Atlanta Intown - March 2024

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Atlanta Intown 30th ANNIVERSARY

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The Regulars

Atlantans find second homes at local restaurants P24

MARCH 2024 Vol. 30 No. 3 ■ RoughDraftAtlanta.com


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Whether you’re curious about buying, selling, or the projected home values for Morningside in 2024, scan here to get started.

©2024 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage independently owned and operated. All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. If your property is currently represented by a real estate broker, this is not an attempt to solicit your listing. Engel & Völkers and its independent license partners are Equal Opportunity Employers and fully support the principles of the Fair Housing Act. Source: FMLS 2024

2 | MARCH 2024

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Contents MARCH 2024

6

16

Editor's Note

4

Community Alfred “Shivvy” Brooks News Roundup Cop City Arson Georgia Works May I Be Excused?

6 8 8 10 10

Sustainability Above the Waterline Sweep The Hooch Silver Comet Connector

12 13 14

Arts & Entertainment The Supermarket Arts Hub SweetWater 420 Fest Avondale Arts Center

16 20 22

Dining The Regulars DBA Barbecue’s Future The Move Centurion Lounge In The Spirit Women + Wine

24 26 27 28 28 29

Real Estate Amsterdam Walk Redevelopment Rapid Housing Project Perspectives in Architecture Lenbrook Turns 40

30 31 32 33

32

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In this issue, we introduce a new dining feature called The Regulars where we talk with Atlantans about the restaurants and bars they return to regularly. To begin, contributor Laura Scholz talked with a trio of patrons off Midtown’s beloved Apres Diem, featured on this month’s cover. (Photo by Isadora Pennington) Honored as a newspaper of General Excellence

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Exploring my dining habits and haunts

TRUTH TOLD SLANT CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY

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Jill Frank (American, born 1978), Talent Show, Crying while Kicking (Noelle) (detail), 2019, dye coupler print, courtesy of the artist. © Jill Frank.

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I’ve been accused – on more than one occasion – of having a boring palate. Admittedly, I don’t have any interest in sophisticated, exotic, or EDITOR'S adventurous NOTE dining. I grew up in a “meat and three” house where weekend outings with the folks meant Collin Kelley a Friday night dinner at Shoney’s, The Bradford House, which used to be inside Grants Department Stores and had the best turkey and dressing ever, or Catfish King with its heaping platters of fish, fries, and hushpuppies. Yes, I’m seriously dating myself with these longgone eateries from my childhood, but With friends a basic, hearty meal at Manuel’s is still my go-to all Tavern in 2018. these years later. While putting together this month’s dining section with our new food editor Beth McKibben and contributing writer Laura Scholz, I began reminiscing on my favorite food haunts in Atlanta. I gravitate toward places that are casual, comfortable, and have atmosphere. I certainly can relate to the trio of regulars who meet every Monday at Apres Diem in Midtown (see page 24) because I also love its European café stylings, plus they have a good pasta dish and the restaurant is right next door to the Midtown Art Cinema. It checks many of my boxes for a good evening out. The Majestic Diner in PonceyHighland has been a mainstay ever since my debauched clubbing days in the late 80s and early 90s. The Majestic used to be open 24 hours a day, and it was a favored spot at 3 a.m. after dancing all night at Backstreet or The Masquerade. A grilled cheese sandwich, a side of bacon, and fries is still my go-to order. I’m also partial to a Saturday lunch at George’s in Virginia-Highland, which still has one of the best burgers in town. It’s always a little dim and I love sliding into a booth across from the bar with my friends for a catch-up. I can walk out my back door and onto the patio of Cypress Pint & Plate

in Midtown, so that’s also a regular destination, especially after a long workday. The fish and chips is my regular order there – don’t forget the malt vinegar! I try to make a monthly visit to The Colonnade over on Cheshire Bridge to indulge in those salmon croquettes or turkey and dressing (it reminds me of The Bradford House). I still crave the cornbread and rolls because I could make a meal off of those. But if there’s anywhere I consider myself a “regular,” it would have to be my beloved tried-and-true Manuel’s Tavern in Poncey-Highland. I had my first meal there in 1988 and it’s more than likely where you’ll find me if I’m dining out these days. Mozzarella sticks and a burger and fries are my staples, although I do occasionally order a bowl of Brunswick stew.

I have so many memories of Manuel’s, mostly of watching election returns, debates, and other national news events unfold on its TV screens. With the vast collection of artifacts hanging on the wall and ceilings, the neon beer signs, and the worn wooden tables, Manuel’s is almost atmosphere overload. When Manuel’s closed a few years ago for renovation, I nearly lost my mind. When owner Brian Maloof sounded the siren that the restaurant was in postpandemic financial trouble, I almost lost my mind again. When patrons raised over $100,000 to save Manuel’s, my heart soared. I simply cannot imagine Atlanta without Manuel’s. If there is such a place where “everybody knows your name,” then this is it. If you happen to be at Manuel’s pick up a copy of Atlanta Intown and check and see if I’m at my favorite table by the window in the main dining room. And feel free to say hello. RoughDraftAtlanta.com


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MARCH 2024 |

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COMMUNITY Alfred “Shivy” Brooks makes history by joining Board of Education By Clare S. Richie

Alfred “Shivy” Brooks with son Christian and wife Crystal. Shivy holds a portrait of his son Bryce, who died last year saving young children from drowning. (Courtesy the Brooks Family)

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On January 8, 2024, Alfred “Shivy” Brooks was sworn in as the first active teacher elected to the Atlanta Board of Education (ABOE) in Atlanta Public Schools’ 150-year history. Before 2023, a teacher couldn’t serve on the board regardless of where they taught. But now, Brooks, an economics teacher at Charles Drew High School in Clayton County with 13 years of teaching experience, is the District 7 AtLarge member. Brooks said he hit the ground running focusing on teacher compensation, the hiring of a new superintendent, student nutrition, and more. “To be given this opportunity is an honor but also a responsibility,” Brooks said. “My ask of the community is just to continue to support our teachers and support the initiatives that we are going to be pushing out to make Atlanta one of the most desirable places to educate a child in America.” Brooks is also a dedicated APS parent, coach, and the Georgia NAACP education chair. He and his wife Crystal have a 7-yearold son but lost their 16-year-old son Bryce last April when he was pulled under by an ocean current while saving four children in distress off a Pensacola, FL beach. Bryce “was the best in what Atlanta Public Schools can produce… an honor roll scholar and a hero… a GOOD friend to ALL,” Brooks posted on Instagram. To honor Bryce, the family started the Bryce Brooks Foundation to provide college scholarships, free swimming lessons, and lifeguard certifications. “Bryce’s legacy allows us to really check our biases and see the best in our kids first,” Brooks said, referring to the adultification of Black children that can treat them as a threat or as irredeemable. Adding, “the 6’2” kid with a size 14 shoe, serves as a reminder of how caring, thoughtful and communityminded they are.” Brooks also models community engagement through his Georgia NAACP efforts. “In 2020, he led a protest and civic engagement called Teachers for Good Trouble where he brought hundreds of teachers to the state capitol to push back on attempts to ban the teaching of African American history and efforts to remove DEI [Diversity, Equity and Inclusion],” said Attorney Gerald Griggs, President of the Georgia NAACP and the Atlanta NAACP chapter. “Now he’s leading the charge at the college level.” Fittingly, Brooks was appointed to the ABOE Policy Committee. “He’s going to bring a grassroots level intimate knowledge of what is necessary to turn policy into practice that benefits

Atlanta’s school children,” Griggs said. On top of his to-do list for 2024 is a teacher compensation plan that addresses the teacher shortage and improves student outcomes. “I ran on getting our teacher base salary to $65,000,” Brooks said. “In some parts of America that’s laughable; in the Southeast, that’s a feat.” He also plans to work on creating affordable housing to help “teachers afford to live in the city that they serve.” By the end of February, Brooks said the ABOE executive board will begin the process of hiring a new superintendent that will include community engagement. The search for a new leader comes after the board decided not to renew Dr. Lisa Herring’s contract beyond the 2023-24 school year and her early departure to become an advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education. “The superintendent hire is going to be one of the most important decisions we make this year,” Brooks said. Less in the limelight, Brooks said he’ll work on the school system’s nutrition plan that shifts from a third-party contract to preparation by APS employees. “We have an opportunity to make the food in our schools highly desirable – not just a meal,” Brooks said. “I make it an emphasis because it’s super important to our kids.” To connect with stakeholders across the district, Brooks is engaging through school visits, town hall meetings alongside other district board members, and social media. “I am a fan of efficiency,” Brooks said. “My schedule is a little different than other board members because I have to be in my own classroom. I’ve been trying to visit as many schools as possible. With 90,000 followers on Instagram and 65,000 on TikTok, I hear from teachers, administrators, parents, community stakeholders on a regular basis.” He’s also a fan of hats. All of his are made by the Black-owned Atlanta-based Fruition Hat Company. “Most people can’t recognize a school board member, but that’s not true of me,” Brooks said. “Hatting culture is normalized in Black culture. If we look at old photos of Dr. King, Malcom X, or other Black social justice fighters you would often see them outside wearing a brim. It’s become a moniker.” The many hats he wears literally and figuratively are celebrated by his students, who just voted him “Most Inspiring Teacher” and “Most Likely to be on the Big Screen” for the yearbook. “He’s loved by all of his students – past and current,” Griggs said. “He’s a ball of energy. He has a lot of ideas that I think will turn into great policy to help move Atlanta forward.” RoughDraftAtlanta.com


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MARCH 2024 |

7


News RoundUp

Subscribe to our daily morning newsletter. Text DRAFT to 66866.

Making a right on red will soon be illegal in Downtown, Midtown, and Castleberry Hill following a vote by the Atlanta City Council. New signage will begin appearing at more than 300 intersections through December 2025.

A ransomware attack on Fulton County’s computer systems caused headaches most of February, but an international sting operation on LockBit took down the hacker group’s website and several arrests were made.

Invest Atlanta has issued a request to developers and supermarket operators on how to attract more “fresh, affordable grocery options” to the city’s food deserts.

The Atlanta City Council approved legislation to remove minimum parking requirements in the BeltLine overlay district. The move eliminates required off-street parking lots for commercial and residential projects.

Search continues for arson suspects connected to training center By Dyana Bagby

APD Chief Darin Schierbaum and Mayor Andre Dickens speak to the press about the arson cases connected to the public safety training center. (Courtesy APD)

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An arrest was made on Feb. 8 in connection to a series of arsons that city officials say are part of targeted attacks by opponents of the Atlanta public safety training center. More arrests are expected to be made soon, according to city officials. John Robert Mazurek, 30, of Atlanta, was arrested during an early morning raid by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. He is charged with first-degree arson for the July 2023 burning of eight Atlanta police motorcycles. The motorcycles were parked at the Atlanta Police Department’s special operations precinct on South Industrial Parkway, formerly the Atlanta Police Training Academy. An officer at the precinct when the fires were set was not injured. Opponents of the training center call the complex “Cop City” and took credit for the arson. Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum said Mazurek was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into dozens of acts of vandalism and arson at police facilities, construction sites, and private businesses by opponents of the training center.

“Despite the almost 30-plus arson attacks that have occurred across the state and in this country, we’ve been very fortunate no one has died yet,” Schierbaum said. “We’ll continue to hold people accountable so everyone that has been involved in these acts are in jail and before a judge.” Police also announced last month a nationwide billboard campaign to advertise up to $200,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of “anarchists” responsible for the arson attacks against the training center. Even as police search for the arsonists, more fires were set around Atlanta in protest of the training facility. In January, a fire was set at a southeast Atlanta construction site where townhomes are being built by a company that had done work on the training center. In midFebruary, an Atlanta Police patrol car was set on fire in front of an officer’s home in southeast Atlanta. Despite the attacks, construction has not slowed at the 85-acre complex being built in the South River Forest, according to the city. The complex is 70% complete, the mayor said. It is slated to be completed in December and be operational in January 2025.

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An Atlanta Police car was torched in front of an officer’s home in Lakewood Heights. (Courtesy APD)

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9


Renovation underway to bring Georgia Works to Sweet Auburn

The six stages of Pickleball obsession are unavoidable

By Clare S. Richie

Listen, either you’ve stepped on the conveyor belt to Pickleball inevitability already or you will soon enough. It’s a force greater than all of us. Any park worth a darn has a Pickleball court now, and you can buy a sleeve of balls at the grocery store. Pickleball is grabbing ratings on network television featuring Hall of Fame tennis players as competitors and every wedding weekend is now required to feature a Pickleball event. I saw my daughter’s friend wearing a t-shirt that said, “There’s no crying in Pickleball,” which is more evidence that this funny-sounding fad/sport has intergenerational staying power. too. Where do you fall on the Pickleball continuum? I’m in the toddler stage of Pickleball participation and I wondered if I should hold off writing about it until I was further along. But I think there is merit in documenting what the landscape looks like from this vantage point because, from what I can tell, it is compelling and weird and coming soon to a converted court near you. Kristen and I are about a month shy of nineteen years of marriage and from what I understand, a lot of people find themselves in the “Pickleball curious” phase right around this time in their lives. I could parse out the fact that she was a bit more curious than me. but this isn’t a therapy session. Anyway, I think accessibility is the key. It’s an easier game for the average athlete to play than tennis and certainly

Nonprofit Georgia Works recently completed its $14 million capital campaign to renovate the historic Odd Fellows building at 250 Auburn Avenue for its new headquarters. The campaign was aided by the $1.25 million Eastside Tax Allocation District (TAD) Grant approved by Invest Atlanta’s Board The Odd Fellows Building (Courtesy Preserve Atlanta) in December. In its 10 years of operation, more than “From a movie 1,100 men have graduated from Georgia house to storefronts, the history of the Works with a job and with 80 percent Odd Fellows building has been one of remaining in their apartments and jobs empowerment,” Dr. Eloisa Klementich, afterward. CEO of Invest Atlanta, said. “It is so “Being a graduate and alumni of the exciting to be a part of the building’s program I know firsthand the impact continuing legacy through its newest on the men… the feeling of ascending, tenant, Georgia Works, where men will belonging, actualizing, reforming, have an opportunity to overcome barriers being relevant, healing and fulfilling and to ultimately be the person they want hopes,” Steve McGoy, Georgia Works to be.” program graduate and current Director Georgia Works provides men of Operations, said. “For me to go from experiencing unsheltered homelessness and a beneficiary to a person in a position to those returning to the community from grow and develop the program every day, incarceration with room and board for up says things about the program and its to one year (for a nominal fee) while they impact.” participate in transitional work and remain Once Georgia Works purchased the drug/alcohol-free. building in early 2023, they set out to raise The holistic program also includes case another $9 million to renovate it. management, workforce training, GED “We could not do this without Eastside classes, wellness and life skills classes and TAD funds or the Atlanta Emerging help with a driver’s license and banking. Markets New Market tax credits and Truist After six to eight months, program Bank,” Schultz said. Many large Atlantagraduates receive job placement assistance based foundations also contributed. and access to low-cost transitional housing. Schultz said the interior demolition “We are going to move our programs, was completed with “no big surprises.” The housing division and corporate offices effort then shifted to refurbish the Bell there,” Darlene Schultz, Georgia Works Street façade and windows of the 1912 president and CEO, said. “We will have landmark building. Once completed, work the capacity for 160 participants and will resume on rebuilding the interior. graduates to live in the building, plus the Plans are still underway for the four staff and four retail storefronts.” street-level retail spaces. Until the renovation is completed in “Nobody’s locked in yet,” Schultz said. March 2025, the nonprofit will continue “The two retail fronts on Auburn Avenue – to lease the second floor at Gateway we know want a meat and three cafeteriaCenter, a converted jail facility. style arrangement. We would extend very The initial capital came from a $5 good lease terms to someone who offered million Georgia Investment in Housing discounted meals to our men. The other Grant, made possible by Gov. Brian larger corner space – we want to be a Kemp’s use of federal CARES Act funds, bodega-style store that sells nonperishables per Schultz. Her team had scouted because the Sweet Auburn Market is across Lakewood Heights, Castleberry Hill, and the street.” Fulton Industrial Boulevard, but faced Schultz’s team plans to canvas the neighborhood opposition in their search neighborhood for their input and hopes for a building to include in the grant all retail occupants will consider hiring application. program participants. Thankfully, the Odd Fellows building “Moving into this building is going was already zoned for affordable housing to be transformative for us,” Schultz said. and NPU-M voted to waive a City of “It’s going to create a sense of community Atlanta ordinance to allow Georgia Works between our program and our graduates. to exist less than 2,000 feet from O’Hearn My next goal is to have a Georgia Works House, another supportive housing facility. for women – maybe down the street.” “We loved the building and explained For more about Georgia Works, visit that Georgia Works would be an asset to georgiaworks.net. the community,” Schultz said.

10 | MARCH 2024

“Pickleball enthusiast.” Here you are studying racket reviews and bugging people all over the spectrum for a game. You are learning your tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses. You know the various courts in your area and plan your days around your Pickleball habit. MAY I BE Should anyone ask EXCUSED you would reply, “Yeah, I’m pretty good.” Soon enough you are a “Pickleball evangelist.” This is Tim Sullivan more intense and you are, indeed, pretty good. At this point, you have joined a Pickleball league and can’t help but work the word Pickleball into every conversation you have. You are reaching out to anyone who will listen and inviting them to join you, even offering to teach them! Like a pyramid scheme, if you aren’t growing your network, you are dying. Pickleball has become a common theme of your dreams. but you are trying not to admit that. The next phase is rather unfortunate, really. The “Pickleball lunatic” has played so much that inviting non-Pickleballers to a game is pointless. The pathetic level of competition would only be aggravating. They shout at people on neighboring courts whose ball has rolled into their court – “Ball! You have to yell Ball! Jeezahh!” They hang around at local courts, seeking a quality contest from strangers and usually leave disappointed that everyone else just sucks. They’re stuck in this frustrated state until they get older and mobility wanes, Playing Pickleball at Pullman Yards. (Photo by Tim Sullivan) dropping their skill level down a less time-consuming than golf. Throw in notch. But this is also where they will find something of a social aspect and it’s like their people. the game has its own set of pheromones. Finally, there is the “Pickleball Elite.” Now that I’ve played twice and learned These folks were playing Pickleball before the rules, I’ve ascended to “Pickleball you hipsters drove it to peak saturation. novice” – wavering between feeling hapless They have pinpoint accuracy, coldwhen I can’t keep the ball inbounds to blooded strategies, and they place zero gifted when I hit a winner. The latter importance on fun. This is purely about feeling is the hook – we all enjoy a few winning. Winning is survival and these moments of Pickleball glory when we people are facing an alternative they’d impress ourselves so much that we’re rather not. They are going to vanquish certain that we have discovered our true their opponents and head off to bingo. talent. They intend to win that as well. Understandably, it’s a quick leap to RoughDraftAtlanta.com


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SUSTAINABLITY

Protecting Atlanta’s tree canopy is vital I’m writing this on Arbor Day in Georgia, the third Friday in February. On this early spring day, I’m celebrating the magnificent trees in my Intown neighborhood, as well as the plantings that will take place in Atlanta and elsewhere. Small and large hands will smooth fresh soil around saplings and water their roots with the hope of a greener, cooler tomorrow. In retirement, I’ve been studying trees more attentively. I love the woods in winter after the flow of sap in deciduous species has slowed and leaves have lost their energy and fallen to the ground. Trunks, ABOVE THE large limbs, and WATER LINE branches that are largely hidden in summer’s green abundance are on display in all their architectural glory: the bared canopy of oaks, beeches, Sally Bethea hickories, native magnolias, and sycamores. The irregular and expressive lines of trunks and branches never fail to stimulate my eyes and mind in ways that man’s angular shapes and straight lines cannot. My favorite trees are sycamores and

beeches. While many dislike the messiness of sycamores—shedding bark, raining seed pods, and huge, slow-to-decompose leaves—I am in awe of these beauties. In the winter, the pure white upper trunks and branches of sycamores present spectacular silhouettes against blue or gray skies. My eyes scan wooded areas, seeking their dramatic, white arms that reach for the sky in Hallelujah poses. Like me, sycamores love to have wet “feet,” and thrive along rivers and in creek ravines. How could I not love them? Disappearing Trees Most people would agree that mature trees add beauty to their surroundings and enhance property values. Less well-known are other essential services that trees provide at no economic cost. As more frequent and severe heat waves increase with climate change, trees can lower urban temperatures by an impressive ten degrees—and literally save lives. Georgia Tech professor Brian Stone Jr. says: “Trees are, quite simply, the most effective strategy we have to guard against heat in cities.” Trees can also help mitigate the effects of intense storms, like the shocking “rain bomb” that deluged downtown Atlanta last fall, flooding streets and buildings with fast-moving water. Their leaf canopies slow the speed of falling water and reduce soil

No one is more Atlanta than Monica.

Atlanta’s lush tree canopy. (Courtesy Trees Atlanta)

erosion caused by flooding storms; they also provide ample surfaces where rainwater lands and evaporates. Tree roots take up water and promote ground infiltration. Not many years ago, Atlanta’s tree canopy covered 49 percent of its land area; today, that number has dropped to slightly more than 46 percent—clearly moving in the wrong direction from the city’s goal of 50 percent coverage. Another 190,000 new residents are predicted to move into the city by 2050, according to the Atlanta Regional Commission: a 38 percent increase over current levels. Unless we take action now, new development to support this influx of people (roads, rooftops, and parking lots) will bring even hotter temperatures and increased storm runoff and flooding. Why are we witnessing the slow, but steady, disappearance of such an important natural asset: Atlanta’s tree canopy? Failed Protection Measures

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More than twenty years ago, the Atlanta City Council adopted an ordinance to protect the city’s trees. At that time, climate change was barely a blip on the horizon for most civic leaders. Fast forward to today: clearly, the climate is changing. Protecting and enhancing our urban forest will make our city more resilient. A healthy, more robust tree canopy will help save lives and property from heat waves and dangerous flooding. As has been acknowledged by virtually all stakeholders—city officials, developers, and tree and housing affordability advocates—the existing tree ordinance is unworkable. At a minimum, it must be amended and more funding provided for the city’s tree programs. Under the current system, “replacement” saplings are allowed as recompense for the removal of mature trees. Of course, these small trees cannot provide the cooling and flood mitigation services of larger species— and won’t be able to do so for decades, even a lifetime. For the past decade, city decisionmakers have squandered multiple attempts to strengthen Atlanta’s tree ordinance

through various stakeholder initiatives. Most developers, it seems, are fine with the status quo: ridiculously low tree recompense fees, relatively easy permitting, and minimal enforcement due to insufficient city staffing; they have no incentive to agree to amendments. Tree advocates are unable to agree among themselves on the best ways to improve tree programs. Housing affordability advocates say some ordinance provisions are harmful to their goals. Most importantly, no civic leaders or elected officials have stepped forward to make the tree issue their own and a priority. As community activist Saul Alinsky said: “No issue can be negotiated unless you first have the clout to compel negotiations.” I learned this lesson many times during my years advocating for the Chattahoochee River. New Initiative The city’s tree problems have received renewed attention under Mayor Andre Dickens. Several modest amendments to the tree ordinance were implemented last year. While helpful, they didn’t address the most controversial subjects: protecting existing trees, setting higher recompense fees, limiting land disturbance outside building footprints, and meeting affordable housing needs. In the fall, the city hired Michael Elliott, a Georgia Tech professor with decades of experience in mediating complex city disputes. He has conducted dozens of interviews and will lead group sessions over the next four months. As the process expert, Elliott will attempt to bring the stakeholders to agreement on practical and effective ways to improve Atlanta’s tree programs, while allowing development. Some are optimistic about this new initiative; others are highly skeptical that any progress will be made unless an influential leader or leaders step forward to function as a “forcing factor” and compel tree negotiations. Think: Shirley Franklin and sewers. Mayor Dickens, will you be our tree leader? RoughDraftAtlanta.com


Chattahoochee River cleanup Sweep the Hooch set for March 23 By Collin Kelley As part of its commitment to achieving a trash-free Chattahoochee, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) is hosting its 14th annual Sweep the Hooch cleanup on Saturday, March 23 from 9 a.m. to noon. This watershed-wide day of service brings together more than 1,500 volunteers at dozens of parks, tributaries, and access points along the Chattahoochee to clean up litter. Volunteers are equipped with gloves and trash bags before setting out on foot, wading in streams, or paddling canoes and kayaks to collect trash of all shapes and sizes for proper recycling and disposal. This year, volunteers can choose to participate at one of more than 60 cleanup sites, beginning at the river’s headwaters in North Georgia and continuing along

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the river as far south as Columbus, Georgia. Sweep the Hooch is presented in collaboration with the National Park Service’s Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which will host 15 cleanup sites within the park boundaries. Since 2011, thousands of Sweep the Hooch volunteers have collectively removed 236 tons of trash and recyclables from the Chattahoochee watershed. “Sweep the Hooch has brought together so many communities, spread over 200 river miles, to protect and enjoy all the Chattahoochee has to offer,” Tammy Bates, CRK Outings Director, said in a press release. “Each year we recruit more volunteers and remove more trash, making this a truly impactful day of service to the waterways that we all rely on and enjoy.” Volunteers can sign up for a cleanup

site near them at sweepthehooch.org. Participation is free, but individual registration is required. CRK will provide the necessary supplies and will thank volunteers for their dedication with a oneyear membership to the organization. Teams, clubs, and community groups are welcome to participate, but are encouraged to sign up early; once a site reaches capacity, registration for that site will close.

Courtesy Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

MARCH 2024 |

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Ground broken for first segment of Silver Comet Connector By Collin Kelley Construction is underway on the Woodall Rail Trail, the first segment of the Silver Comet Connector in Atlanta. The future trail follows Woodall Creek, a tributary to Peachtree Creek, in a preserved 10-acre tract of land filled with native plants and wildlife, according to a press release from the Upper Westside Community Improvement District (CID). The segment begins at the future Northwest BeltLine connection at Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard and Elaine Avenue and extends north to the intersection of Chattahoochee Avenue and Chattahoochee Row at The Works. The trail will provide safe walking and biking infrastructure while protecting this forest preserve in an area of Atlanta that lacks sidewalks and greenspace, the press release said.

Grants from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and project partners Groundwork Atlanta, PATH Foundation, Trees Atlanta and the Upper Westside CID are driving the project forward, aided by a grant from the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Project. “The Woodall Rail Trail is a testament to the commitment of our Upper Westside community, our project partners, and the enduring spirit of collaboration,” Elizabeth Hollister, Executive Director, Upper Westside CID, said in the release. “It symbolizes the shared dedication to creating a healthier, more sustainable, and interconnected Atlanta.” To improve water quality in the previously neglected creek, the Upper Westside CID partnered with Atlanta’s Department of Watershed Management to

design a bioswale, or a vegetated area with special soils and plants, to pretreat the water run-off from both Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard and Elaine Avenue before it enters Woodall Creek. This infrastructure is partially funded by a grant from DNR and will be constructed in the roadway. Project partners Groundwork Atlanta and Trees Atlanta led volunteer groups throughout 2022 and 2023 to remove invasive plants from the 10-acre tract. Their ongoing forest restoration work during and after construction will include replanting native grasses, shrubs and trees along the trail. The trail segment is named the Woodall Rail Trail because it winds along the banks of Woodall Creek and through sections of abandoned rail spurs that were once part of a vast industrial network.

The Silver Comet Trail is a nearly 100mile paved, non-motorized path connecting metro Atlanta to Anniston, Alabama popular with cyclists, hikers and pedestrians. In addition, Selig Enterprises funded and installed a traffic signal and crosswalk at Southland Circle, enabling safe passage for trail users across Chattahoochee Avenue. Selig is working alongside the PATH Foundation and the Upper Westside CID to weave the next portion of the Silver Comet Connector through their properties fronting Chattahoochee Avenue alongside Woodall Creek. After a public invitation-to-bid process, the partnership selected IP Construction to build the trail. It expects the Woodall Rail Trail to open in the first quarter of 2025, the release said.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Subscribe to Scene, a newsletter about film. RoughDraftAtlanta.com/newsletters

The Supermarket: Atlanta's newest arts hub in Poncey-Highland

Lover’s Below offered a sneak peek into the future of The Supermarket in Poncey-Highland. (Photo by Ember Pearson)

Willow Goldstein, founder and creative director of The Bakery. (Photo by Rhonnie O’Neal)

By Isadora Pennington In the sprawling lower level of a building in the heart of Poncey-Highland, a big change is coming. The Supermarket, a new concept spearheaded by visionary Willow Goldstein of The Bakery Atlanta, is set to become an incredible hub for the arts. Since 2017, The Bakery in South Downtown has served the creatives of Atlanta as a multi-faceted arts complex that initially occupied a building that was formerly a commercial bakery, hence the name. Willow, along with her mother Olive Hagemeier, dreamed of opening a space where art could flourish in a multi-purpose space tucked between the neighborhoods of Adair Park, Capitol View, and Oakland City. Over time, and with the help of many volunteers, they transformed the once-empty building into a bustling hub for creativity. The space was home to live music, dance, theater, drag shows, educational programs, and more. Eventually, the concept grew. Volunteers became staff, The Bakery earned a reputation for great art and compelling creative projects, and after three years they expanded to a sprawling 10,000-square-foot building atop Underground Atlanta called New Square. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to growth plans. Within the year, both the original Bakery location as well as New Square shut down when their leases expired. Disheartened but not willing to give up, they held onto hope that something good would come their way.

16 | MARCH 2024

Art lovers enjoy the food at the opening of The Supermarket in Poncey-Highland. (Photo by Isadora Pennington)

And good it did. At the beginning of 2021, The Bakery secured studio spaces for artists at Jefferson Station in East Point and also moved its headquarters into a South Downtown retail location that was previously operated by MINT Gallery. In 2022, The Bakery East Point’s lease ended and the team shifted their focus to building the dream at The Bakery’s official home in South Downtown. Eager to make the most of the space, the team began building out a robust array of programming that included exhibitions, workshops, and events. Reinvigorated by new team members who oversaw programming and gallery operations, The Bakery was in full swing and doing what it does best: providing a range of art opportunities, activations, and

experiences to the community. In the years since, The Bakery has continued to grow and evolve thanks to the leadership of Goldstein, her staff of dedicated employees, concentrated efforts by board members, and the many volunteers who help to keep the dream alive. Included in the mix is Amanda Norris, assistant director of The Bakery Atlanta and executive assistant to Goldstein, who pioneered the internship program and invented the community manager role. Recently, Goldstein was approached with a new opportunity to grow: a 12,500-square-foot lower-level space on North Highland Avenue that was once home to a portion of Highland Row Antiques. Dubbed “The Supermarket,” the

concept will continue the legacy of art that Goldstein has championed since the beginning. This time, it will bring dynamic arts programming to the heart of PonceyHighland. The Bakery launched their new space at The Supermarket with Lover’s Below in February. The sneak peek event included a night art market, food vendors, live music, and dancing. “It was amazing,” said Goldstein. Throughout the night they had about 400 people attend the event. The artistic community has rallied around this development, and the walkability of their new spot is certainly an asset for locals in the neighborhood. In her dreams, The Supermarket will become an arts complex that is open and in use seven days a week. The multi-faceted approach to an arts center would be put to good use for business. To pull it off, Goldstein and her team have to figure out the perfect recipe for funding and support. As of 2023, The Bakery is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which certainly is a benefit when it comes to raising money through grants and institutional funding. But behind the scenes, there’s much work that goes into securing those grants, and that’s not the only avenue they are pursuing. “I love puzzles, but this one is so hard because this is my own life and my own livelihood at stake,” said Goldstein. She’s currently working on finding investors, getting a liquor license to sell alcohol during performances, building donor relationships, and growing The Bakery’s board. “It’s really hard, it’s a lot to juggle.” Additionally, Goldstein hopes to see a shift in the investment in midsize art spaces coming down from the city itself. In a bustling metropolis like Atlanta, the bigger artistic institutions often seem to receive the most support from the government, while smaller venues that support emerging artists can struggle to get appropriate funding. Many of the smaller galleries that existed when Goldstein first launched The Bakery have gone by the wayside, unable to sustain themselves as rent prices increase. But for Goldstein, the success of The Bakery lies in the community. She wants to provide an outlet for artistic expression while also providing a home for the artists themselves; a place where they feel like they belong. “A ton of people are really excited that there’s an art space in the middle of the city again,” she shared. Find out more at thebakeryatlanta.com/ poncey-highland.

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SweetWater 420 Fest unveils 2024 music lineup, moves to Pullman Yards By Collin Kelley

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SweetWater 420 Fest is moving to Pullman Yards in Kirkwood for 2024 with an eclectic lineup of artists, including headliners Beck and Slightly Stoopid. With more than 25 artists set to perform, the SweetWater 420 lineup spans a wide range of genres including alternative, rock, pop, soul, indie, jam, and more. This year’s dates are April 20-21. Headlining the two-day festival is Beck, an American musician and singer-songwriter known for hits songs like “Loser” and “E-Pro,” and Slightly Stoopid, a California-based band that is renowned for fusing several genres together — like rock, reggae, acoustic soul, hip hop and heavy metal — to create an eclectic style of music unique to their sound. Other bands and artists set to play in the upcoming festival include Big Gigantic (hip hop), Black Pumas (psychedelic soul), Trombone Shorty (jazz fusion), Grace Potter (rock), Houndmouth (alternative/ indie), Fireside Collective (bluegrass) and Hedonistas (Atlanta-based rock band), to name a few. In addition to the live music acts, SweetWater 420 Fest will also feature local vendors, workshops, charitable and

environmental activations, an artist market, food trucks and much more to experience. Last year, Sweetwater 420 Fest downsized when it moved to the brewery property in the Armour-Ottley district. An estimated 5,000 people attended the event, which was a far cry from the 30,000+ who had attended when the event was held in Centennial Park. Although Sweetwater never implicitly said it was leaving Centennial Park due to its inability to restrict guns on public property, local officials did and called the festival’s departure an economic loss for Downtown Atlanta. Since Pullman Yards is private property, it has much more leeway to restrict guns and weapons at the event. Both general admission and VIP tickets for the upcoming festival are available online for purchase at sweetwater420fest.com.

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MARCH 2024 |

21


How I became a part of the flourishing art scene in Avondale Estates

Artist Arie James Parker at the opening of the Avondale Arts Center. (Photo by Isadora Pennington)

Isadora Pennington outside the new Avondale Arts Center. (Special)

By Isadora Pennington Did you know that there is an arts district in Avondale Estates? I didn’t when I moved to the community in 2020, but since I became President of the Avondale Arts Alliance last March, I came to understand just how many incredible artists live and work here. The Rail Art District stretches from Wild Heaven Brewing to Town Green and includes many great local arts organizations that call it home. The more I learned about Avondale Estates and its art scene, the more I loved it.

As I moved into my role of president of the Avondale Arts Alliance, I started to look at the gaps in our art scene. And I set about addressing them. First, we started offering free teen art nights, as I saw that many existing art workshops and classes either catered to children or adults and not much in between. We hosted a zine-making workshop and a haunted birdhouse workshop in 2023. We also got involved with WigWag, an annual music and art showcase held each May by legendary illustration and design shop Methane Studios which occupies a

More than 200 people attended the opening of the Avondale Arts Center in February. (Photo by Isadora Pennington)

storefront in Globe Arts Center. In July 2023, we decided to host an Artist Mixer as a way of introducing the new Avondale Arts Alliance board to the community. We organized the event at Banjo Lounge, a small event space brought to life by Banjo Coffee owners Chasidy and Billy Atchison. Now Vice President of the Avondale Arts Alliance, Brittany Smith opened her bookstore The Book Bird there earlier in the summer of 2023. And so, we invited the neighborhood to come out and get to know us. In the days leading up to the event, we had many

members of the community ask if we would show any work during the mixer. On a whim, we decided to solicit for art submissions. Within 48 hours we received an incredible outpouring of interest and we pulled together a showcase of works by 23 local artists. Over 80 people came to that first event, and we were emboldened by the support from the community to continue these exhibitions. Over the last six months of 2023, we hosted four art exhibitions at Banjo Lounge, a pumpkin painting workshop at Little Cottage Brewing, the first ever Waffle

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House Museum Art Show and Artist Alley held during their Waffle Week open house, and an outdoor exhibition of Latinx artists at Town Green during the city’s Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Towards the end of 2023, change was afoot in our little city. Fiber Parts moved their shop across the street and set up inside the Lounge alongside The Book Bird. While we celebrated this new setup for our friends and business partners, the Alliance found that there simply was no longer enough wall space to host exhibitions. We took a beat, hit pause on our exhibition calendar, and hoped that we would find a path forward to continue our exhibitions elsewhere. In early December 2023, I was communicating with Shannon Powell and Ellen Powell (no relation) of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) about an upcoming Art and Wine Walk that we are planning for May 2024. They mentioned that perhaps the Alliance would be able to make use of an empty building that once

housed the Finders Keepers consignment shop next to Town Green. Slated for eventual demolition to make way for a hotel and retail concept in its spot, it had been sitting empty since 2022. When I read that email, my heart leaped to my throat. I think I wrote back in all caps with resounding glee at the idea. We met there the following morning and as soon as I walked through the doors, I was absolutely in love. The space is a 4,500-square-foot Tudorstyle freestanding building at the corner of North Avondale Road and Lake Street. It has one large room as well as a few side rooms that were formerly storage and fitting rooms. We worked tirelessly behind the scenes during December to come up with a plan for the space as well as hash out details of the lease, which includes a clause that can accommodate the city’s eventual plan to move forward with the hotel concept. In exchange for our flexibility, we have been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a beautiful new home

for the Avondale Arts Alliance. We spent the month of January getting things ready, enlisting a team of dedicated volunteers, and completing some necessary repairs to the space thanks to the generosity of the DDA. We raised money, hosted community work days, accepted furniture and financial donations, and started getting people excited about this idea. On Feb. 10, just one day shy of a month since we signed the lease, we debuted the Avondale Arts Center with an opening reception for our first show, Neighbors & Friends. The exhibition features 104 pieces by 60 local artists. In the mix are paintings, photographs, fiber artworks, sculptures, illustrations, an installation, and even an interactive video game piece. Our opening night party brought out more than 200 visitors over the course of three hours and was kicked off with a ribbon cutting by yours truly and Mayor Elmore. We sold $900 worth of art and heard so many times just how excited our community is for this new

venue. While the building itself is not forever, we believe that we can use this opportunity afforded to us by the generosity of the City of Avondale Estates and the DDA to flesh out a business concept that supports local arts through exhibitions, workshops, special events, summer camps, and to further our mission to build a community centered around the arts. The Avondale Arts Alliance is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We are an entirely volunteer-run organization, and we hope to see the Avondale Arts Center become a business model that can be picked up and moved to a new home whenever the need arises. The Avondale Arts Center is located at 84 N. Avondale Road and is open weekly during the Avondale Estates Farmers Market, on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Be sure to check out our website at avondaleartsalliance.com.

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23


DINING

Subscribe to Side Dish, a newsletter about food. RoughDraftAtlanta.com/newsletters

The Regulars

Atlantans find second homes and their people at local restaurants

Monday night is for regulars at ApresDiem Traditionally, Monday is the slowest day of the week for restaurants. That’s why you’ll find many restaurants only open for limited hours or closed on Monday because it’s easy to give staff the day off after the weekend rush. But that’s not the case at Apres Diem at Midtown Promenade, where regulars pack the artsy, European-style cafe, even on a cold and rainy Monday evening in February. Among the regulars are Atlanta natives and best friends Amy Hightower and Lisa Stroud. They met in elementary school and have shared a post-work meal at the Promenade Jen Bhagia-Lewis, Amy Hightower, and Lisa Stroud are Monday night regulars at Apres Diem restaurant’s worn in Midtown. (Photo by Isadora Pennington) wooden bar almost every Monday for the past eight years. “I love the ambiance and the peoplewatching,” says Hightower, an East Atlanta By Laura Scholz resident who regularly dined at Apres Diem’s previous incarnation, Carpes Diem, a Welcome to The Regulars, funky coffee shop in Poncey-Highland that shuttered in 2006. where we explore what it For the duo, the current location at means to be a frequent Midtown Promenade is perfectly situated between their two jobs—Hightower’s restaurant patron. In this as a mental health facility director in series, we’ll introduce you Morningside and Stroud’s as a law firm to everyday Atlantans and administrator in Midtown. As soon as the 50-something friends colorful local characters step through the threshold adorned with who have found a sense of twinkling lights and a faded yellow awning, longtime bartender Carlo Reis starts mixing belonging and community at their cocktails—two dirty martinis with restaurants and bars around plenty of olives. “I know all of my regulars and their town and what keeps these orders by heart,” says Reis, who has worked regulars coming back for at Apres Diem for over 20 years. About five years ago, he got burned more week after week. out working late nights and weekends and

24 | MARCH 2024

requested shifts on Monday and Tuesday. There wasn’t much money at first, but Reis says he was happier and able to spend more time with people seated at the bar. He soon had a group of regulars, drawn to the bartender’s magnetic personality and easygoing demeanor. “You go back to places because people make you feel like you belong and they notice everything about you, from your outfits to what’s going on in your life, and Carlo is excellent at that,” says Jen BhagiaLewis. Reis saves her a corner spot at the bar, then punches in her regular order—a Greek salad with anchovies and a glass of Malbec— as she arrives. While she lives in East Atlanta now, Bhagia-Lewis’ daughter attends Monday night classes at a nearby Atlanta ballet studio, which she calls the “perfect excuse” to stop into a nostalgic old haunt. “I technically could go home to eat dinner and then come back to get her, but with rush-hour traffic, it’s just nicer and easier to relax with a meal at the bar,” says Bhagia-Lewis. She praises the restaurant for its consistency and “comfy” vibe, noting that Apres Diem is in some ways the same yet completely different from when it first opened years ago. It all comes down to Atlanta’s shifting demographics. BhagiaLewis credits the restaurant’s longevity and loyal clientele to its consistent service and affordability in a city where dining out is increasingly unaffordable for families of four like hers. “There’s always something on the menu that’s at the right price point for everybody,” she says. “One of my favorite things about Apres Diem is that I’ve been going there since I was a kid, and now that I have kids, it’s a place I can take them to experience how special it is.” This Monday, the crowd at Apres Diem ranges from casually dressed teens from nearby Midtown High School splitting enormous slices of cake, to co-working couples sipping coffee, to elegantly dressed seniors grabbing an early dinner. During her solo Monday night meals, Bhagia-Lewis has become fast friends with other regulars at the bar, including Hightower and Stroud. The trio spend time chatting about their children. Bhagia-Lewis’s oldest son is deciding where to attend college next year. Stroud’s youngest son

recently landed a role in a new adaptation of “Cats” that will debut in New York City this summer. Hightower’s son, an only child, is studying landscape architecture at the University of Georgia. They have also formed bonds with other bar patrons at Apres Diem, like an elderly man and his wife, who has dementia. “They have probably been going there as long as we have, and it’s a joint effort to take care of them when they are at the bar,” explains Stroud. She and other regulars take turns engaging the woman in conversation so her husband can eat and take a break from caregiving. Many of the Monday-night patrons at Apres Diem keep in touch outside of the restaurant via group chats and get-togethers. One couple Stroud, Hightower, and BhagiaLewis recently befriended at the bar invited them to Sunday dinner at their home. It’s just how the Monday regulars roll at Apres Diem. Hightower and Stroud speak on the phone every morning and often garden or walk together on the weekends. Their Monday ritual at Apres Diem, however, remains sacred for the friends who’ve seen each other through 50 years of life changes, including their divorces and Stroud battling cancer twice. The meals they share at the Midtown restaurant’s bar on Monday nights are a weekly recharge for Hightower. “I gain strength from Lisa that I don’t get from anyone else, and our meals together at Apres Diem really fill my tank,” Hightower says of her best friend and fellow restaurant regular. Bartender Carlo Reis pours wine at Apres Diem. (Photo by Isadora Pennington)

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edits. His favorite pastries? A financier and a traditional French croissant. Frank might never have stumbled into Le Bon Nosh if it weren’t for a chance encounter with fellow community organizer and owner Forough Vakili’s husband, Ramtin. They bumped into each other in the Whole Foods parking lot just around the corner from Le Bon Nosh. “He said they were working on opening a cafe and restaurant, and I decided to check it out one day after my shopping,” he recalled. Frank immediately fell in love with the restaurant’s high ceilings, friendly baristas, and excellent coffee and started coming on weekday mornings to write. Last July, he held his book launch at Le Bon Nosh, with 10% of book proceeds benefitting the annual

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Four shots of espresso. That’s Atlanta author Gil Frank’s go-to coffee order at Le Bon Nosh in Buckhead. He’s been a near-daily customer at the French-stye bistro and wine bar since it opened on Irby Avenue in 2021. A native of France and retired nonprofit executive who also co-founded Historic Westside Gardens, Frank turned to writing to process losing his wife to breast cancer in 2020. After attending a virtual writing workshop with grief expert David Kessler just a few months after his wife’s death, Frank realized he had an actual story to tell. It became Frank’s first book, a 200-plus page semi-biographical memoir about he and his wife that he began writing in his 70s. Frank published “Yocheved: The Friend of My Mind” in 2023. The book is told in two parts. The first half Atlanta author Gil Frank at his chronicles Yocheved’s book signing at Le Bon Nosh. childhood in Jamaica, (Photo courtesy Gil Frank) adolescence in Europe, marriage to Frank, and illness, including excerpts from her cancer Thanksgiving meal he organizes with activist journal and personal poems and letters. The Precious Mohammed for neighbors in the second part of Frank’s book explores the Vine City and English Avenue communities ups and downs of the couple’s two-decade – all in memory of his late wife. relationship, immigration to Atlanta from Frank says Le Bon Nosh provided him Israel, and his experiences with caregiving, with a much-needed sense of community grief, and loss. and companionship following her death. While working for three to six hours at “In 2022, I went to Israel and France for a time from his usual small corner table in two months, and when I returned, people [at the light-filled Buckhead bistro, Frank slowly the restaurant] asked me where I had been drafted the words, always with pen and and said they were worried and missed me,” paper before transferring them to his laptop. he said. “It’s a place that invites people to He wrote the book in English, but it’s also communicate and be open with each other.” available in French. Le Bon Nosh owner and chef Forough Frank even met his editor, former barista Vakili says she intended to create a Sika Noxolo, at Le Bon Nosh. community around the restaurant. It’s open “English is my third language, and I write all day for pastries and coffee and Frenchin a way that is different from many people,” influenced dishes like jambon beurre, beef explained Frank about his lyrical narrative tartare, and confit duck leg. style, influenced by his philosophy studies at “To walk in here and see all of these the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, classic regulars like Gil and have conversations French literature, and American authors Toni with them, it gives you that extended sense Morrison and Philip Roth. of family that is often missing in our lives,” “We just connected, and Sika was very Vakili said. receptive to my ideas,” he said of his working Currently writing his second book – relationship with Noxolo, a first-time editor this time a novel – Frank shares Vakili’s and full-time social media and marketing sentiments about the restaurant in the strategist. Frank often shared snippets of his forward to “Yocheved: The Friend of My work with other Le Bon Nosh staff members, Mind.” including head barista Alacey Monoconduit. “The Café that welcomed me – Le Bon “I first met Gil soon after we opened our Nosh, where Alacey, Amber, Cullen, Pope, doors at Le Bon Nosh in November 2021,” Johanna, and Forough Vakili and all her she recalled. “He was one of our first regulars. staff watched me write and with whom He was always warm and friendly.” conversations allowed me to pause and She first noticed the French-born Frank recharge.” because of his daily uniform – all-black Want to nominate a restaurant regular for clothing with a black beret. an upcoming story? Send your nomination “His order struck me as very European with a brief description to since Americans rarely order espresso straight beth@roughdraftatlanta.com. up,” she said of his usual coffee order, sometimes accompanied by a pastry to celebrate completing a chapter or round of

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How author Gil Frank found inspiration at Le Bon Nosh

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25


Here’s why DBA Barbecue closed in Virginia-Highland

Matt Coggin opened DBA Barbecue in Virginia-Highland 15 years ago. (Courtesy DBA Barbecue)

By Beth McKibben DBA Barbecue closed on Feb. 25 after 15 years in Virginia-Highland. The decision to close the beloved barbecue restaurant, however, wasn’t easy for owner Matt Coggin, but necessary. As Coggin puts it, he’s trading running one big restaurant for operating two smaller locations. It also allows his mother the chance to retire from the business she was never supposed to be involved with in the first place. “It comes down to a life change. I’ve been a one-man show for 15 years with

wanted to help me out. This gives her the excuse to step back and not feel pulled to walk down the street to see what she can do for me. We are a very tight family.” The closure of DBA in VirginiaHighland now frees Coggin up to throw all of his energy behind two new barbecue ventures in Atlanta. This includes expanding hours to seven days a week at DBA in Buckhead and opening DBA Tacos & BBQ in April, Coggin’s upcoming fast-casual restaurant headed to Clarkston. Many of the Virginia-Highland restaurant’s most popular menu items will be served in Buckhead and Clarkston, including ribs, wings, brisket, pork, andouille sausage, and smoked chicken. Pastrami will be added at both locations, along with burnt ends and salads like the brisket wedge and smoked Cobb.

help from my family. It’s hard to run three restaurants. Something had to give.” Coggin says. “During the pandemic, we did a lot of takeout here. I was the one at the curb giving out orders and greeting customers. I realized how much I enjoy the hospitality side of this business. It reenergized me going forward.” His mother’s well-being was the other reason behind Coggin’s decision to close in Virginia-Highland. His mother can walk to the restaurant from her home in the neighborhood and has become its unofficial CFO. “She told me, ‘I just want to be your mom again,’” says Coggin. “She always

The Clarkston location took over a former Taco Bell and KFC on East Ponce de Leon Avenue. This location prompted Coggin to incorporate a quick-service model and menu and to utilize the existing drivethru window. While dine-in service will be available, Coggin is priming the Clarkston restaurant for takeout. In addition to traditional barbecue plates and sandwiches, the menu in Clarkston will offer a selection of street tacos using DBA’s smoked meats. There will be halal beef options, a barbacoa taco, and a cochinita pibil taco made with boneless smoked pork butt. All tacos will come dressed in pico, diced onions, radishes, and lime. Housemade mojo sauce, avocado crema, and pickled red onions will garnish the cochinita pibil taco. Look for a vegetarian taco, too, as well as beer, wine, and a small list of cocktails in Clarkston. “I became hooked on hospitality at an early age and threw parties at my parents’ house. I’d be the one walking around asking people if they needed anything,” Coggin says. “With these two restaurants, I can get back to my hospitality roots and we can really focus on what we do best and that’s our smoked meats and sides.”

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The Move: Three dishes to seek out this month By Beth McKibben Editor’s Note: The Move is your new monthly guide to the top food finds from Senior Editor Beth McKibben, who oversees restaurant and dining coverage at Rough Draft.

An essential izakaya dish full of umami, agedashi tofu comprises three to four large cubes of firm tofu typically fried in potato starch and served in a warm soybased sauce. It’s garnished with chopped scallions, daikon radishes, and fresh ginger. I’m partial to the agedashi tofu at Yebisuya at the Super HMart complex in Doraville. Four lightly fried tofu cubes arrive in a rich soy broth topped with grated daikon radishes, scallions, and shaved nori (dried seaweed). Nori gives the dish added crunch, hints of salinity, and extra savoriness. Try the agedashi tofu at Dead End Drinks in Edgewood, too.

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Several new restaurants shine the spotlight on sandwiches, including Bona Fide Deluxe in Edgewood, Humble Mumble in Midtown, The Best Sandwich Shop in Poncey-Highland, and The Velvet Hippo in Avondale Estates. Add my new favorite sandwich slinger SamWitch to this list, and the Seven-Layer Country Captain Crunchwrap Superb. You’ll find SamWitch serving from a bright yellow shipping container at the Halfway Crooks beer garden in Summerhill on the weekends. Operated by Chef Mykel Burkhart and Sam Wilson Burkhart and Chef Tyler Oliver, the crunchwrap is stuffed with smoked chicken, fragrant garlic-ginger basmati rice, sweet potato and almond spread, queso fresco, shrabbage, and raita. The tortilla is lightly fried, giving the exterior ample stability to hold the contents of the sandwich in place.

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27


AMEX’s Centurion Lounge opens at ATL

Interior off the Centurion Lounge. (Courtesy AMEX)

By Collin Kelley American Express has opened its new 26,000-square-foot Centurion Lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The largest lounge in the Centurion Lounge network features a locally-inspired menu from Atlanta-based Chef Deborah VanTrece, numerous seating options for guests to relax or work before their flight, outdoor terraces with views of the airfield, and The Reserve by American Express, a bespoke whiskey bar serving signature cocktails designed by Centurion mixologist Jim Meehan. The Centurion Lounge is located in Concourse E near gate E11. “The new Centurion Lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport will serve travelers in one of the airports our Card Members visit most,” said Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel, in a press release. “It features amenities we know travelers enjoy, like outdoor terraces, and plenty of space to relax, along with local touches infused throughout the menus and design, that guests will remember long after their trip.” The lounge’s design is inspired by Atlanta’s reputation as “the city in the forest” and features a 50-year-old olive tree and a 3,850-square-foot custom light sculpture that represents a forest canopy. The lounge showcases commissioned artwork from local artists including a new, textural interpretation of the quintessential American Express watchdog by Lucha Rodríguez and a large-scale multimedia piece by Michi Meko that draws inspiration from Georgia’s landscape. Additionally, a 60-foot mural of abstracted leaf-like shapes, painted by Evan Blackwell Helgeson, stretches from the interior dining area to the exterior terrace. Chef Deborah VanTrece, James Beard

28 | MARCH 2024

Chef Deborah VanTrece speaks at the opening. (Photo by Keith Pepper)

Award semifinalist and owner of local Atlanta restaurants Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, Oreatha’s At The Point and La Panarda brings her take on modern, global soul food to the lounge. The custom menu includes Black Eyed Pea Biryani, Za’atar Grilled Chicken Thighs with Green Tomato Chimichurri, and Twisted Soul Salad with Strawberry Peppercorn Vinaigrette. Additionally, there is a dedicated food and beverage station with gluten-free and vegan options, including protein bites, salads, smoothies, and immunity booster juice shots. “Atlanta has become such an interesting melting pot of cultures and cuisines. I’m thrilled to partner with American Express to bring food that celebrates these traditions, along with the best southern ingredients, to the Centurion Lounge at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,” VanTrece said in the release. “Travel has inspired my approach as a chef and I feel blessed that, through this collaboration, I’ll be able to share my creative vision for food and hospitality with travelers from around the world.” The Reserve by American Express is the first dedicated whiskey bar in a Centurion Lounge. The cocktail menu features five specialty whiskey cocktails, including Drink a Peach with peach-flavored whiskey and bitters and Mayme, Tailored, highlighting an American whiskey with ginger beer. Guests can also choose from over 20 classic and new American whiskeys.

Spring into some well-crafted gin By Cory Atkinson, Kristina Ferdinand, and Stephanie Saputo Something about Spring beginning to bloom and IN THE SPIRIT the winter chill replaced by a warm breeze gets us in the mood for the floral and botanical notes of a well-crafted gin cocktail. WITH ELEMENTAL Gin has SPIRITS been having a renaissance since, well, the Renaissance. It was born in Holland as a medicinal tonic known as “Genever” and made from malt and juniper. The juniper was used as a flavoring agent to cover up the intense and rich flavor of the malt and made the genever much easier to consume. After brandy was heavily taxed as an import in England and regulations allowed for unlicensed genever production (bathtub gin, anyone?), the British took hold of the cheaper genever and made it the national alcoholic drink of England. They ended up shortening the name to an easier-to-pronounce “gen” which eventually became the “gin” we all know and love. Now, a few hundred years later, gin is truly one of the most expressive and terroir-driven spirits available. To be called gin in America, the only real definition is that it has to have the characteristic flavor of juniper. That's not a lot to go on, which allows the category to be pretty widespread in terms of flavor profiles and styles. The more classic older styles are designated London Dry, which is as simple as it sounds – it is dry! This means

there are no sweeteners or flavoring agents outside of botanical (read; fruits and herbs!) but this style tends to be very juniper-forward. And then there's Old Tom, which was classically sweetened with licorice (originating from when people made their gin in the bathtub and had to sweeten it because, yeah, bathtub.) Now, Old Tom is often barrel-aged to give a richer, softer flavor. A little later on, the Navy Strength style gin emerged with a unique backstory. It was historically stored below deck on British naval ships, often next to gunpowder. This gin had to be at least 114 Proof (57% ABV) to be considered “navy strength,” so if a little gin spilled on the gunpowder it would still ignite. In more recent history with the emergence of craft distilling, Botanical gins have become more popular. This distinction is broad and can be almost anything but tends to have many botanical combinations added as the name suggests. Monkey 47 is made from, you guessed it, 47 different botanicals. Talk about a party in a glass. Requiring only neutral grain and juniper and no time barrel aging, gin is commonly a product that new distilleries start making and bottling right away. New expressions of gin are now made all over the world, each showcasing unique expressions of where they are from. Most times, distillers use local botanicals to show a sense of terroir like St. George in California or Barr Hill in Vermont. So, with this gin boom leading to so many options, how do you choose? Do you like classic Gin & Tonics? Nothing better than a super dry, juniperforward London Dry gin to make the best G&T. How about a luscious martini? Something with a little salt (or saline) for balance makes a fantastic aperitif cocktail. We'd suggest Isle of Harris from Scotland in a Classic Martini. Negroni fan? We love an herbal, heavy-handed botanical style to hold up to the bitterness of the Campari. Try Occitan out of the Piedmont region of Italy. Gin, just like a bottle of wine, can transport you when you smell the bouquet and taste the botanicals. Open yourself up to embracing the quality, craft and sensory experience a good gin cocktail can provide. It might be transformative – at the very least, it's bound to be a killer cocktail.

RoughDraftAtlanta.com


Providing more opportunities for women in the wine industry March is Women’s History Month, so we decided to sit down with Amanda Kimbrough, a wine sales representative and coordinator of a local women in wine collective, to discuss the importance of community in not just our careers, but in our individual lives as well.

WOMEN + WINE

Katie Rice & Sarah Pierre Your community can be the city you live in or the people who live in your apartment, but a sense of belonging is a necessary part of human engagement. Amanda acknowledged the need to “love and be loved” and how this urge leads to humans surrounding themselves with like-minded people. “Atlanta has fostered a community in the wine world that is unique to other

diverse, inclusive set of women who meet up quarterly to share bottles, camaraderie, and fellowship. Her goal is “to provide an opportunity for all the women in the Atlanta wine industry to learn each other’s names and faces.” She knows, too, that “community isn’t all bottle shares and fun. It sometimes can require uncomfortable conversations and sacrifices. We have to bend to be in community with people.” Amanda spoke on the importance of networking, saying “It forces you to be around those who might not be ‘your people’ but also the next step is looking to find common ground. We all have our unique contributions.” For the young professional, this helps to develop skills that can translate into any arena of life. Communities are built by the strengths of individuals coming together. “Community is a sum of parts,” Amanda says. “Everyone contributes something, whether big or small, to create a strong, thriving community.” For those of us who have worked in the business for many years, we have

together, not against each other.” For future growth, we must also consider what the wine industry is lacking. While the Atlanta community is diverse and continues to be a leader, the wine industry as a whole needs to take note. Overall, racial equality and inclusion of those in the LGBTQ+ community are vastly underrepresented. With the understanding that “Atlanta Influences Everything,” our responsibility is to look forward and be an example of what a full and healthy community can look like. Of course, we can’t forget what wine does best: Bring people together! Here are Amanda’s suggestions for your Spring wine enjoyment:

RoughDraftAtlanta.com

seen a lot of change in the hospitality industry. The Atlanta-based organization The Giving Kitchen, which helps provide emergency funds and resources for service industry workers, has opened the dialogue for labor inadequacies and practices around the field which has spread to national engagement. We have seen a growth of women entrepreneurs in both the restaurant and the retail sector around the city. These changes can be attributed to the community in which we live and the people who have helped to build it. “We have to buy out of the idea that there is only one seat at the table,” Amanda says. “Success means competing

• Anything that Maya Hood White makes, but especially Early Mountain Petit Manseng from Madison, VA. • Statera Winery where “Meredith Bell is doing the hard work” when it comes to labor practices and sustainability. Amanda loves the 2021 Chardonnay Pet Nat from Willamette Valley, Oregon.

Your seat at the table. Side Dish is a free, weekly newsletter edited by Beth McKibben.

mint

Amanda Kimbrough (Special)

cities,” she says, noting that it’s not uncommon for a group of wine buyers and sommeliers to meet up for bottle shares and networking. Also unique to Atlanta is the abundance of women in the field. Not only are numerous wine stores womenowned, but restaurants across the city have buyers and sommeliers who are female. In the distributor arena, we have countless numbers of women out in the field selling wines and spirits, but leadership has mostly remained maledominated. Amanda has worked in both restaurants and retail and is among those who spend their days selling wine and spirits. She also helps bring together a

• A glass of Ultraviolet Sparkling with a big glug of Momenpop Blood Orange Aperitif is a perfect Sunday Spritz.

PANCAKES

time only MARCH 2024 |

29


REAL ESTATE

Portman’s plan for Amsterdam Walk causes community tension

A large crowd gathered at Red Light Café on Amsterdam Walk to discuss Portman Holding’s plans to renovate the shopping area. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

By Dyana Bagby Atlanta-based Portman Holdings' plans to transform Amsterdam Walk from a warehouse district into a large mixed-use development is stirring up heated debates among those living in the surrounding neighborhoods. Portman views the roughly 10-acre property off Monroe Drive nestled between the affluent Morningside/Lenox and Virginia-Highland neighborhoods as the ideal spot for a destination mixed-use project because its adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine, Piedmont Park, and Atlanta Botanical Garden. The developer wants to raze the existing buildings, mostly modified warehouses filled with local businesses, to build 900 apartments and just under 500,000 square feet of retail and office spaces. The plan also includes 1,400 parking spaces. But many living in Virginia-Highland and Morningside/Lenox have said the high-density project, including two high-rise towers — a 17-story apartment building and a 13-story office building — would destroy the character of their singlefamily neighborhoods by increasing traffic, noise, and pollution. A Portman traffic study estimates the project would add nearly 4,000 daily new car trips. "That's like having a festival every single day," said one person at a Jan. 31 neighborhood meeting to a round of applause.

30 | MARCH 2024

A rendering of the mixed-use development planned for Amsterdam Walk. (Courtesy Portman Holdings)

"We're much more like Inman Park than Midtown," said another, also to applause. The meeting was hosted by the Morningside Lenox Park Association and the Virginia-Highland Civic Association and held at the Red Light Cafe in Amsterdam Walk. About 100 people attended, including Atlanta City Councilmembers Alex Wan and Matt Westmoreland and newly elected Atlanta Board of Education member Ken Zeff. No one from Portman was present. Amsterdam Walk, while located between two established singlefamily neighborhoods, is zoned C-1 (commercial), said Aaron Fortner of Canvas Planning Group, a planning consulting agency for neighborhoods. The existing zoning allows for about 750,000 square feet of non-residential use and more than 300,000 square feet

of residential, for a total of more than 1 million square feet of new development, he said. There are also no height limits, he said. Portman has applied to rezone the property from a commercial to a planned mixed-use development. This zoning allows for more residential and includes transitional height requirements next to residential neighborhoods. Another person said adding hundreds of apartments on the Amsterdam Walk property would diminish the appeal of Virginia-Highland and Morningside/ Lenox because renters are "not invested in their communities." He said there should be some for-sale condominiums in the project so there are new residents "who have more skin in the game." But the main complaint from most of those at the meeting was traffic. There was

no way the planned development would not impact traffic flow on Monroe Drive, they said. Motorists trying to get out of that traffic would start using side streets and endanger children. Several people spoke in favor of Portman's plans and said they would welcome a diversity of renters who can't afford the expensive homes in VirginiaHighland and Morningside/Lenox. The property is in the middle of the city with access to the Beltline for pedestrians and cyclists, they said, taking cars off the city's crowded streets. Density is needed Intown where possible to accommodate Atlanta's growing population, they added. "We should be doing everything in our power to put as many people as we can here," said one person to applause. "I can't imagine a location that makes more sense for density." He noted that those attending the meeting were "99% white, rich and older," drawing boos from many. "It's heartbreaking to me that so many people ... in one of the largest and fastest growing cities in the country feel entitled to single-family density," he added. Another woman said she wants different kinds of housing in her neighborhood. The planned development would include 20% of the apartments rented at below-market rates as part of the Beltline's goal to provide more affordable housing. "If I didn't want diversity, or I love my car that much, I would live OTP [Outside the Perimeter]," she said. "And I really support the diversity and housing rights of middle and low-income people more than the rights of cars." Wan, the city council representative for the neighborhoods, recommended residents negotiate with Portman on the scale of the project rather than reject it outright. He said now is the time to ask the developer to address concerns such as road improvements and pedestrian and bike safety. "The land is already zoned for something way more intense," Wan said. "The landowner essentially could build something even more ... and that would be worse for all the concerns that I've been hearing." Wan said the city's planned Monroe Complete Street project is expected to begin between 10th and Monroe and Aurora Circle in the next 12 to 18 months. The project is expected to mitigate traffic congestion and ease flow of the added 4,000 new daily car trips expected with the Portman project. RoughDraftAtlanta.com


Shipping containers designed to combat homelessness

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The Melody is a community made of shipping containers to provide shelter for the homeless. (Photo by Dyana Bagby)

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By Dyana Bagby Tenants began moving into Atlanta's first rapid housing community in February, marking a milestone in the city's efforts to combat homelessness. Named "The Melody," the project at 184 Forsyth St. in South Downtown stands on what was a city-owned parking lot near the Garnett MARTA station. It includes 40 micro-units made from converted shipping containers, with 32 units being ADA-compliant. Each unit includes a bed, bathroom, and kitchenette. Completed in a record-breaking four months, the $5 million project is the first of many the city is planning as part of its rapid housing initiative to build 500 low-cost micro-units on city-owned land by the end of 2025, said Mayor Andre Dickens at the Jan. 26 ribbon-cutting event. "The Melody is opening its doors and blazing trails as a new model for quick delivery housing on public land," he said. The first 22 residents moved in Feb. 1. The mayor announced another rapid housing site has been identified on cityowned property adjacent to the city's water reservoir on Northside Drive. Engagement with residents, businesses, and community stakeholders will begin in the next few weeks, he said. "We're not slowing down," the mayor said. "It is important to remember that we are not adding new residents to your neighborhood. They're actually already there." Many unhoused people are living in tents, their cars, extended-stay hotels, with friends or family, and under bridges and underpasses, Dickens said. RoughDraftAtlanta.com

"It is our shared moral imperative to provide these individuals and their families with stable housing and wraparound services that they need to get back on their feet and thrive alongside their neighbors," he said. Cathryn Vassell, CEO of Partners for HOME which is partnering with the city in the rapid housing initiative, said licensed staff will be onsite to provide tenants of The Melody with supportive services. Opening The Melody in Downtown is "innovative and exciting" because research and data show it is "abundantly clear" that permanent housing with services is the solution to ending homelessness, she added. She also shared that The Melody is named for Melody Bloodworth, a woman who died two years ago on the streets of Atlanta after years of experiencing homelessness. The opening of The Melody follows the mayor's January signing of an executive order to allocate $4.6 million to provide more services for those experiencing homelessness. Also last week, the City Council approved donating $2.4 million to the city’s Partners for Home to help people and families living underneath bridges and other public areas to find permanent housing. The council approved donating another $700,000 to the Gateway Center to help connect homeless individuals with needed services. Last year, Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, approved up to $7.5 million for the city's rapid housing initiative.

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MARCH 2024 |

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Family builds design legacy across generations

Gladys S. Dennard Library in South Fulton. (Provided)

Cheryl McAfee (Provided)

Cheryl, Charyl, and Charles McAfee at the McAdams Pool. (Provided)

in Atlanta. Upon the completion of these games, she and her team managed the conversion of the Olympic Stadium into Turner Field and other legacy projects from the Olympics. Firm ownership transitioned to daughters Cheryl and Charyl of the renamed McAfee3 Architects in 2006. All three architects have been nationally recognized as Fellows by the American Institute of Architects for their impact to the architectural profession: Charles in 1981, Cheryl in 2003, and Charyl in 2013. With the sixtieth anniversary of McAfee3 Architects in 2023, the firm’s recent redesign and modernization of six library branches of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System animates Cheryl. She recognizes libraries as essential to meet the diverse needs of minority and poor constituents in the Atlanta region through spaces for educational resources, community gathering spaces, technology training, and voting sites. “Architecture has the power to transform lives. I’m thankful for the opportunities to put my passion into practice.” For more information about Cheryl McAfee, Charles McAfee, and their projects tune into the Uplifting Places podcast hosted by Melody Harclerode on Spotify.

Midtown MARTA station under construction in 1982 (Provided)

The completed Midtown MARTA Station today. (Provided)

PERSPECTIVES IN ARCHITECTURE

Atlanta architect Cheryl McAfee FAIA, NOMA and her sisters, Charyl and Pamela, grew Melody Harclerode up in a home shaped by leadership, civic activism, and transformative architecture. Their mother, Gloria McAfee, had a distinguished career as a Wichita, Kansas public school educator and principal while their father, architect Charles McAfee FAIA, NOMA, is noted as one of the first African American architects in the state of Kansas. The History Makers, a digital repository of the African American Experience, described McAfee in 2022 as one of the most important African American architects in the

32 | MARCH 2024

United States. Decades before today’s tiny homes, Charles McAfee established McAfee Manufacturing Company, Inc. in 1994 in Wichita to design, manufacture, and market high-quality, affordable, modular homes nationwide and abroad. He envisioned architecture as a catalyst for a better quality of life for African Americans and anyone affected by racial inequality or economic disenfranchisement. His architectural firm Charles McAfee Architects and Planners received national design awards for projects such as the Beloved Modernist McAdams Swimming Pool (c.1969) and the McKnight Art Center and Ulrich Museum (c. 1970). Charles McAfee Architects and Planners established an Atlanta office in 1974 and designed projects for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and MARTA. One of his most iconic projects is located in Midtown Atlanta. Reflecting his interest

in the sculptural forms of modernist architecture, McAfee designed the Atlanta Midtown MARTA Station in 1982 with a prominent concrete waffle slab at the entry. The 1996 Olympics allowed the firm to tap into its past recreational project experience in Wichita. One of the first female registered architects in the state of Kansas, daughter Cheryl led the program management team for the design and construction of all 32The sports venues for Biltmore Estate the 1996 Olympics in Asheville, NC.

Cheryl McAfee’s work on the 1996 Atlanta Olympics was featured in her hometown newspaper. (Provided) RoughDraftAtlanta.com


Lenbrook senior living complex in Buckhead celebrates 40 years

Summer Camps

By Dyana Bagby Mary Virginia Davis, who turns 90 in February, enjoys the amenities provided at the Lenbrook senior residential complex in Buckhead. “I don’t have to The Lenbrook senior living complex in Buckhead cook anymore,” she today includes two high-rise said with a chuckle. buildings, seen in the background, and the Kingsboro at Lenbrook, “When a lightbulb independent residences called Flats and Villa. (Courtesy Lenbrook) goes out, I make a call and someone comes to replace it. support, and long-term care. When my dishwasher broke down, the staff Lenbrook was founded as a not-forwas here quickly to fix it.” profit, independent facility and is governed Davis moved into Lenbrook with her by an independent board of directors and a husband, Jarrett L. Davis III, in 2009, after management team. selling their longtime Buckhead home. The The 40th anniversary is a time to choice to move to Lenbrook was an easy celebrate, but also a time to reflect on the one, she said, after she spent years watching value of the original vision of Lenbrook, the care her parents, two aunts and her said Lenbrook CEO Chris Keysor. husband’s parents received while they lived “In order to have an enduring legacy there in the 1980s. “I was there two to three times a week and I saw what it meant to them, and particularly what it meant to me, to know that my folks had a safe place to be and they would be taken care of if I couldn’t do it,” she said. “And so I decided that’s what I want to do.” Her husband died four years ago. Davis said that the community at Lenbrook is so crucial as people age and what she loves most about living there. “People say they don’t want to move into Lenbrook because people are dying there,” she said. “That’s true, but you’ve got someone to grieve with, and you’ve got someone to go on with.” Founded by Atlanta businessman Jack Clark, Lenbrook was established 40 years ago to offer seniors a new concept Mary Virginia Davis, a resident at Lenbrook in retirement living by providing options for 14 years. (Courtesy Lenbrook) for independent living, assisted living, and healthcare. Lenbrook opened the 17-story for the community, Lenbrook remains a Brookhaven Tower in 1983 at 3747 nonprofit, has an independent board of Peachtree Road in Buckhead, straddling the directors that oversees the governance of the Brookhaven border. It is Atlanta’s first notorganization,” he said. for-profit life plan community, also known “The board focuses on really always as a continuing care retirement community. putting mission first, values first, and the The Brookhaven Tower included 200 desire never to never to sell out, to always apartments and offered a range of amenities, be there for that next generation of people.” including healthcare, a fitness center, a he said. library, a salon, a main and private dining Keysor said occupancy at Lenbrook is room, and a billiard room. back up to 97.5% after a significant decline Forty years later, Lenbrook’s campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are spans 10 acres and includes a 25-story about 400 people on a waitlist. The cost to Lenox Tower and the Kingsboro at live at Lenbrook includes an entrance fee of Lenbrook with about 550 residents. just under $300,000 and roughly $3,500 in Amenities now include a variety of monthly fees. indoor and outdoor dining options ranging The fees cover housekeeping, dining, from casual to elegant; a 9,000-square-foot about 3,000 enrichment programs a year, resort-style fitness center; walkable gardens and fitness and wellness programs, he said. with areas for gardening flowers and herbs; a Health care opportunities and services regulation-size croquet lawn; valet parking; offered to residents were once private pay, and concierge services. Health services are but Lenbrook now provides a rehabilitative available campus-wide, including a clinic, health care facility that’s certified by assisted living center; and a MedicareMedicare. certified skilled nursing health care center offering rehabilitation services, memory RoughDraftAtlanta.com

Photo by Kim Kenney

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©2024 BHH Affiliates, LLC. An independently operated subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, and a franchisee of BHH Affiliates, LLC. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. Equal Housing Opportunity. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted and subject to errors, omissions, changes, or withdrawal without prior notice. If your home is currently listed this is not intended as solicitation.


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