Watershed Restaurant Closing Next Saturday

Creative Loafing’s Omnivore blog reports that Watershed employees were informed today that the Decatur mainstay restaurant would close for good next Saturday.

A message on the Watershed website confirms it.

One of Atlanta’s most iconic southern restaurants reveals its plans for relocation in Atlanta. The new location (to be announced) will combine a fine dining experience with a casual and comfortable atmosphere. The “new” Watershed will continue to serve the outstanding southern-inspired cuisine it has become famous for, including the award winning Southern Fried Chicken and Sunday Brunch. The restaurant design will offer guests a vibrant bar, spacious dining room, large outdoor patio, and ample parking. It will also include a private dining room where neighborhood residents, businesses and other community groups will be able to entertain, conduct business meetings, or celebrate special occasions. Owner Emily Saliers commented, “While it was not an easy decision to leave Decatur, we are unable to offer our guests these added amenities in our current location. We are deeply grateful to the Decatur community for 13 years of support.” Watershed’s Decatur location will be closing after dinner on Saturday evening August 6th so that the owners can begin working on the new restaurant which they anticipate opening by the end of the year.

I guess all good things come to an end, but this will certainly shock more than a couple Decaturites used to their Tuesday Fried Chicken and Sunday brunch.  While Brick Store is largely credited with the revival of the Decatur pub scene, Scott Peacock’s Watershed is generally often cited for making Decatur a high-end dining destination.

Fro Yo Coming to West Ponce

Mrs. DM alerts me to a new frozen yogurt spot – Swirlin’ Twirlin’ – opening in the 335 West Ponce building in Decatur.  Carl’s already posted a pic on Flickr (above).   It looks like it’s taking over the old Signature Revolutions spot.

It looks like the only other Swirlin’ Twirlin’s located in Flowery Branch.   That location has both a Facebook page and a Twitter account.

DBF Prereading: Download Four Chapters of “Wildwood” For Free!

Jonathan notes in FFAF that NPR’s All Songs Considered blog has a link that allows you to download the first four chapters of the book “Wildwood“, who’s authors, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis of The Decemberists, are the keynote speakers at this year’s Decatur Book Festival on September 2nd. Well now DM is offering it too!  (Because it’s just an embedded widget.)

You have to input your b-day and email address, and then they send your an email with a link to download, but it’s no more involved than that. I was  able to do it all on my iPad and open it in iBooks, so its just like reading in the Kindle app!

Wildwood releases to the public on August 30th.  Meloy and Ellis will launch the book at Powell’s in their hometown of Portland on Aug 30th, and then two days later, DBF baby!

Decatur Library Book Sale Labor Day Weekend During Book Fest

Karen from the Decatur Library reminds us…

The Friends of the Decatur Library will host a book sale on Saturday, September 3rd from 9:00am to 3:00pm on the front lawn, weather permitting.  Thousands of gently used books will be available for low prices.  Dealers must scan at tables.  Donations of saleable books can be brought to the library security desk until August 27 for this sale.  Proceeds support programs and materials for the Decatur Library 215 Sycamore Street, Decatur 30030.

To volunteer, contact Jane Miller at [email protected].

Walmart Still Silent on Suburban Plaza, But Has Big Plans for ITP Expansion

Currently, Walmart only has three stores inside the Perimeter.  But that’s about to change according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

A new article describes Walmart’s ITP Atlanta plans for its new, smaller format store plan – like the one planned for Westside Village.   Unfortunately, the article is behind a paywall.  Luckily, North Druid Patch summarizes it, saying that Walmart Southeast VP Greg Sullivan wouldn’t say anything about the rumored Suburban Plaza location, but that…

Other new options for the Atlanta area include a Walmart Neighborhood Markets–grocery stores that average about 40,000 square feet–or Walmart Express location, 15,000-square foot convenience stores. Walmart wouldn’t likely build a new Supercenter within a mile of another one, however.

Decatur Trees: A Short History

Neil sends in this interesting short history of the Decatur area’s tree canopy and provides a link to maps – like the one above – showing tree canopies around the state of Georgia…

In the 19th century, DeKalb County was mostly farm land. As cotton became less profitable, dairy farming gained favor and by the early part of the 20th century DeKalb County was the largest dairy producing county in the country outside of Wisconsin. Much of the land in DeKalb and Decatur was open pasture. In aerial photos from 1925 20-30% of the land in Decatur was covered by the canopy of trees. This period was followed by growth of residential areas around Decatur. Between the years 1920-55, before the advent of air conditioning, it was common to plant or encourage large overstory trees around your home to reduce summer heat and block cold breezes in the winter. There were also a large number of planned neighborhoods that included tree landscaping. Trees also grew in spaces that were not being managed. In 2001 the City of Decatur Canopy Coverage was estimated using satellite data at 50%. Sometime in the last twenty years canopy coverage has been decreasing. While there are not numbers for Decatur, in DeKalb County between 1991 and 2005 total tree canopy was reduced from 51% to 44% while impervious (covered by cement) has increased by 62% from 14% to 21%.