The new Castleberry Hill
The stockyards and slaughterhouses are gone now, but Westside’s meatpacking past has acted as both bone structure and muse for what is now one of the fastest-expanding neighborhoods in the city. With equal measures of kismet and vision, developers Kathleen Walker and Michael Phillips stumbled upon the area and sowed the seeds of its growth by opening the Westside Urban Market in 1998. They signed on pioneering tenants such as Anne Quatrano—who anchored her Star Provisions foodie empire here—and Taqueria del Sol’s Eddie Hernandez. The derelict factories with their throwback exposed brick had met their folksy, farm-to-table matches.
A few years later, the White Provisions building next door was restored into a mixed-use retail scene (sheltering the likes of home store Room & Board and Quatrano’s Abattoir) and was linked to the market via a now-iconic rust-colored footbridge. The area was branded the Westside Provisions District. Since then other pockets of home design shops, art galleries, restaurants, coffee bars—and high-end lofts and condos for the new residents attracted by the growth—have sprung up along the Marietta Street–Howell Mill Road corridor. And with the likes of Miller Union, Bocado, and Quatrano’s aforementioned offerings, gourmets visiting Atlanta now make Westside stop number one. In fact, the proliferation of Westside’s award-winning dining and art galleries—sheltered by the Westside Arts District and its weekly art walks—are coups the similarly industrial Castleberry Hill aspired to deliver but has never completely pulled off.
The district doesn’t have quite everything it needs for ideal homemaking, though. Most residents still have to drive up Howell Mill to I-75 or brave Atlantic Station to find a grocery store. But when the 350-acre Westside Reservoir Park—located around the BeltLine-skirting Bellwood Quarry—opens as the biggest greenspace in the city, it may spark more amenities as visitors pour into the area beyond mealtime.
Photograph of Westside Urban Market by Christopher T. Martin