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Nick’s Food to Go, Memorial Drive institution, not going anywhere after all

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As apartments rise around it, neighborhood eatery intends to stay put

A white-painted one-story brick commercial building sits at the corner.
The restaurant at the corner of MLK Jr. Drive and Hill Street.
Google Maps

Nick’s Food to Go isn’t going anywhere after all, according to Greg Giuffrida, the Memorial Drive Corridor Executive who oversees all things Memorial Drive for Central Atlanta Progress.

News emerged last week that apartments would claim an adjacent parcel in the rapidly transforming district, and we relayed speculation that the owner of the Nick’s building was rumored to have been planning to sell the land as part of the development. (Inquiries with Nick’s last week weren’t returned).

To the applause of Greek-to-go lovers in Grant Park, Sweet Auburn, and beyond, that information was baseless, we’re told now. But major changes are coming this way.

While it’s unclear if the building is being sold, Giuffrida indicates that developer Perennial Properties is working to ensure that Nick’s remains a part of the community once they turn the adjacent Conklin Metals property into multifamily housing. The project will rise across the street from the already under-construction Grant Park Apartments.

Conklin Metals — a family business that has been in the area since 1920 — will remain on the property just north of Memorial Drive near the King Memorial MARTA Station through the end of the year, thanks to a lease-back deal.

The factory sits high above Hill Street as it dives under the railroad tracks. According to Harry B Thompson IV, who owns Conklin Metals with his brother, the warehouse and office space is “basically unchanged” from its state nearly a century ago. The old stone walls and staircase on Hill Street are vestiges of when four old homes once stood on the embankment.

The old stone walls and stairs on Hill Street.
Google Maps

It’ll be interesting to see if the stone wall is retained, or if the land will be cut away to bring development down to street level.