It all started, as the best ideas do, with a drink. (Well, okay, perhaps quite a few drinks.) Shortly after spending a week enjoying the craft of some of New Orleans' finest bartenders, Chuck Reece noticed a glaring omission from a "World's Best Bars" list: not a single Southern institution was named, despite the fact that world-renowned drinkeries like Arnaud's French 75 and, ahem, Holeman & Finch call the South home. (And the fact that we only invented some of the best damn drinks in the world. Sazerac, anyone?) Mr. Reece, it seems, was fed up. Bitter. And so, he teamed up with a few other likeminded Southerners (namely, designer Dave Whitling and social chairman Kyle Tibbs-Jones) to show the world what the South is really about.
Weary of the overalls-wearin', barbecue-eatin', Dixie-whistlin' good ol' boy portrayal of the South, these three Atlantans are setting out to give the world a different perspective of the land south of the Mason-Dixon. Thus, the Bitter Southerner was born: an exquisitely beautiful online magazine dedicated to telling—and retelling—the story of the South. Not the one with hoop skirts and Rebel flags, mind you. The one with creative, innovative people making things the world might not know about. People like Greg Best, for example: the head mixologist at ATL cocktail emporium Holeman & Finch, and the first of many Southerners whose story was the first to be told on the site.
Bitter Southerner only launched a week ago. But already, it's struck a chord among Southerners not just here in Atlanta, but all around the country—and the world. "We've heard from people in Belgium, London, and all across the U.S.," Kyle Tibbs-Jones, one of the site's founders, told us. "I think it's really resonating with Southerners who feel the way we feel." Seconded.
With a new story released each Tuesday, the Bitter Southerner is going more for quality over quantity, giving us a weekly dosage of thoughtful, in-depth storytelling. "Some weeks, it'll be a longer piece; some weeks, it might be a really beautiful poem," Kyle says, adding that they'll be digging into meatier topics than your typical lifestyle publication. Speaking of which, we're already on the edge of our seats to see next week's piece: musings on "the duality of the Southern thing," penned by the Drive-By Truckers' own Patterson Hood. "We just want to showcase creatives around the South doing things the rest of the world might not know about," Kyle says. We'll raise our Sazeracs to that.
Subscribe here for once-a-week dispatches, follow the Bitter Southerner on Facebook, and keep up with their goings-on on Twitter. We have a feeling we'll be hearing big things from these folks.