19 things you didn’t know about Atlanta’s past

Pleasant Peasant brought casual fine dining to Atlanta

In 1973 Steve Nygren and Dick Dailey opened the Pleasant Peasant on a seedy stretch of Peachtree Street just north of downtown. The country French bistro launched then-innovative concepts like chalkboard menus, oversized portions, and—gasp—a no-jacket-required dress code. Within months, lines stretched out the door. Nygren grew the chain to 34 restaurants across eight states before selling them in 1994 and founding the new urban utopia Serenbe.

Dining, departed
Günter Seeger’s eponymous Buckhead establishment was Esquire’s Restaurant of the Year in 1998. It proved too pricey and rarefied for Atlanta’s tastes and shuttered in 2007.

This unassuming Cheshire Bridge institution served Italian American favorites for more than four decades before closing in early 2016.

Aleck’s Barbecue Heaven
Atlanta’s civil rights leaders famously gathered at Paschal’s, now on Northside Drive. But Aleck’s, known for its ribs and spicy Come Back sauce, was a favorite late-night hangout for MLK himself. In the late 1990s, the city used eminent domain to buy the property, on which a Walmart now stands.