is a true Birmingham gem. Decorated in mid-century modern style, the cocktail bar feels like something straight from a movie. Every inch of the place is filled with electrifying memorabilia, from light up Elvis Presley statues to the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album cover reinvented with Alabama icons.

The Atomic
The Atomic is decorated beautifully. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now.

The Atomic has a killer cocktail menu, too. The bar’s “Legendary Sex Panther” has become a legendary drink in Birmingham. The whiskey-based concoction even comes with a temporary panther tattoo.

The Atomic is also good to its regulars. Many of its drinks are named after loyal patrons. A drink consisting of a Coors Banquet and a shot of peanut butter whiskey is named after one of Bham Now’s own, the “Matt Niblett.”

” The Atomic Lounge has always been a place of comfort. The attention to detail and guest experience is like no other. I will forever cherish the memories and friendships it has created. Cheers to doing it right.”

Matt Niblett, Atomic regular

Four years of The Atomic

The Atomic
The Atomic became a Birmingham institution over its eight years on First Avenue. Photo by Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The Atomic opened on First Avenue North in 2017. It’s owned by Feizal Valli and Rachael Roberts, who describe themselves as “two ridiculous people.” They tell a short version of their bar’s story on their website.

“As long time fans of mid century modern design and owners of several full body costumes, they decided to marry the two ideas to their love of craft cocktails and dive bars. The result is The Atomic Lounge. It’s a labor of love they hope you’ll enjoy.”

The Atomic’s website
The Atomic
The cocktails at The Atomic are to die for! Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

The spot has been incredibly successful throughout its time in Birmingham. It was named one of the South’s best bars by Southern Living in 2020 and has received three James Beard Award nominations through the Outstanding Bar Program.

Though The Atomic is closing soon, I know the memories made there will last a lifetime.

How do you feel about The Atomic closing? Tag @bhamnow and let us know.

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Libby Foster
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