This summer, it was announced that the Morningside Strip Center, a retail mainstay at Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive for more than 90 years, was hitting the market. The possible sale riled music lovers across the city, as within the strip center is Smith's Olde Bar. While the owner of Smith's has vowed to stay open come what may, it will be up to the strip center's new owner, Selig Enterprises, to decide the bar's ultimate fate. Granted, a similar sale actually brought good things to another storied Atlanta bar. And Selig sounds pretty adamant about keeping Smith's in place, as they recognize its status as a local "institution."
Manuel's Tavern in Poncey-Highland sold last year — along with a ton of parking — to allow for mixed-use development. While many expected the sale to result in lovers of the bar weeping into their beers, it turns out the new buyer is going to spruce the place up. But not before students meticulously document the interior of the space so it can be digitally archived and reassembled as-good-as-old when it reopens. The community has even rallied, setting up a GoFundMe page to raise money for employees who will be out of work while the renovations are completed.
Meanwhile, in Morningside, Jo Ann Chitty, Senior VP of Selig Enterprises, told 11Alive the company is working closely with Smith's ownership to keep the music alive at its current location. More details should emerge next week.
· It's Selig's Olde Bar Now [BisNow]
· Could Smith's Olde Bar, an ATL Institution, be Forced Out? [Curbed Atlanta]
· Smith's Owner Insists Bar is Here to Stay. For Now. [Curbed Atlanta]