The former Three Dollar Cafe in BuckheadBy John Pierce

While spending a couple of days running around Atlanta recently, I came to two conclusions.

One, I’m grateful to know my way around so well. After living and working in various parts of the city and metro area for 18 years, followed by a decade of regular return visits to all kinds of appointments and adventures, I rarely pull out the GPS or that ancient document once known as a map.

My second observation is that the streets, intersections and communities are very recognizable. However, the surrounding businesses just keep changing. So I found myself recalling where Atlanta used to be.

The once bustling Three Dollar Café at Pharr Road in Buckhead is shuttered. It was a favorite after-work gathering place — where we could tackle a Nacho Mountain on the sunny deck after a run up Peachtree Street.

Across the street, the once lively Buckhead of nightlife fame is a massive construction site. And the Mick’s restaurants are gone along with many other places in Atlanta that I associate with certain times and people in my life.

The Azalea Restaurant that my wife Teresa and I enjoyed often has been replaced as well as the salon next door that Dion Sanders once owned. Rocky’s at Peachtree and 26th provided a great chicken pizza along with political commentary on the restaurant’s sign. A Mellow Mushroom franchise has taken over there.

The Country Place at Colony Square, with its sinfully good desserts, and various Greek and Mexican places that once filled my life and belly have morphed into other businesses — often more than once.

And there are places where I took my now-high school senior on our weekly Daddy-Daughter Dinner Dates when she was small. Changes are so significant that I asked a current resident to recommend a place for a business dinner.

But, then, isn’t life all about change?

Adapting to various shifts and turns in life is a sign of maturity. Memory of how things were is a good gift. Yet we must learn to remember the past without living in the past.

But it sure is comforting to see the old familiar Big Chicken at Roswell Road and “the four-lane” (as oldtimers call it) in Marietta or to pull into the Varsity at its same old Atlanta home at North Avenue and Spring Street.



Share This