Every Monday we bring you the SL Hot List, a round up of the five latest and greatest things to hit the South. Consider it your weekly update on our region’s most buzzworthy food, culture, and style news.
1. New Hattiesburg watering hole. Restaurateur and chef Robert St. John pulled from his personal vinyl collection of 1,800 records for the soundtrack at his newly opened mid-century cocktail lounge, Branch. (Another throwback touch–the bar intentionally doesn’t have a website, phone number, or a Facebook page so you’ll have to rely on word-of-mouth to find it.) Another one of Robert’s passions is apparent: the doors are dressed with bourbon barrel woods and the menu boasts 130 bourbons and ryes. Pair a creative cocktail (a “Texas Red” with tequila and mezcal perhaps) with small plates such as chorizo-stuffed dates.
2. Nashville International Puppet Festival. Puppeteers from around the world will converge on Nashville this weekend. New this year at the three-day festival is Saturday’s parade with music by the Nashville Philharmonic Brass and of course, puppets. Don’t miss Saturday’s performance by Phillip Huber, whose work has been featured in Being John Malkovich and Oz, The Great and Powerful.
3. Paul Qui’s Austin restaurant. The James Beard Foundation Award winner opens his flagship restaurant, qui, on Thursday. In a bright space outfitted with lots of skylights and clean woods, Paul will serve up seasonal cuisine inspired by his worldly travels from France and Copenhagen to Mexico City and Vietnam. Up first on his ever-changing global menu: Rabbit 7 Ways, with French, Thai, and Vietnamese takes on hare and Kakigori, a coconut snow cone with rum and cinnamon custard adapted from Japan.
4. Gallery talk in New Orleans. It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Peter Rogers a real-life Don Draper–back in the day he was the brains behind the ad campaign, “What Becomes a Legend Most,” for a fur company and worked closely with their glamourous spokespeople like Elizabeth Taylor and Lauren Bacall. Come hear the Mississippi native talk about advertising and tell his behind-the-scenes stories at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans on Wednesday.
5. American Dance Festival in Durham. The 80th annual season just kicked off in the Bull City, and you can catch modern dance performances now through July 27. Founded by four modern dance legands, the ADF is your chance to watch groundbreaking dance from critically acclaimed choreographers and dancers. Our pick: The company Pilobolus will present their collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning band OK Go from the music video for “All is Not Lost” (Watch it below).