Glenwood Park is a European Village

Things are finally happening in Glenwood Park. Things other than bocce ball. Slice is open. Vickery’s is open. Both seem to have their liquor licenses now, too. And, judging from the activity at both places this weekend, you all seem to be aware of all that.

Slice is cheap and delicious. I haven’t been in there, actually, since they got their liquor license, so I can’t speak to the quality of the bar, but I can tell you that they are generous with their service (though they did it when making up for a mistake) and their food. Each slice at Slice is enormous — a pretty good by at $2.25, considering the ingredients are pretty tasty. I do love me a nice sausage and goat cheese pizza.

The salads? Big. The toasted subs? Crispy, oily and with too much mayo. (Which is, I suppose, how they should be.) I’ll be back in there before long.

Vickery’s meanwhile, despite the really unappetizing dude on the front of their website, served me and the missus some good meals with happy but not-quite-on-top-of-it service. Sweet potato hash is a great idea, if you like sweet potatoes and bacon (you’d better), though a little stiff and a little dry. Steaks were good, whether on mashed potatoes and green beans or in a sandwich. My beer came in a nice frosty mug.

The whole place has this orange-and-concrete style that looks like we’re supposed to think they moved into some old place built in the 1970s, which is fine. A big muted painting on the wall makes me think somebody was a big fan of The Crane Wife. (Which is also just fine with me.) The place filled up quickly on Friday night — people were standing around outside waiting for tables — but somehow, despite the big undivided dining room, we didn’t notice until just before we left. The gray-haired and family crowd that was there for supper was replaced with a younger, hipper crowd in loud patterned shirts and plaid pants (which, no matter how ’70s the decor, do not need a comeback, thank you).

Yet, with the prices and the mostly by-the-numbers menu, I don’t know when I’ll be back. I want to try the pork chops, but I have to wonder if they’ll be $17 good. Give Vickery’s a shot if it catches your eye — its look is pretty true to its character — and if it’s your speed, then great. But it isn’t quite the neighborhood comfort food I was hoping for.

After all that, we popped into Perk, which has finally grown into itself enough and become so warm that I genuinely like going there, but would still feel a little on-display to hang out in. (For coffee shops to work in, nothing beats Inman Perk, in my opinion.) The mocha I got was terrific — sweet but dry. (Until my dog knocked it all over the end table and rolled around in it.)

With the white lights and the irregular brick buildings gathered around a quaint square with tucked-away doors and chatty pedestrians, Glenwood Park is starting to feel European. People sit at little cafe tables with bottles of wine, dogs sprawled out at their feet, and gab around the half-dozen gritty glasses of a spent wine flight. People are rocking in chairs on the sidewalk.

But, yes, it also has a strong dose of high-cost, high-debt, snobbish luxury. Keep your fingers crossed that it won’t lose its charm and its friendly pedestrians.

7 Comments so far

  1. Annie (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 1:58 pm

    Nice review, and I think you hit the nail on the head with your description, except that I think it seems a little like what Las Vegas thinks a European Village would be like. I am also concerned that the storefronts on Glenwood are never going to fill up. All in all, pretty cool, though. I like the idea of the walking neighborhood with sidewalks and shops and all that. I also like that, at least up until last Fall, the residents were more than willing to share their park with outsiders.

    I also have to say that I really like Perk, although not as much as it’s brother Joe’s, and that Dawn and Al who own them are the nicest people and very deserving of our dollars.

    Great post!

  2. Will (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

    Amen to the praise for Dawn and Al. And I share your fear that the storefronts will never find enough good tenants… or tenants that I can afford to patronize. There’s lots of good room down there yet.

  3. YUPPIESGOHOME (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    Yuppies out of East Atlanta! Go back to Sandy Springs!

  4. james (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

    dawn and al are the best. two of my favorite business owners in the city.

    hey “yuppies go home” how many times do i have to tell you this? i have a deed. it’s registered at the fulton county assessors office. it says this plot of land belongs to me.

    i have a voter registration card, it lists this as my address of record. oh yeah and my vehicle is registered at this address too.

    wanna take a stab at how much money i contribute to this city every year in taxes?

    i am home.

    get over it.

  5. Chintan (unregistered) on March 12th, 2007 @ 10:22 pm

    Glenwood Park is great and all, but where’s the affordable housing? Sustainable housing is wonderful. It’s a wonderful idea and a great initiative. But….

    You’re looking at $700,000+ for a single-family house without a yard in a questionable school district. It’s too much for most young, single professionals or even many prebreeding couples. And it’s just not feasible for the typical breeder couple.

    What’s up with that?

  6. Annie (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 8:30 am

    Chintan – I completely agree that it is not very affordable, especially, like you said, in a questionable school district.

  7. GPHomeboy (unregistered) on March 13th, 2007 @ 11:00 am

    I think housing IS affordable if you realize that your “yard” is three parks and sometimes people don’t need huge houses in order to live in the city. The prices at Glenwood Park start in the low 100s which is well below 197,000, which is the Business Week 2007 projection for median housing price in Atlanta. This of those falling down houses, in blighted neighborhoods (i.e. you have to crawl under the windows to avoid being shot) around town. Glenwood Park is new construction, with the latest features, plus it is Earth Craft, which costs more to build, so to have the prices at a good market rate is pretty good. Also, single family houses start in the 500s, and were once in the low 400s during early construction. Glenwood Park is a market value neighborhood and is a sustainable development that took a brownfield and added a lot of green space, plus low impact housing to the mix. The surrounding neighborhoods are experiencing a change in that, while values are going up, the number of crack houses is going down. Because Glenwood Park is not a gated community, like the townhouse complex across the street, its parks and streets are open to the surrounding area, which also helps to improve an area that was suffering a detriment in such amenities.

    Glenwood Park also has lots of children, of varying ages, and in families of various configurations. The neighborhood is diverse in all senses of the word, with a wide range of income levels, backgrounds and points of view. The parents that I know are heavily involved in the Charter Schools and in their children’s’ educations. It is the parents that make the school district, so writing them off is sort of the reason that the schools go down in the first place. This reminds me of a suburban attitude and not an in-town one.

    I think the creators of Glenwood Park intended a neighborhood that would contain some of the great characteristics of places all over this country and some from others. The idea of a central town square has been in use in the United States since the beginning. I personally don’t think of it as pastiche, or Las Vegas-ized because the materials are real and the scale is correct. The neighborhood is not designed as a set around gambling and amusement parks, but is a real place to live. You can compare it to many new developments and I bet you’ll see the difference in quality and integrity of building. It’s not coincidental that several architects have chosen to live there. If anything, I think that quality that was discussed here is due to the fact that the neighborhood is brand new and hasn’t had time to develop a patina.

    I think because Glenwood Park is not a “Lifestyle Center” which would include large anchor stores and really scary contracts, retail is much slower than you might see at some place like Edgewood, but it is really starting to take off with great places. There’s Slice Pizza, Give N’ Go Cleaners, Soda Salon, The Music Class, Vickery’s, Vino Libro, Perk, Snap Fitness, and Azul Salon is coming very soon. We, the residents, always hear the latest rumors about who’s coming in, but we don’t know until someone signs. For now, it is has been awesome to go to have such great places in which to hang out, get our hair cut, get the clothes cleaned and now work out all at home and close to everything else. I’m a huge fan of Vickery’s and I think their blue cheese burger is awesome, as well as the low country grits. Both of which are big enough to share and the burger is only nine bucks. So far, the menu prices are on par with everything else I see around here, discounting a certain “Mexican” restaurant where they seem specialize in sour smelling tables and surly service.

    My partner and I live in Glenwood Park and scaled down in size to do so. We have been involved in Atlanta, and in this area, for a long time. Frankly, we didn’t think we could afford to live in the area in the past, due to quality of life vs. price issues, but here we are and we have loved every minute of the last year and a half. We are middle class and are not from Dunwoody. As a matter of fact, most of the neighbors that I know are from different parts of the city. Some are in from the burbs, but a LOT are from Inman Park, Midtown and Virginia Highland. And as for that go home comment, I was sitting out on with my glass of wine in the square, with some other neighbors, and we figured that the residents are probably contributing about five million dollars a year in property taxes alone. So, these “yuppies” are doing their part.

    By the way, many of the “yuppies” about which someone referred work in non-profits and others are artists. I’ve not seen the people in the neighborhood acting “snobbish” about others coming to share in what we love (and pay for), but I do find it interesting to read all of the judgments about it. I wonder who’s being snobbish. I’ll forgive you, though, and say hi next time you’re in the ‘hood.

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