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Sun Dial to reopen in January but won’t spin right away



The Sun Dial Restaurant — which perches 723 feet above downtown Atlanta on the top floors of the  Westin Peachtree Plaza — will reopen with new windows in late January after a four-month hiatus.

But it won’t rotate — not just yet.

The tri-level restaurant still needs more work before it can sends its diners on a revolving, 360-degree tour of the downtown skyline. Sources at the hotel hope to crank up the human Habitrail in time for Valentine’s Day, when Atlantans of every stripe hope to propose to their spinning sweethearts, high above the city.

Spiffing up the Sun Dial has been a top priority for the 30-plus-year-old hotel since it was damaged in the March 2008 tornado that ripped through the city’s center. The restaurant needed to close to expedite the hotel’s massive renovation project. In total, 6,350 windows will be replaced.

28 comments Add your comment

The Cynthia

December 15th, 2009
4:23 pm

There were not 6,350 cracked and damaged windows that need replacing. A small percentage of the windows were damaged from the March 2008 tornado (probably in the hundreds, not the thousands). Because sun fading and changes in building codes would have meant that any new windows would be a different color from the old ones, they are going to replace all 6,350 windows.

[Have you even seen those tour guides leading Segways through downtown ATL? Well, guess whose one of them?]

John Kessler

December 15th, 2009
4:33 pm

Thanks, Cynthia. I misread the information they sent me…I’ll fix it right away. Is riding a Segway fun? I’ve always wanted to try.

Ted Striker

December 15th, 2009
4:57 pm

If you have too much to drink, the restaurant still spins. (Just a personal observation)


December 15th, 2009
5:02 pm

I hope they improved the food along with the windows. Yuck!


December 15th, 2009
5:03 pm

Be nice to the author!

Why say, “Have you ‘even’ seen….” Why the word “even” in there?

Also, when being cranky, we say: Guess “who’s” one of them. Not, Guess “whose” one of them.

Thanks for the article – we were wondering!


December 15th, 2009
5:06 pm

Took my wife there a couple of years ago to celebrate our wedding anniversary. While we got up to use the restroom, someone on the wait staff stole my glasses. They were a pair of $10 readers but I still needed them to order. All I got when I questioned everyone was the deer in the headlights look. Very disappointing to find crime by the employees themselves!


December 15th, 2009
5:11 pm

This has always been an Atlanta land mark and the food was awesome at one time! We always loved the atmosphere and the view. I will be glad to see it open and spinning!!


December 15th, 2009
5:40 pm


Business Man

December 15th, 2009
6:38 pm

The Pink Pig for adults. It always was, and sounds like it will be again, the best place a redneck can take his wife for a fancy night out. You can see Stone Mountain and Six Flags without ever getting off your fat butt. Some things never change.


December 15th, 2009
6:51 pm

Lighten up Business Man. I’m sure you take yourself way too seriously and suffer from inferiority complex. Your not being there will make the experience more enjoyable for everyone.

still a bride

December 15th, 2009
7:03 pm

We held our rehearsal dinner and spent our wedding night at the Peachtree Plaza almost 33 years ago! I will be glad to see it refurbished and be the special place it one was!


December 15th, 2009
7:09 pm

I think Business Man was merely describing himself because evidently he knows the view. As for pink pigs I vaguely remember seeing a string of them at the Ga Bar in Athens back in my college days.


December 15th, 2009
7:19 pm

For you downtowners this has always been a favorite lunch spot of mine.


December 15th, 2009
7:24 pm

@ rippedoff – just because your cheap glasses were stolen, DOES NOT mean that it was a member of the staff. Were you two the only ones there that night? It could have been another customer. Think twice before you accuse others. I hope you accused the staff BEFORE you got your food. If so, I’m sure it had special ingredients.

BTW – you and your wife both got up to go to the restroom at the same time? Most couples have one go, then the other so they can secure the table. Were you hoping to make it in the restroom?

Needabailout, too!

December 15th, 2009
7:25 pm

I concur with China. We last took foreign visiting friends there for drinks and the sights in the 1990’s, but knowingly chose somewhere else for dinner. I would think that their hotel management would recognize that the food at the Sundial needs a lot of work, especially since they’re so ‘high profile’-yes, pun intended. Knowing now that the staff pilfers reading glasses, well then, count me out. Hey John, maybe the Sundial goes onto the list for the next 30/30?


December 15th, 2009
7:51 pm

Fact check. It’s 42 years old, having been built in 1967. It was a great place to take a prom date when it was brand new.

Kevin B

December 15th, 2009
7:56 pm

My wife and I got engaged at the Sundail in 2003 and it was the first time there for both of us. The service was amazing and the food was so so. We went back to stay at the Peachtree Plaza on our wedding night in September of 04 and had not planned on eating at the Sundial. When we checked in we told the clerk we just got married and they gave us $50 off dinner and a room upgrade. That night the dinner was MUCH improved, one of the best meals I ever had and yet again, the service was amazing. I found out later that a new chef was hired in 04 and he changed the entire menu for the better. If it’s been a while since you have been, go back. I can’t wait to go back soon with my beautiful wife.

Needabailout, too!

December 15th, 2009
8:21 pm

From their website:


In 1972, the Henry Grady Hotel was demolished to make room for what is now one of the defining features of the Atlanta skyline – The Westin Peachtree Plaza. Atlanta’s world-renowned architect, John Portman, designed the dramatic layout of the hotel. At 723 feet, The Westin Peachtree Plaza was Atlanta’s tallest building until 1987, when it was surpassed by One Atlantic Center.


December 15th, 2009
8:34 pm

Glad to hear it’s being renovated. The chairs were starting to have raw patches on them where the covering had faded away. But it is/was what it is/was. A great view and a fun place to go for a pre-dinner drinks. I’ll admit, I usually favor eating elsewhere, but still. Yes, there were a lot of rednecks, attempting to make out with their girlfriends (or, actually doing it I suppose) at their tables. But who cares, glad to see them enjoying a special evening and having a good time. It’s a nice place for our city to have. Best wishes to all who have special memories there.

The Cynthia

December 15th, 2009
10:00 pm

John, riding a Segway is a blast. Come take a tour. If you plan to write about your experience, my boss would comp you. Just make sure that I’m your tour guide. (You may want to wait until it warms up a bit, though.)

And thanks for correcting the info.


December 15th, 2009
10:33 pm

Hey Bizness Guy, Got a surefire cure for mean and surly. Go to a good BBQ n Beer joint,make fun of the rednecks all you want, indulge in both mightily, smile and get over your bad self.


December 16th, 2009
8:43 am

Bubba, I think you are confusing Peachtree Plaza with the Hyatt Regency, which was built in 1967. As indicated above, the Peachtree Plaza was built in 1972.


December 16th, 2009
3:15 pm

Glenn is right – and the Hyatt also had a revolving restaurant on top. I can’t remember its name. Does anyone?


December 16th, 2009
5:00 pm

I remember the Sundial food being a little mediocre, too, but I had a taste of their venison chili with cheese grits recently, and it was wonderful! Good luck to them on their reopening.


December 17th, 2009
3:37 am

“Glenn is right – and the Hyatt also had a revolving restaurant on top. I can’t remember its name. Does anyone?”

Wasn’t it The Polaris or The Polaris Lounge or something like that?

JIMBOB (aka James Robert)

December 17th, 2009
8:27 am

The Hyatt had the Polaris. Back when restaurant week was actually a good deal, future wife and I had the 3 course price fix there for about 20 bucks each. It was actually a really good meal.

Somehow, I’ve never eaten at the Sundial, but it is a nice view.


December 28th, 2009
8:18 am

It’s been a great Atlanta destination for many decades. My wife and I were engaged in the Sundial room in July of 1979. We’ll be sure to visit again after it’s all fixed up !!


December 28th, 2009
4:52 pm

The Polaris on top of the Hyatt closed to the public last April. Compared to when it opened, there’s much less of a view now what with all the buildings that have grown up around it.

I found this article while searching for status on the window project today — I look at the Westin tower with curiosity every morning as I walk into work. Thanks for the update! (Also, it’s nice to see a comments section that hasn’t completely devolved into feces-throwing monkeys like they usually do.)