Oakhurst Porchfest Wins “Best of Atlanta” Award

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Woohoo!  In case you’ve yet to hear, Atlanta Magazine has awarded the Oakhurst Porchest a “Best of Atlanta” award this year under the category of “Neighborhood Festival” with this write up…

Before the last amp had been unplugged at the second annual Oakhurst Porchfest in October, the chatter had already begun: Can we do this again in the spring? Close to 200 musical acts—from family groups to soul singers to Americana bands by the wheelbarrow-full—arranged themselves in front yards and on porches throughout this Decatur neighborhood. Pity the motorists trying to weave through the narrow streets, which were packed with thousands of attendees. oakhurstporchfest.org

As always, Porchfest wouldn’t be what it is without the countless support and energy of the Oakhurst neighborhood.  This a credit to all of you for putting on a hell of an event for the community the last two years.  And in the future!

Cakes & Ale Ranked #1 Atlanta Restaurant By Atlanta Magazine

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Though it’s not online or in mailboxes yet, we’ve received word that Atlanta Magazine has ranked Decatur’s Cakes & Ale as the #1 restaurant in the Atlanta metro area in their “50 Best Restaurants” January issue.  Here’s the blurb…

Any number of restaurants on this list could have opened in another city, but not Cakes & Ale, which effortlessly captures the scope of metro Atlanta’s complex culinary makeup. We’d cross county lines for a bowl of Billy Allin’s fried okra or his stunning North Carolina trout glossed with bacon mayonnaise. Nor is Allin’s boundless curiosity limited to the South: Brilliant, melting pillows of gnocchi tossed in a hearty lamb and pork ragu evoke Italy, while a smooth squash dip dotted with pomegranate seeds and served with blistered naan calls India to mind. Equal to Allin’s creativity is his consistency. Walk in for a quick weeknight dinner or dress up for an anniversary, and you can trust that the food will be reliably elegant night after night. Although he and his wife, Kristin, recently opened Proof Bakeshop in Inman Park and will soon launch Bread & Butterfly, a cafe in Inman Quarter, Allin will continue to lead the kitchen at his warm, welcoming flagship. As for what to drink: Jordan Smelt’s passion for obscure French wines complements Allin’s singular cooking.

Last year, Cakes & Ale ranked #2 in the city, trailing only long-time Atlanta restaurant juggernaut Bacchanalia, but this year it seems it’s the east side’s turn to wear the crown!

On this occasion, C&A wanted to thank their Decatur neighbors, who “are a huge reason why we stay in business.”.

Congrats to Billy & Kristin Allin and the entire Cakes & Ale team!

What’s the Best Indoor Playspace in Atlanta?

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Here’s something I was discussing with some folks over the weekend.  (Can you tell that I have an older child now?)

What’s your favorite indoor playspace in Atlanta?

Photo courtesy of Catch Air’s website, which incidentally was Best of Atlanta’s pick for Best Indoor Playspace in Atlanta in the recent Best of Atlanta awards.

Decatur a Finalist for Atlanta Magazine’s “Groundbreaker of the Year” Award

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Decatur is one of 11 finalists for this year’s Atlanta Magazine “Groundbreaker of the Year” Award.  According to the mag’s website, the program was launched in 2012 ” with the goal of honoring people and projects that make Atlanta a better place to live, emphasizing innovation and new ideas.”

The magazine’s theme for this year is “Building (and Rebuilding) a Better Place to Live.” “They explain, “We sought out smart work not only in development, but in preservation, parks, public art, and environmental stewardship. The 11 members of the 2015 class range from an urbanist project in the suburbs to a passionate advocate of public arts to a transformative reimagining of highway right-of-way.”

In its blurb, Decatur is recognized for its ongoing “environmental work” and it’s ARC Green Communities “platinum” status. The city’s current work with its “Better Together” diversity initiative, zoning changes to allow smaller housing options, the Lifelong Community Advisory Board and the MLK Service Program also all received a mention.

Decatur is up against a field of 10 worthy challengers, including a mixed use project in Alpharetta, Clark Howard’s involvement in Habitat for Humanity, MARTA CEO Keith Parker, Arts non-profit WonderRoot, PATH400 and others.

Take a look at all the candidates, and if you think Decatur is deserving of the award, you can vote for it HERE!

Photo courtesy of McVeigh Mangum

Suburban Lanes Will Be Renamed “Comet Pub & Lanes” and Other Details About the New Space

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Catching up from last week, but this is still certainly worth mentioning.

Atlanta Magazine reported a lot of interesting new facts about the future of Suburban Lanes in Suburban Plaza.

First things first, the alley will be renamed “Comet Pub & Lanes”.  (You can check out their Facebook page here)  Co-Owner Ethan Wurtzel tells Atlanta Magazine that the new space will have a “funkier, vintage” vibe to it.  The magazine elaborates…

The venue will have 32 lanes and vintage arcade games like pinball, plus shuffleboard and pool tables. About 90 percent of the space will be remodeled to include reclaimed church pews as on-lane seating, couches, and a bar made from a reclaimed bowling alley.

They’ll also be adding a full kitchen and bar with 15-20 beers on draft and wine by the glass or bottle, along with cocktail offerings.

Atlanta Magazine Considers the Past and Future of Pete the Cat

In its September issue, Atlanta Magazine goes deep into the success story of Pete the Cat and considers the franchise and authors’ future.  Here’s the first paragraph to get you started…

It’s the first day of daycare and my two-year-old daughter, Lola, is getting nervous in the backseat. “Why you’ll have to leave, Daddy?” she asks. At an intersection, we stop behind a Honda minivan. On its rear window, Lola spots a reassuring sticker. “Look—it’s Pete the Cat!” In Lola’s pantheon of children’s book characters, Pete is second only to Disney princesses. She sleeps near a stack of Pete books and a worn Pete doll. From my perspective, the unflappable feline is a positive influence—and compared to those formulaictales about Disney royalty, Pete books might as well be Rolling Stone.
As many of you know, Pete grew up in Decatur has long been a topic of conversation around here.  From being featured on countless local posters to being mourned after disappearing from a transformer next to Yogurt Tap, Pete has a proud following here.
Book cover courtesy of HarperCollins

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams Opening on Decatur Square

Remember when we reported back in late July that an “ice cream store” would be opening in the old Froyolo location on Decatur Square next to Best Time (545 N. McDonough)?

Well, Atlanta Magazine reports that Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams will be opening up in the space by late October.  A bit more…

Both locations will serve grass-grazed ice creams, frozen yogurts, and sorbet, often made with local ingredients. Signature Jeni’s flavors include Coffee with Cream & Sugar ice cream made with Batdorf & Bronson coffee and Sweet Cream Biscuits & Peach Jam made with fresh Georgia peaches from the Peach Truck. Flavors change seasonally but favorites include Brown Butter Almond Brittle, Brambleberry Crisp, and Goat Cheese with Red Cherries.

In Decatur, Jeni’s will also serve Batsdorf & Bronson coffee. The Krog Street location will not.

A free ice cream party will be held to celebrate the Decatur location’s opening. The date has not been announced.

Photo courtesy of coolhunting.com