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Atlanta-based “Vortex Radio” features some of the most authentic discussions about bar culture, food, nightlife and entertainment that you’re likely to find anywhere. Guests include entrepreneurs, chefs, business owners, local celebrities, and working servers and bartenders, all offering their own unique perspective on the hospitality industry. And every now and then, we’ll feature a totally random guest just to mix it up. Of course, no matter who is being interviewed, guests are highly encourage to enjoy a cocktail or two while recording, so you never know what topics may come up.



The Vortex Bar & Grill is the Godfather of Atlanta Burger Joints. Michael opened this bar with his brother and sister back in 1992, and has been operating it ever since. As host of Vortex Radio, he shares his unique personal insight on the hospitality industry, from a “Vortex” perspective, and also interviews a wide variety of featured guests. Due to his lack of an appropriate social filter (and some big ol’ cocktails), Michael often steers the conversation to subjects that might not otherwise get covered.



Displaced by hurricane Katrina, the first time Rebecca walked into The Vortex and saw the servers dancing in a go-go cage, she knew she had found her new home. Over the years she has held almost every position within the company. After recently finding herself wanting to “party” more, Rebecca has taken on the daytime bartender position at the Little 5 Points location. So next time you’re in the neighborhood, feel free to stop in and have a shot with her.


COLIN “VBC” MURPHY – Producer/Engineer

Also known as “Vortex Baby Colin,” due to the fact that he is only 6 months older than The Vortex itself, Colin brings his unspoiled sense of wonder and youthful optimism to the podcast. We’re curious to see how long that will last, since he’s also been tasked with keeping every episode of Vortex Radio from careening into a ditch. And that’s no easy feat. When he isn’t recording the podcast, he acts as the company Media and Marketing Manager, providing Vortex fans with tasty tidbits of social media content for their eyeballs.


SUZANNE BENOIT – Special Guest Host

Suzanne, Michael’s sister and business partner, moved to Atlanta sight-unseen to open The Vortex, at the urging of her brothers. She had no idea what she was getting herself into. Suzanne now joins Vortex Radio once a month to share stories about what it’s been like running a bar with her siblings, and to often ramble-on aimlessly. She also often reveals crazy shit you probably didn’t know about this iconic Atlanta bar, its staff and owners.


HANK BENOIT – Reluctant Occasional Co-Host

Hank, Michael’s brother and other business partner has been quoted numerous times as saying, “I’ll never be on the podcast.” But, apparently if the guest is a fun and attractive representative from a liquor company, he often changes his tune. Since he’s the Bar Manager, we suppose this makes sense. Yeah, that’s it.


For your convenience, below you’ll find an alphabetical list (by first name) of people who have appeared on Vortex Radio, along with links to their specific episode(s).

  • Alex Brounstein– Creator, Grindhouse Killer Burgers – Episode 86
  • Andrew George– Comedian – Episode 91
  • Andrew Markle– Comedian/Vortex Bartender – Episode 13
  • Amber Nash – Comedian/Voice of Pam Poovy on FX’s Archer – Episode 30
  • Bob Hatcher – Owner, Eats – Episode 87
  • Bob Place – Comedian/Film Director – Episode 24 and Episode 91
  • Brandon Ley – Owner, Joystick Game Bar – Episode 23
  • Carla Ramey Dzenowagis – Party Monster/Former Vortex Bartender – Episode 26
  • Casey Teague – Marketing,Independent Distilling – Episode 82
  • Casper Kelly – Creator, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell – Episode 84
  • Craig Moore – Head Fermentor, Old Fourth Distillery – Episode 65
  • Dave Willis – Creator, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell – Episode 84
  • Devil Bob – Artist/Madman/Former Vortex Employee/Metal Shop Foreman, The Walking Dead – Episode 48
  • Dublin Santiesteban – The Vortex L5P, General Manager – Episode 27
  • Eddie Hernandez – Owner, Taqueria del Sol – Episode 75
  • Eric Von Haessler – Radio Personality – Episode 70
  • Ford Fry – Atlanta Chef/Restaurateur/Mogul – Episode 74
  • Garrett Lockhart – President/Brewmaster, Red Brick Brewing Company – Episode 55
  • Grant Henry – Artist/Owner, Sister Louisa’s Church – Episode 19 and Episode 34
  • Hannah Chung – Owner, Simply Seoul – Episode 97
  • Heather Black – Former Vortex Server – Episode 39
  • Hollis Gillespie – Journalist/Author – Episode 42
  • Hugh Connerty – Owner, Ammazza Pizza – Episode 20
  • J Doyle Rogers – Artist/Sculptor – Episode 41
  • Jason Marraccini – Business Operations, Treehorn Cider – Episode 85
  • Jason Santamaria – Beer Architect, Second Self Beer Company – Episode 68
  • Jackie Waice – Assistant Cider Maker, Urban Tree Cidery – Episode 73
  • Jamie Lynch – Executive Chef, 5Church – Episode 95
  • Jason Topping – Sales Manager, Red Brick Brewing Company – Episode 55
  • Jeff Merback – Owner, The Highlander – Episode 53
  • Jen Hidinger – Co-owner/Spokesperson Staplehouse – Episode 96
  • Jesse Altman – Owner, Whynatte – Episode 38
  • Joey Ward – Executive Chef, Gunshow – Episode 94
  • John Landstrom – Owner, Blue Moon Cycle – Episode 56
  • Johnny Martinez – Owner, Joystick Game Bar – Episode 23
  • Jonathan Fox – Owner, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – Episode 46
  • Justin Fox – Owner, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – Episode 46
  • Justin Schoendorf – Owner, Monks Mead Meadery – Episode 71
  • Kamal Grant – Owner, Sublime Doughnuts – Episode 76
  • Kelsey Daniels – Sales Gal, Monday Night Brewery Episode 49, Episode 60 and Episode 93
  • Kenn Taylor – Owner, Bantam Pub – Episode 28
  • Kevin Brag – Mixologist/Bar Manager, Grain – Episode 7
  • Kevin Clark – Co-Owner of Homegrown – Episode 10
  • Kristen Benoit – Master Mezcalier/Owner, Bone Garden Cantina – Episodes 12, 66 and83
  • Lauren Kaufman – Sales Director, Goza Tequila – Episode 51
  • Laura Merback – Former Vortex Employee – Episode 52
  • Leigh Germy – Market Representative, Terrapin Brewing Company – Episode 92
  • Lisa Spooner – Owner, Homegrown – Episode 10
  • Loki Shane Defriece – Tattoo Artist – Episode 33
  • Lucky Yates – Comedian/Voice of Krieger on FX’s Archer – Episode 36 and Episode 37
  • Mac Thurston – Owner, Mac’s Beer and Wine – Episode 72
  • Mara Davis – Radio Personality – Episode 67
  • Maria Resuta – Owner, Urban Tree Cidery – Episode 73
  • Marshall Davis – Artist/Owner, Steinbeck’s Ale House – Episode 47
  • Matt Ames – Legal Eagle – Episode 14
  • Maximus Thor (and his Dad Banjo) – Youtube Celebrity – Episode 44
  • Michael Krohngold – Owner, Tongue and Groove Nightclub – Episode 62
  • Mike DiLondardo – Director of Operations, Atlanta Beer Festivals – Episode 78
  • Mike Jakob – Owner, Elliot Street Pub – Episode 54
  • Molly Gunn – Owner, The Porter Beer Bar – Episode 59
  • Myrna Perez – Founder/Owner, Lotta Frutta Gourmet Fruit House & Market – Episode 25
  • Navy Ogbuokiri – Actor/Professional Wrestler – Episode 40
  • Naomi Green – Director of Partnerships, The Giving Kitchen – Episode 85
  • Patrick Scullin – Advertising Genius – Episode 43
  • Paolo Dalla Zorza – Owner, Paolo’s Gelato – Episode 29
  • R. Land – Artist – Episode 61
  • Rebecca Royster – Brand and Sales Manager, Orpheus Brewing – Episode 58
  • Reid Ramsay – Founder/Owner, Beer Street Journal – Episode 63
  • Sam Kim – Manager/Corporate Representative, The Cheetah Lounge – Episode 79
  • Sarah Young – Apostle of Ales, Wild Heaven Craft Brewery – Episode 57and Episode 89
  • Shaun Doty – Owner, Bantam + Biddy – Episode 80
  • Spencer Nix – CEO/Co-Founder, Reformation Brewery – Episode 64
  • Spike Buckoswki – Co-Owner/Brewmaster, Terrapin Brewing Company – Episode 92
  • Steve Farace – Minister of Propaganda, Sweetwater Brewing Company – Episode 81 and Episode 96
  • Steven Carse – Co-Founder/Owner, King of Pops – Episode 21
  • Sriki Vourganti – Partner, Monks Mead – Episode 71
  • Trey Moe – Actor – Episode 91
  • Tucker Berta Sarkisian – Talking Head, Sweetwater Brewing Company – Episode 81
  • Zach Meloy – Owner, Better Half – Episode 17

    Candye Kane was a real-life Super Hero, the Toughest Girl Alive and a dear friend. We will always admire her for the joy and light she brought to everyone she knew, and we’re honored that she has allowed us to use her music on our podcast. Rest in Peace, Candye Kane. We miss you, and will always love you! You can learn more about this awesome soul on her website.


    Vortex Radio is not edited for content, and we do not provide “ratings” or “content warnings” for any individual episode, so this is the ONLY WARNING you’re gonna get. Some episodes of this podcast may contain adult language or other themes that could be considered offensive by certain people. We call those people “tight-asses.” Vortex Radio is for mature audiences only. Listener discretion is advised.


    Opinions expressed on the podcast represent the (foolish and potentially drunken) ramblings of only the individual speaking. They do not serve as official views of any particular company, business or other affiliated organization. It is important that you never treat any opinion expressed herein as fact, or legitimate advice of any kind. This show should not be taken seriously by anyone. Ever. We maintain plausible deniability with regard to all podcast content. Vortex Radio is presented for entertainment purposes only.

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