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Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

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Philadelphia...
posts: 423
reviews: 19
Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

I lived in Atlanta (apartment in Virginia-Highlands and later in Inman Park) from 1977 to 1982. My husband and I met in Atlanta in 1979 and eventually moved to PA in 1982. We don't think we've been back for a visit for around 20 years. I did a search on this forum and found a thread from a few years ago that mentioned lots of restaurants and places that aren't around anymore. This site was linked in that thread: http://www.atlantatimemachine.com/index.htm and I still need to explore it. I wondered if anyone can supply links similar to this that have information about "bygone Atlanta"?

Are any of the "Peasant" restaurants still in business? We used to go to the one in Midtown on Peachtree, in Colony Square and in Phipps Plaza (I think one was called the "Country Peasant", another maybe "Uptown Peasant"-- they each seemed to have a different, very tasty signature bread they'd serve.) My single girlfriends and I used to love Capo's Cafe in Virginia-Highland (I know it's been gone a while), and wondered if anyone remembers Cafe Erewhon with Cy Timmons?

We used to regularly visit Mary Mac's Tea Room-- especially with out of town guests-- also, The Mad Italian, Pepe's (Mexican food on Ponce), Empress of China (near Dunwoody?), Zesto's and Eat Your Vegetables in Little Five Points, Franco's Pizza, The Dessert Place (Virginia-Highland), Good Ole Days (home of the flower pot sandwiches) on Peachtree, Bahou Container (Mediterranean food-- at Lenox Square I think), Dante's Down the Hatch in Underground Atlanta, and many more I can't remember at the moment.

We're beginning to plan a trip to Atlanta in the Spring and wondered if any old-timers might know if any of the restaurants I listed are still around. Also, I wondered what the weather is like in March or April in Atlanta. I seem to remember that Atlanta was about a month ahead of us in the north in the Spring as far as warmer temperatures and blooming plants and shrubs.

44 replies to this topic
atlanta,ga
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, St. George Island
posts: 2,574
reviews: 68
1. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

We've lived here since 85. Actually we've lived here twice id suggest using urbanspoon.com to check status.bit many are not still here but many newer excellent placessome of my fav oldest are Nikolais roof, oeachtree plaza roof,la gotta, veni vidi Vinci,Alfredos ,buckhead diner and if course the varsity . You'll find atl much more crowded. But still very friendly/southern lots of new places like aquarium and things to do. I'm sure jatlanta will make some food suggestions

Decatur, GA
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
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2. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

Check out Decatur. You won't believe it's the same place as 20 years ago. www.visitdecaturgeorgia.com

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 18,126
reviews: 289
3. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

Mary Mac's and The Varsity are still here but the downtown Rich's is gone and what a shame. It was my favorite place to go on Thanksgiving night and watch all the choirs and the lighting of the Great Tree. Lenox Square is just not the same as downtown. The Pink Pig is atop Lenox Square too.

I agree with Steve- Decatur has really changed and so has the airport area and you will be blown away by the growth of Gwinnett County. If you ever drove to Athens you will remember how rural the area northeast of Atlanta was 20 years ago. Now it is covered with grocery stores, malls, subdivisions, etc. from Atlanta to Athens.

Enjoy your visit.

Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 2,555
reviews: 12
4. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

I remember a bunch of those places.

My wife and I used to eat at Pepe's all the time when we were dating and first married in the early 1980s. It was one of our favorite casual restuarants - cheap prices, decent food, and lots of it. The building is still standing and it is still a Mexican restaurant (El Azteca on Ponce De Leon). I remember the busboy there looked like Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Empress of China was on N Peachtree and lasted well into the 1980s, but is now closed also. I used to eat lunch there occasionally when I worked on the north side of town. I think it eventually reopened as a Korean restaurant but that is closed too. The nearby Mad Italian (on Savoy) is still open. Zesto is also still around, with most of the original locations still open. Sadly, my favorite Zesto (at the intersection of Spring and Peachtree) was torn down to make room for the Equifax building.

Dante's moved out of Underground to a location on Peachtree near Lenox Square, but it is set to close for good in a couple of months.

The last of the original Peasant restaurants (the "Pleasant") closed a couple of years ago, but the name lives on at a new place call Peasant Bistro near Centennial Park. I've eaten there once and thought it was very good. The same group that owned the Peasant franchise also owned Mick's which (sadly) is gone as well.

We have plenty of Cheesecake Factories around though (note - that was sarcasm).

Atlanta Time Machine is an awesome website - I could entertain myself for hours with that and Google Street View.

-JimG

Atlanta
posts: 213
reviews: 2
5. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

JimGin is right, of course about the places you remember. Steve Nygren owned the Pleasant Peasant and there was something awesome about the bread as I remember, too. Mrs. Lupo sold Mary Macs a long time ago but it is still good but not as cheap as it was. Her daughter is connected with Mr Nygren somehow at Serenbe down in South Fulton I believe. Best bets off the top of my head from 1979 may be Manuels Tavern, Moes n Joes, Georges,Plaza Theatre, Five Paces Inn, Majestic Diner. Atlanta is still awesome (even better) so have fun.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
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6. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

Steve Nygren is married to the daughter of Mary of Mary Mac's. He and he partner sold off the restaurants in the group and bought the land that has become Serenbe. He was a pioneer in planned communities with greenspace. First up were a few houses, a B&B and restaurant. They've enlarged. It's been a few years since I've been there. We had a corporate event there years ago (overnight).

Many of the restaurants were purchased by the managers. All that you have mentioned are gone. Dailey's (downtown) closed just a few years ago. The old Country Place at Colony Square is now Shout (sister restaurants of Twist and Strip). The only remaining Peasant restaurant (that I know of) is the one owned by the owner/manager of the Pleasant Peasant on Peacthree (at Linden, next to Mick's). Maureen closed those and opened a new Peasant - the Peasant Bistro next to Centennial Park. It's is a LOVELY space, with great service and wonderful food. They still have the best french onion soup that I know of.

http://www.peasantatl.com/

I LOVED Capo's. Loved Capo's Chicken. I forgot but my best friend reminded me that I figured out the recipe and recreated the dish. I'd long forgot that. They raised the rent and Capo moved out. I've tried to track him down to no avail. Remember the Dessert Place that used to be there too? Ah, the good old days.

Dante's is no more because they were taxing him as much as a condo/office building in that location. Mary Mac's is still going strong.

Does anyone remember Zazu's? On Peachtree, across the street from Piedmont Hospital? LOVED that place. Zazu's or Capo's were my top two choices for years. We celebrated NYEve at the Peasant Uptown for years - staying at Lenox and the JWMarriott (and walking). I took business customers to Dailey's on a regular basis until they closed. A quick drive from the airport with parking next door - great combination for downtown. Their dessert bar was fantastic!

Not sure what's still open. Everybody's Pizza is still at Emory. Le Giverney has moved to the Emory Inn (of all places). Mary Mac's, the Varsity and Krispy Kreme are still there. You will not believe the changes Peachtree in Midtown. Midtown is the happening place to be now, instead of the place to avoid.

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Atlanta
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reviews: 66
7. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

Info about Steve and Marie - http://www.serenbecommunity.com/founders.html

atlanta,ga
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, St. George Island
posts: 2,574
reviews: 68
8. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

These,are,some great posts

Philadelphia...
posts: 423
reviews: 19
9. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

WOW-- so many great responses and a trip down Memory Lane! I forgot to mention that our first date was at "Nature's Last Stand" on Peachtree-- I think it closed long ago. I loved their "Sloppy Bob" sandwich, tabouli, and their natural peanut butter with Havarti cheese and sprouts sandwich!

Onemoreroad-- I loved Capo's soups and they made a salad dressing that was pale green, slightly sweet, and delicious. The Dessert Place was also wonderful and I especially enjoyed their iced oatmeal cake, full of the flavor of mace. I remember Zasu's! I ate there a couple of times and remember the art deco decor. I was especially impressed that they used a head of fresh broccoli with a fake gem pushed into the middle of the florets as a bouquet on the table!

JimGin-- Glad to hear you used to go to Pepe's for date night, too. They made a Chili Relleno that was a bell pepper coated in cheese-- can't remember what else was in it, but my husband-to-be loved it. I don't remember the busboy, but we'd sometimes talk to the owner with a mustache who was always hanging around. Maybe we'll try El Azteca since it's the same building as Pepe's. Sad to hear Empress of China isn't around-- I always loved their sizzling rice soup. We rarely ate a meal at Zesto's but enjoyed their "Brown Crown" ice cream cones. I looked them up and they still have the store we frequented in Little Five Points.

I was surprised to hear that The Mad Italian is still open-- we'll have to try to get there, and those who mentioned Mary Mac's-- so happy that it's still open. When I heard the owner had died, I was worried they'd close forever.

Steve-- I had a friend who lived in Decatur and I'd visit occasionally, but don't remember too much about it. I remember Agnes Scott College and The Freight Room restaurant where my friend waitressed.

PeachBelle-- I can't believe it but in my almost 6 years living in Atlanta, I never went to The Varsity. We'll definitely try it on our next visit.

Atlanta42-- the bread at the The Country Place (Peasant) in Colony Square tasted like yeasty donut holes without any topping-- slightly sweet, and highly addictive. I didn't need to get dessert if those were on the table. Thanks to you, Jimgin, and onemoreroad for all the info about the Peasant restaurants. Maybe we'll try the Peasant Bistro if it works out for a visit in the Spring.

Only went to the Majestic Diner for apple pie once. The waitresses were too scary. :-) But we'll definitely try it again since we love diners. "Dobby's [or Dobbie's?] Good Food" used to be near the Majestic, but it must be gone by now. I assume that Plaza Drugs is closed. The Salvation Army had a small band that would play outside the store on Sundays.

I'm researching Atlanta restaurants and made it to page 12 of TA reviews and will keep looking for names I may remember. And I'm looking for less expensive places to stay between Midtown and Buckhead. It's fun to reminisce but also sad to hear about so many that are gone forever and only remain as fond memories. Ah, such is life.........

atlanta,ga
Destination Expert
for Atlanta, St. George Island
posts: 2,574
reviews: 68
10. Re: Atlanta Visit after 20 Years

yeah Mad Italian is still going strong--i live nearby and go twice a month if you like Chinese Gu's Bistro on Buford hgwy is terrific also canton house if you like dim sum

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