The AJC’s John Kessler – a long time Decatur resident – writes lovingly about the evolution of the city’s restaurant scene from “a moribund and borderline-sketchy square” to sporting the “ground zero, Mecca and Valhalla with a foamy head and appropriate glassware” for U.S. beer culture (I love that line), in his latest column.
But an observant Kessler notes that ground-breakers like Watershed and the Brick Store were just the jumping-off point of the restaurant revolution in business-friendly Decatur.
Now these pioneers have, in their way, given birth to the generation that will remake Decatur. The Brick Store begat Leon’s Full Service, a pub with a gorgeously curated beer list, edgy menu and lively patio spilling onto the street. Three’s company: Mac McGee’s, an Irish pub, draws its own crowd to the square for proper Guinness, encyclopedic whiskeys and a sophisticated, surprising menu. It is next to the always-packed Iberian Pig.
Former Watershed chef de cuisine Billy Allin has had success with Cakes & Ale and has announced plans to move his business this summer to a row of eyesore retail spaces on the southeast corner of the square. The expansion will allow his talented pastry chef, Cynthia Wong, to open a bakery.
There’s definitely more to come. While the city has seen its fair share of business closings over the past couple years, new tenants, both restaurant and non-restaurant alike, continue to come from an impressive stock.
What’s next? I’d like to tell you, but the people that know won’t give me any hints!