Damsel Wants to Sweep You Off Your Feet
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Damsel Wants to Sweep You Off Your Feet

The new restaurant, bar, and entertainment complex is the latest addition to the Selig company’s thriving project on the Westside.

Entertainment is continuous each evening, with dancing on the weekend.
Entertainment is continuous each evening, with dancing on the weekend.

If you are having difficulty coming up with a sophisticated and perhaps even sassy way to add some spice to a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion or celebration, you may want to consider Damsel, the newly opened three story dining and entertainment complex at The Works on Atlanta’s Upper Westside.

With its emphasis on upscale dining, personal service, and quality entertainment the ambitious 10,000-square-foot project by restauranteur Dave Green is aimed at replicating and expanding some of the best features that have made his Select restaurant one of the big hits in Sandy Springs.

The Damsel project, which was conceived by the Smith Hanes Design Studio in the midst of the recent pandemic over 2½ years ago, features a rarity for this part of the country. It’s the Damsel party room with continuous live entertainment, an imaginative menu, and some creative drink choices. Green has given a lot of thought to how best to bring this unique project into being, with an emphasis on his primary goal, a memorable evening out.

“I wanted to create a social experience,” Green says, “where people are connecting with each other and with the high quality of live entertainment, great food, and great cocktails that we offer. What we offer is a classy, sexy, beautiful space, hung with crystal chandeliers and a performance stage that turns into a dance club late at night.”

The roof bar and lounge offer food and drinks in an inviting outdoor setting.

As Damsel’s creative director, Green tapped veteran showman, Otis Sallid, who has brought to Damsel many of the lessons he’s learned creating theatrical experiences in Paris, Abu Dhabi, and Las Vegas. In Atlanta, he aimed to make it special and fun.

“One of the things I wanted people to walk away with is that the creative work is accessible. Not above them or beneath them. The other thing was that I needed it to be inter-generational so that all ages can come and enjoy. I always, at my age and with my many experiences, want to create a world I would personally want to enjoy.”

The dancers show off a fair amount of skin during their performance but at the mid-week show attended by this writer, it all seemed in good taste. A long table filled of respectful, mature diners seemed to be enjoying the show as much as a group of young women in their party best who were running up an expensive bar tab. For Dave Green, who has taken an apartment just across the street from his new project to be close to the action, Damsel is designed to be an escape from the city life outside its doors.

“It changes the way you feel,” Green maintains. “It gives you a vacation. It takes you from the mundane, regular, very stress-laden world we live in today and removes that and says we’re here to care about you, entertain you, and make you feel cared for.”

Damsel is a unique Atlanta experience, fine dining combined with an evening of live entertainment.

In one way or another, that’s the aim of the Damsel experience on offer in the formal dining room that just opened on the second floor with executive chef Julian Parker’s pricy menu of steaks and lobster specials.

Finally, for those who just want to unwind after work or on weekends there’s an open-air bar serving drinks and an international menu in a lounge setting. The expansive views of the city skyline and an occasionally spectacular sunset are available at no extra cost.

The initial impetus for the Damsel project came from Mindy Selig, Senior Vice President at Selig Enterprises, and a fourth-generation member of the 100-year-old family firm. The property, which has been in the company’s portfolio since 1965, was reimagined by her brother, Scott, who passed away before it could be brought into existence.

Today, the 80-acre, mixed-use site is thriving, with 350,000 square-feet of offices, retailing, and dining. There’s a 300-unit apartment project just across from Damsel, and a 16,000-square-foot food court and 9,000-square-foot microbrewery and tap room at the other end of the property. Thousands of visitors crowd into the many restaurants and bars, particularly on weekends. Over the past four years, it has been transformed from a dreary warehouse industrial site in a part of Atlanta that was largely forgotten not so many years ago.

Damsel is sort of a cherry topping off this tasty confection, ironically named after a term used to describe a virtuous, inexperienced, unmarried young woman.

But, for its creator, Dave Green, Damsel is so much more.

“Once you step inside our door, we want you to be transported and enveloped into something that erases the outside world … and embraces you into a better place, even if only temporarily.”

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