Founded in 1924 and named for the birthplace of William Shakespeare, this quiet neighborhood eight miles east of Atlanta has long been known for its Tudor-style architecture. Its neighbor, Decatur, may be larger, but the city is stepping into its own, with big ambitions for food, entertainment, and public schools. Nick Purdy of Wild Heaven Craft Beers shares the reasons he calls it home.
Government that works
“Talk to any business owner and they’ll say they’re fighting their government, but in Avondale Estates, we’ve gotten nothing but support,” Purdy says. When Purdy’s brewery opened its doors last summer, then-mayor Ed Rieker hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony that brought out city councilmen and other local leaders. Elsewhere, government officials have helped business owners find low-interest financing through the Georgia Cities Foundation.
Intown living—with space
Find bigger lots than many other intown neighborhoods, so you don’t have to trade space for an ITP address. “That’s one thing that helped us decide between here and Decatur,” says Purdy, who moved to Avondale Estates in 2005.
There’s a community of smart and artistic residents who work at major local companies, including Turner, the CDC, and the Brick Store Pub in Decatur, one of the city’s top watering holes.
New restaurants the Bishop and Pallookaville Fine Foods are resuscitating the historic downtown Tudor Village with comfort foods and kitsch, respectively. “Pallookaville is like a comic book come to life,” Purdy says. Next up: The old Towne Cinema will be transformed into a music venue called Avondale Theatre, with the first of three phases expected to be completed this year.
Mom and Pop
It’s not uncommon for younger generations to buy houses down the street from their parents and maintain the institutions their families set up, from a neighborhood co-op for babysitting to the community pig roast.
In 2010, a group including lawyers, educators, and business leaders joined to found the Museum School, a charter school that brings a museum concept of discovery and exploration to learning. “It gave the neighborhood an opportunity for a school that’s locally controlled and high quality,” Purdy says.
Like the rest of Atlanta, Avondale Estates loves its festivals. Art-B-Que, which is in late spring, and AutumnFest are two annual outdoor celebrations that draw in locals with music, art, and food.
“There’s amazing architectural diversity,” Purdy says. “You have the Tudor-style buildings downtown and modern houses farther out.” One claim to fame: the first Waffle House, which now houses a museum.