ATLANTA, Ga. (WAFB) - Thursday, Dec. 5 was a busy but exciting day for the 12-0 Tigers, who headed off to Atlanta hoping to capture the SEC Championship.
Atkins Park Tavern in Atlanta | Source: WAFB
The Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta is their destination, but you can still find some Louisiana flavor there. But for the steady bubbling outside, Atkins Park Tavern in Atlanta was quiet Thursday.
“We know where we’re at. We respect that we’re on Georgia clay, but we also never let our roots go," said Rusty Hamlin, head chef at the tavern.
Those roots are never exactly hidden, but on Saturday, Dec. 7, they’ll blossom.
“It’s going to be packed,” Hamlin said.
And this bar will be loud.
“Standing room only in here for sure,” Hamlin said.
You could call it voodoo, but ever since Hamlin drizzled his signature dish across the tavern’s clay soon-to-be tile floor, Louisianans have flocked to his bar.
“Everywhere you walk, here is my gumbo,” Hamlin said.
Louisianans have adopted his bar as a home away from home.
“Lots of taste memories, you know? People that really wish they could get a good po-boy or oysters,” said Hamlin.
So it’s an especially exciting time for the Baton Rouge native and his Georgia converts, who are preparing to pour hundreds of glasses for hundreds of LSU fans who pour in themselves before Saturday’s championship game in Atlanta. Though, Hamlin would tell you it’s not just the menu, decorations, or familiar drafts that draw Tigers back.
“I think we did it on purpose, but we didn’t mean to do it as much as we have, because we miss home too,” he said.
It’s the spirit built into the walls, and an SEC championship has a unique way of bringing out a Tiger’s true colors.
Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.