Doors Open for Innovative Businesses Across the City
With new farmers markets, independent bookstores, children’s activities and cocktail lounges, the first half of 2023 has experienced a wealth of businesses opening their doors in Avondale Estates. The downtown commercial district is evolving into a hub where residents and visitors can explore new flavors, discover hidden talents and connect with others. From innovative culinary ventures to enriching experiences, check out a few of the new establishments in the city.
Olive & Pine
After much anticipation, Olive & Pine is bustling with activity. An adaptive reuse of the 1950s Mann Mechanical Building in the heart of the Rail Arts District, this 25,000-square-foot property is home to several retail and service businesses. The project is a joint venture between Tin Drum Asian Kitchen founder and architect Steven Chan and partners Andy Rutledge and Danny England of Office of Design architecture firm. Rutledge and England have relocated Office of Design into the new space and restauranteur Chan brings his experience to the businesses within the complex.
Run by highly acclaimed Chef Vivian Lee, Leftie Lee’s sandwich shop and bakery offers a variety of globally inspired handcrafted sandwiches and fresh baked goods. Visitors can grab self-serve pastries at the front counter or order sandwiches to go. Weekends offer a different brunch menu. On nights when the sandwich shop isn’t open, Lee plans to open her space as a pop–up incubator to allow chefs and food innovators to grow their businesses. Open Wednesday – Sunday from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Wonderful World Coffee and Tea House serves a variety of artisanal coffee, organic teas, refreshing fizz and crafted boba teas in an eclectic, welcoming space designed to be a comfortable gathering spot for the community. Furniture found in the building was repurposed for the space, and visitors will find plants and the owner’s personal book collection acquired from his travels around the world. Open Monday – Thursday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Friday – Sunday from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Olive & Pine offers Avondale’s younger residents two new places to get creative and play. Mister John’s Music, a boutique music school started in Philadelphia, opened in February. Strollers can be seen lined up outside their door for their popular interactive early childhood music classes. Additionally, they offer instrument, choir, performance skills, music theory and composing exercises classes to children and adults. When it’s time to get moving, The Little Gym offers a space for children to try new things and build confidence in gymnastics-based classes and camps for children four months to 12 years old.
In April Akasa Salon opened its third Atlanta location in Olive & Pine. This hair boutique offers hair care services and locally sourced products from sought-after brands. Appointments are accepted online.
Around the City
For an adult evening, get cozy in the Anansi Cocktail Lounge in the retail row at The Willis next to Sam’s Crossing on E. College. This upscale lounge offers a variety of tailored craft cocktail creations in a lowkey intimate space. Open Monday – Wednesday from 6 p.m. – midnight and Thursday – Saturday from 6 p.m. – 1 a.m.
Coffee, cocktails and books – the perfect combo has found a home at The Book Bird nestled in the Banjo Lounge. This independent pop-up bookstore came from a collaboration between Banjo CEO Chasidy Atchison and bookshop owner Brittany Smith, both city residents. Located behind City Dog Market on Locust St. across from Banjo Coffee, the small bookstore opens out onto an outdoor picnic and nighttime space. The indoor/outdoor lounge hosts author events, live bands, karaoke, pop-up foods vendors, craft cocktails and other fun activities on weekends. Open Thursday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and 6 – 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
On the east side of the city at the corner of Covington Highway and Memorial Drive, Common Roots Farmers Market opened in April bringing fresh produce, grab-n-go meals, premium meats and unique Georgia products to the city. Fifth-generation produce operator Brock Nix features produce and products from local farms and vendors at this neighborhood market. Guests can enjoy outdoor seating, a large assortment of plants and seasonal selections like Christmas trees and pumpkins. Open Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.