Way to blow it, Atlanta. A craft beer store in EAV? Nah, let’s send them to Decatur where they’re wanted.
There’s a few-months-old discussion on EAV Buzz that reading took me from elation to full-on pissiness in about 3 minutes. (Read as: sorry guys, stand by for a poorly crafted and rambling rant). A craft beer store, the over-adorably named Ale Yeah, had signed a lease on Flat Shoals, a few doors down from the EARL. I thrilled at the prospect of a place closer to home to buy my snooty beer (I’ve geeked out in Hop City a few times, but it’s a slow, heavy ride home from the Westside with a bag full of beers. I’ve since learned to drive when I go there.). Was a little giddy as I read through the thread on the buzz, which entailed, for the most part, happy tears and boner talk.
Turns out, however, that the location in the Village is too close to a “package store” (Buddy’s on Moreland and the East Atlanta Supermarket a few blocks down Glenwood) to open. Needs to be 1500 feet or more, according to a Buzz poster. “JBB” says it “also needs to be 600′ from residence, 600′ from library, 600′ from public park, 600′ from school… etc. the only way through is a complete exemption of EAV from all distance requirements.” Obviously a craft beer store would be an unfair competitor to Buddy’s. Or maybe it would just make the district too alcohol-saturated, what with opportunities to buy both bum wine and Allagash.
So we lost another cool thing (and tax revenue source) to Decatur due to some junk zoning issues. What now Atlanta’s got a few more details.
Almost as disappointing is a familiar story that’s been dragging along for several years in Grant Park. The owners of Brick Store purchased a building at Ormewood and Confederate, which has evidently become mired in zoning and neighbor issues. I did hear that they took a break to focus on opening Leon’s, but that they are “making progress.” Sounds like lip service, but honestly, for now I’ll take it if it’s not a “no go.”
If we are going to move towards more livable communities where people don’t have to hop into their cars to do everything in isolating, gas-consuming bubbles, we’re going to have to address issues like these. If we want the convenience of walkable neighborhoods, well, we’re going to have to be able to walk places. That means a neighborhood restaurant is going to be near its neighbors. Even if it sells beer! It means that a small restaurant shouldn’t be required to provide 50 parking spots out front. And it just doesn’t make sense to have some shady gas stations grandfathered in where a new craft beer store is forbidden. This makes business go elsewhere, which is not good for anyone. Obviously except Decatur.
All that can be treated as a super negative way to say welcome to Ale Yeah! Craft Beer Market to 906 W College Ave in Decatur. According to their website, they’re still in the build-out phase, so it’ll be a minute before they’re up and running. Stand by for an update in a few months!