Creative Loafing | East Atlanta Village, Take TwoI have no use for a "hipper-than-thou neighborhood". The businesses I patronize in East Atlanta are all hipness-impaired: Ace Hardware, SunTrust bank, Long John Silver. I'm even looking forward to the big-box retail going into the old Atlanta Gas Light property at Little Five Points. I could stand to have a Barnes & Noble, Target, and Lowe's in the area. (That's what the sign says will be there, alongside a Best Buy and Kroger. Here's an information sheet in PDF format from the developer, Sembler.)
Business wise, it's been a good year for East Atlanta Village. The hipper-than-thou neighborhood, once the scrappy kid brother of Little Five Points and Virginia-Highland, has entered a pubescent growth spurt. Village pioneers such as Sacred Grounds coffee shop and the Heaping Bowl & Brew restaurant opened in the mid-1990s. They were followed by a handful of boutiques, bars, clubs and more dining spots, most of them geared toward Gen X-ers on a budget.
In the past year, however, a second wave of businesses has targeted the popular 'hood -- despite a flailing economy. And the businesses themselves -- an antique shop, three restaurants and, hopefully within the next year, the long-awaited Madison Theater -- show that the Village is growing up.
...Plans on file with the city show the Madison will be set up with row seating for some events and table seating for others. Rows will accommodate 352 seated patrons, tables 216. Maximum occupancy is 681, presumably for shows allowing standing room.
Reggie Ealy, who opened the former Yin Yang and the former Kaya, will run the Madison. He told CL in 2001 that he wants to stay true to the Madison's original design.
That said, I'm always happy to see a theater return to its original function: All the more so that it is in my end of town. My radio theater company is always looking for a good venue for live performances, and the Madison might be just the thing.
If the neighborhood isn't too hip for us.