Successful cities are constantly changing, evolving and building, and in this ceaseless reinvention it's often the little guys who are kicked to the curb — or off the curb they've called home for decades. But in Atlanta's case, something started to change this year, at least in the court of public opinion; the cheers for a post-recession resurgence in Atlanta's construction industry turned to jeers, in some cases. Landmarks that have contributed much to the city's gritty, quirky, musical or generally celebratory soul — The Masquerade, Northside Tavern, ThunderBox Rehearsal Studios, Smith's Olde Bar and Buckhead's Andrews Entertainment District, among others — were either razed or threatened by the encroachment of development that could swallow their land, a la the Cyan apartment tower and Dante's Down the Hatch. These are/were unique institutions that most would argue are nowhere near dying a natural commercial death. The next landmark on the chopping block, as Tomorrow's News Today reports, is Alfredo's Italian Restaurant, a legendarily unpretentious eatery (see: drop-tile ceilings and dazzling-as-a-post-office exterior) on the development hotbed that is Cheshire Bridge Road.
Alfredo's sits just north of 300 new apartments and retail at Modera Morningside and within several blocks of other large-scale proposals. Management have been informed their lease won't be renewed, as their 1989 Cheshire Bridge Road property has sold — along with a neighboring Georgia Department of Transportation Metro Atlanta Maintenance facility. The two parcels will be joined for a total of 10 acres, which unnamed sources tell Tomorrow's News Today could be developed into a mixed-use complex with apartments.
Alfredo's has been dishing out veal parmigiana and a throwback, old-world vibe since 1974 — the rare multi-generational stalwart on Atlanta's dining scene. (Eater gave it top billing earlier this year in a rundown of "20 Classic Restaurants Every Atlantan Must Try.") There's talk that Alfredo's might try to relocate, but nothing has been confirmed. Regardless, something would probably be lost in the transition.
So Alfredo's will be the next institution to go, but smart money says it won't be Atlanta's last.
· Alfredo's Latest Victim of Apartment Assault [Tomorrow's News Today]
· Cafe Jonah Closing, Likely Being Swallowed by New Development [TNT]
· Developer Buys the Masquerade, Surrounding Land for $5.3M [Curbed]