Is Decatur All Growed Up?

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!

“Martinis in the Garden” Tickets Now on Sale

The Oakhurst Community Garden’s 5th Annual “Martinis in the Garden” event is scheduled for May 15th and tickets are now on sale!

For just $35 in advance, you can join “hundreds of gardeners, garden lovers and martini drinkers” from 5:30p-8:30p at the Oakhurst Community Garden at 345 Oakview Road to sample martinis & food, tour the garden, dance, and bid on silent auction items, all in support of the OCG.

You can find more info about the event here.  But don’t wait too long…tickets are a full $15 more at the gate day-of.

To bypass all the rigmarole and go straight to ticket purchasing, CLICK HERE.

Good-Bye Georgia Council For the Arts?

From the Georgia Council for the Arts via

“We have no documentation yet, but were told that the House Appropriations Committee voted yesterday to cut our budget for FY 2011 to less than $250,000. Most importantly, these funds are to be transferred to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). We don’t know if this means that Georgia Council for the Arts 1) will no longer exist, 2) we will become part of DCA, or 3) the funds will be used to close out the FY 2010 Final Reports and end GCA. Whichever, Georgia will be the only state and territory in the nation that will have no state arts agency.

It is urgent that GCA hear from you today, no later than 5 PM. There are only six days remaining in this legislative session.

Continue reading “Good-Bye Georgia Council For the Arts?”

Decatur’s Most Ironic Sign

A reader sends in these pics from the Allen Wilson Terrace demolition site and snarks “Man, if this is the protocol for a TREE SAVE AREA, I’d hate to see what they do in a TREE KILL AREA.”

Continue reading “Decatur’s Most Ironic Sign”

Collards Challenge at East Lake Farmer’s Market

The newly resurrected East Lake Farmer’s Market is hosting a Collards Cook-off on opening day (May 1st).  Over on the Oakhurst Message Board, East Lake Market co-founder Amy Williams taunts cocky collards cookers with promises with regional bragging rights if they enter the contest.

As a deprived transplant, I think it’s a dang feet in itself that I even LIKE collards, but no one should expect me to rattle off my top 5 picks, starting with my great-grandmother’s recipe extending down through an array of local spots hidden in dingy strip-mall corners of Atlanta.  I just don’t have the background.  I chalk it up to nurture over nature.

So I’m curious, my more nurtured collards colleagues, where do you get your best collards and what is it exactly makes them so darn tasty?