Small and warm and built of foot thick blocks of Portland stone to withstand the battering the Atlantic dishes out year after year, the Cove attracted us for its menu of locally sourced fish. As we approached we were glad to see they were still open at 2 pm and hoped they were still serving lunch…only to find the place filled to bursting with diners and more waiting for tables ahead of us. We ordered drinks and waited by the bar until a two-spot came open by the front windows.
The Cove in Atlanta was something of a litmus test for new employees at any restaurant in the 80’s. My first visit was after cleaning a grease trap at a Mellow Mushroom Pizza Restaurant at 4 am and the place seemed to be mostly empty except for a few people dancing (these included RuPaul who seemed intent on shaking his crotch in my face and over my whisky as he shimmied on the bar). “Where’s the toilet?” I asked and was directed to the women’s room. Looking back at my friends they waved me on in and I did some coke with a stranger and emptied my bladder in what seemed a single move. On my return I asked, “what about the men’s room?” “It’s over there if you think you’re ready for it. It’s better lit than what you’ll find behind that black plastic sheeting over there, though.” The men’s room, indeed, was an eye opener and I never worked up the curiosity to go behind the curtain.
The Cove House Inn is not like that at all.