Editor's Note: Our Sunday restaurant feature "Dining in Douglas" this week spotlights 20 BarWest and Grille located on Douglas Boulevard.
Stepping inside 20 BarWest and Grille is like entering a smooth jazz club complete with a full-service bar and loaded menu.
Light jazz music, complete with saxophones and pianos, play overhead. The soft lighting, white walls with black accents and blue LED lights complete the cool look.
Tables with black tablecloths, black wooden chairs and white plush chairs pair one another while a wrap-around bar offers extra seating. An entire side of the restaurant features raised booths and high top tables, perfect for elevated seating. Each table has a candle to provide more intimate lighting throughout the meal.
Wooden floors, perfect for the open dance floor, are met with a stage for live performers and a disco ball. For additional entertainment, completing the bar feel, are 10 TVs spread along the walls.
Simply walking in is unlike any other experience, which is exactly what the owners Jillian and Gus Hall desired.
"'We wanted to do something that was little different," said Jillian. "We wanted to do something that gave people a little bit of an urban upscale feel. It was a different concept than any of the franchise restaurants that you see.
"'When people walk in, they are like, 'Wow, this is Douglasville,'" continued Jillian. "That is the feeling we want people to have. We want people to come, sit down, have a drink. We try to create an atmosphere that is really relaxing where you can get away and enjoy yourself for a little bit."
The experience doesn't stop there. With the stage, 20 BarWest is able to host a variety of live performances that rotate throughout the weeks. Most performances happen late in the night after 10 p.m., particularly on Friday nights. Comedy nights also occur on Wednesday nights and are planned to return in April.
"So far, we have had live jazz, top 40s and old school R&B," said Jillian. "We are looking to expand that and also include some classic rock and some salsa. We are letting our guests dictate what they would like to hear. We really want it to be a diverse place. We would love for there to be something for everyone."
Diversity is a large component of the married couple's vision for their business.
"We got a little bit for everyone here," said Gus.
The restaurant recently came out of being temporarily closed for four-and-a-half weeks but the owners are eager to let customers know they are back open and ready for business.
"We had some repairs," explained Jillian. "We really took the time to revamp our menu since we had to be shut down and revamp our calendar. We are back open."
The venue is available to be rented out but the owners ask that the event take place early in the day or during off days as they can't rent it out during Friday and Saturday evenings.
"Things that are earlier in the day are absolutely great," explained Jillian. "We love to do them."
Like the restaurant, the menu goes beyond simplicity and enters into creativity.
Gus and his two chefs, Chef John Kanadu and Chef Dre, all attended Le Cordon Bleu and each offer something unique to the menu and food items.
"Chef Dre is the author of our newest menu but they are working together," noted Jillian.
"We have fun here," added Gus. "We allow [Chef Dre] to experiment. He brings it to us and we let him know if we like it."
The lunch menu features sandwiches, burgers, soups, salads and appetizers while the dinner menu features soups, salads, appetizers, entrees and a "From the Garden" section, perfect for vegetarians.
"We want to get people in for lunch and happy hour," said Jillian. "We have great food. That is one of the things that we want people to be introduced to and I think that they will really enjoy that."
Customers can expect to see a dessert menu soon.
The menu is also paired with daily specials that are usually decided that morning.
"[The chef] will let us know what the special is going to be," said Jillian. "We try to do specials daily."
Chef Dre, the main author of the menu, collaborated with Jillian and Gus to create his extensive dining options for guests.
"We sat back and talked about some things that we think are great items," said Jillian. "If we have an idea, we definitely go to him or Chef Kanadu and let them know what we are thinking. With his presentation and the way that he is preparing them, this is a little different from others. He has made eating like a fun experience. You can tell that it's his passion when you taste it."
For Chef Dre, the big catch is that everything is made to order: the food is not prepared until guests enter the building and order it.
"It comes from the actual raw state to the cook state," said Chef Dre. "We cook them to order. It is fresher. I use a lot more fresh ingredients. I don't buy stuff that is already frozen.
"I like to take a lot of simple ingredients and use them to their advantage," continued Chef Dre. "A lot of people try to overthink when they cook. I don't overthink and I keep it simple."
Another unique feature is the Sunday brunch, complete with particular bottomless drinks.
"The chef does this fantastic set up," noted Jillian. "We have a grand marnier French toast and we have pancakes. He does a turkey ham eggs benedict that is also fantastic. He will put that together with a couple other lunch items. We have a bottomless mimosa, a bottomless bellini and a bottomless Bloody Mary feature. That is something that we noticed they have in the city but not so much in Douglasville."
Brunch is open from 12 to 3 p.m.
Speaking of alcohol, the full-service bar is available to provide a wide variety of alcoholic options.
"We wanted to do some specific creative 20 BarWest drinks," explained Jillian. "We have worked really hard to have a bar unlike anything in Douglasville. We bring in some additional liquors and wines that are not readily available here. We try to do something that is less heard of and introduce [customers] to something new. We are working on also bringing more craft beers. We have been trying to bring back some of those old drinks, too, with our own spin.
"We wanted out bar to tell a story," continued Jillian. "We have this Brooklyn lager here. My husband is from Brooklyn, NY. We are trying to bring some things in to tell our story as we are creating this whole 20 BarWest story."
While 20 BarWest does not currently cater, they consider it an option that is on their "bucket list." They do provide to-go and pick up orders for customers and hope to develop a partnership with Uber Eats in the near future.
20 BarWest and Grille
Open Since: October 2016
Owners: Jillian and Gus Hall
Location: 7340 Douglas Blvd., Douglasville, GA 30135
Hours: 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday and 12 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday
Phone Number: 770-694-6512