Atlanta is rightfully famous for many things, but Mediterranean-influenced pool clubs are not on that list. Just don’t tell that to the team behind Rooftop L.O.A., a rooftop pool and lounge in West Midtown Atlanta that opened in 2022 at the top of The Interlock. Only, instead of the Med, the 1,200-square-foot pool with surrounding cabanas and lounge chair service look out on the Atlanta skyline.
L.O.A. stands for Leave of Absence. It could just as easily stand for luxury on arrival. A full-service, 8,000-square-foot restaurant serves options like extravagant plates of fruit and must-order lobster rolls. From the bar, sparkling wine, beer, and cocktails flow. It’s operated by Slater Hospitality, which also did the beloved The Roof at Ponce City Market.
Atlanta is one of my favorite cities. I’ve made many trips over the years since falling for Atlanta while going to school in Auburn, Alabama. None of those trips started off with the bliss of a trip last fall that started with decompressing at L.O.A. By day, the gentle flow of air from the cabana fans cooled me off between dips in the pool and orders from the bar. The only obstruction of the view was the occasional influencer getting their content with the pool in the foreground and the tops of buildings in the background (while carefully avoiding an angle that would show the parking deck a few levels below). It wasn’t the image of Atlanta that I’d grown to love, but it was exactly the start to the trip I needed after a red eye from Denver. And if I stayed into the night, local friends told me, DJ sets from the booth at the far end of the pool would be reason enough to stay until closing.
It seemed to embody the energy of the part of Atlanta that’s now known as West Midtown.
A changing neighborhood
West Midtown is having a bit of a moment in Atlanta. That said, the idea of there being a “West Midtown” at all has been debated over the past couple of decades of rapid building and repurposing. The name itself is more of a marketing term from real estate developers than a neighborhood recognized by long-time locals (much like DUMBO in Brooklyn, East Cut in San Francisco, RiNo in Denver, and even Midtown in Atlanta after a building boom in the late 1900s). West Midtown has also had its fair share of criticism as a place gentrified for “new” Atlanta as the industrial warehouses turned into art centers and then commercial enterprises.
The real estate services firm Cushman and Wakefield recently called the neighborhood “Atlanta’s New Horizon” in a market analysis thanks to the rush of new development. Growth is largely being driven by people born in 1981 or after who are moving to the area — the demographic makes up 78 percent of West Midtown’s population, of which 71 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the market analysis.
It’s far from the only part of Atlanta that has drastically changed since the 90s. The population of metro Atlanta nearly doubled between 1990 and 2020. A flurry of investment from filming studios, developers, and entrepreneurs rushed in with the newcomers. The Atlanta BeltLine project matured and shops, restaurants, and bars popped up along the popular pedestrian route.
The attention paid to the BeltLine created a central spot for all types of recreation for visitors and residents alike. Today, West Midtown is creating a similar draw as new developments are completed and the buildings originally used as factories and warehouses in the 1880s are increasingly turned into the types of shops, restaurants, and bars that draw people in.
Things to do in West Midtown Atlanta
From spending the day by the pool to taking in DJ sets at night, this 21-and-over pool is the perfect place to spend a day. The $25 day pass includes access to the pool and bar, poolside service, and shower access. Lounge passes are $40 and include the above plus a private lounger for two-and-a-half hours. For groups of six or less, cabanas are available for four hour rentals that cost $600 plus a $200 minimum spend from the bar and restaurant. With that comes a couch, fan, TV, dedicated server, cooler of waters, and fresh fruit tray. Don’t miss out on the lobster rolls and cocktails from the bar.
Rooftop L.O.A.: 1115 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318
The roof isn’t the only place you’ll find a good time at The Interlock. Inside, there are shops and Puttshack — essentially putt-putt golf on hyperdrive complete with quality cocktails and drinks. For the tech-minded, Sandbox VR offers a collaborative and immersive VR gaming experience for groups of up to six.
The Interlock: 1115 Howell Mill Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Goat Farm Arts Center
If this 10-acre property looks familiar, it’s likely because it was used in scenes in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Walking Dead. Plan your visit around one of the concerts, theater and dance performances, film screenings, or art exhibitions.
Goat Farm Arts Center: 1200 Foster St. NW Atlanta, Ga. 30318
This nonprofit arts center dates back to 1973 and features local and global artists with rotating exhibitions throughout the year. Admission is free, and visiting is a great way to see a side of Atlanta’s art community through paintings, sculptures, drawings, and more.
Atlanta Contemporary: 535 Means St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Westside Provisions District
Find artisan shops, galleries, and high-end restaurants among the vast collection of storefronts here. Whether you’re looking for home crafts or clothing, you’ll find it here. Plus there are plenty of top-rated restaurants and bars serving beer, wine, and innovative cocktails for when you need a break from the stores.
Westside Provisions District: 1198 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318
Where to stay in West Midtown Atlanta
We hope you love the spaces we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.
The Bellyard, located in The Interlock, is the only hotel in West Midtown and sets a high standard for anything that follows. The lobby connects to the restaurant, bar, and lounge Drawbar, and an all-season outdoor terrace and courtyard garden features local artists. Guestrooms have walk-in showers or Japanese soaking tubs, and there’s the option of adding a Peloton to your room is you want to keep up with your workouts. Packages like the bathtub bubbles and Champagne menu can keep things interesting stay after stay.