3 million park renovation and brand-new brewery, both of which opened in October 2011. Anchorage is still a fairly “new” city in some respects, since a devastating 1964 earthquake took out growler fill spots in Indy of the town. That means it’s had less time to hone the indie sectors, but Spenard has still managed.
You’d expect a college town like Tucson to cater to the young, artsy coeds. First there’s the Food Conspiracy Co-op, whose selection of bulk herbs and homeopathic remedies would make Whole Foods blush. Coffee and comedy are both hugely popular in Brooklyn, and you can get both in the same place in Argenta: The Joint. It serves artisan roasted coffee during the day, and stand-up and improv at night.
If that’s not your speed, there’s always Mugs for even more craft coffee. Over-the-top moustaches and suspenders on people SERVING CRAFT COFFEE? It should: Silverlake’s so hipster, there’s a debate about whether it’s one word or two. It’s also home to plenty of little kids wearing Ramones shirts, music venues that double as art galleries, and people dressed in tight jeans and long-sleeve shirts when it’s frigging 95 degrees out. I started writing for Thrillist what feels like a million years ago but was only about four.
At the time, I was tasked with writing about Denver’s new bars and restaurants, and I often found myself in the Highlands. Bottom line: it’s the epicenter of new Denver. New Haven: now officially safe for hipsters! Though Yale students have long been warned about venturing into the wrong parts of the city, New Haven’s gentrifying with the best of ’em. And Wooster Square is probably the prime example. If you’ve ever looked at a map of the US, you know Delaware is tiny.
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And if you haven’t, you’re missing out! As you might imagine, Trolley Square is not a large neighborhood in what is not a large city: Wilmington. Wynwood is not a place people in Miami live, but it’s certainly a place in which they drink. Euclid Avenue Yacht Club in the mix. Idaho might be one of the most conservative states in the country, but walking around the North End of Boise, and just North of Boise State’s campus, you could be fooled into thinking it’s only full of hipsters.
I grew up there when it was gnarly, before gentrification happened. The Ninth Ward has national notoriety thanks to Hurricane Katrina, but this particular subset, the Upper Ninth, known as the Bywater, got an influx of artists and restaurants following the ‘cane’s destruction. You’ll see “Shop Local: Keep Portland Independent” stickers on many storefronts in Munjoy Hill, and they clearly take that responsibility seriously — no Starbucks are allowed. But several indie coffee shops are! I grew up about 15 minutes outside downtown Frederick, and if you had told me that place was hip 10 years ago, I’d kindly point you to the local headlines about monkey rodeos.
But when a friend of mine from the Eastern Shore suggested it might be the Brooklyn of the state, it made a shocking amount of sense. Local hero Bryan Voltaggio seriously upgraded the dining scene with Volt in 2008. People used to call the place “Slummerville,” but nowadays, the edgiest person you’ll find in Somerville is the dude who tries to sneak his vintage leather flask into Bronwyn. Or maybe the guy who got kicked out of the midnight Blue Velvet screening at Somerville Theatre after one too many Harpoon Munich Darks.
Though Corktown also gets mentioned a ton, the gentrified star of Detroit is Midtown. For one thing, it has a Whole Foods — as noted in a Vice article that also name-checked the area’s “fixies and really small dogs. Cups has been in Fondren for 22 years, serving craft coffee they roast themselves a couple of miles away. A big thumbs-up to Cherokee Street in St.
Louis for its Brooklyn-esque qualities, but Westport on the other side of the state is the spot. Westport is, first and foremost, an entertainment district. When a place is literally called the “heart of” the city, you can assume there’s a lot going on. So get out your pen, because we’re going down the list. Here are a few stats from the Lincoln government to let you know what Haymarket is like.
As of 2010, the median age is 24. Most of the residents are single, and they spend lots of money on food away from home and retail goods. Cal Ave is short for California Avenue, a cluster of shops, restaurants, and bars in Reno that’s definitely part of the city’s larger makeover. You’ll find stuff like the St. Portsmouth is, perhaps, the crunchiest destination in a very crunchy state, and if you’re looking for a particularly exemplary neighborhood, head to the West End. Thai, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc.
Beloved local brewery which may or may not have brewed limited-batch Breaking Bad beers? Asheville is the kinda town where local characters like Rob Seven drive their “Emerge-N-See art ambulance” through the folk festivals. Are there people in North Dakota? North Dakota population lives in Fargo, a huge portion of that young creative class calls the city home. In now-trendy Tremont, perhaps one of the best examples of changing landscape is Prosperity Social Club. Does your coffee shop have a toast menu? If the answer is no, then it’s not Brooklyn enough for us.
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How hip and Brooklyn-y is Portland’s Mississippi Ave? In the past few years, the formerly quiet neighborhood has seen its buildings fall, condos rise, and prices skyrocket. With a hearty shout-out to the folks holding down the scene in Lawrenceville along the mighty Allegheny, Fishtown is our pick for PA. Bar where you’re enveloped by kitschy Americana? A place to learn how to stop relying on corporations to make your food for you, and how to properly raise animals and grow food on your own property?
A sure sign of any hipster enclave is a film society, and Park Circle’s is known to screen flicks titled Two Raging Grannies. If angry nanas aren’t your thing, there’s a farmers’ market every Thursday from May through October which features tropical swing and Celtic music. Picking the hippest neighborhood in South Dakota is kind of like picking the trendiest saloon in a Clint Eastwood movie, but the downtown area of the state’s biggest city is making a solid play for that title. Obviously, Nashville cleared all the hipster music requisites a long time ago.
But pockets of the city, particularly East Nashville, have caught up dramatically on the food and entertainment scenes in recent years. Bar, a cozy dinner spot that used to be a gas station. All this and much more can be yours if you head over to this working class-turned-trendy arts ‘hood. The shallot boat in question is from Qui. Burlington as a whole has a pretty impressive food and drink game, although the concentrated cluster in Old North End is something else. Mezcal cocktails and breakfast poutine can be found at The Roosevelt, which boasts a James Beard semifinalist in the kitchen.
Cap Hill obviously has Washingtonians’ coffee needs covered in the form of Cafe Pettirosso and Victrola. There’s a whole tab just for pop-ups! A tab that includes the Wunder Garten and Carpe Librum, a used bookstore whose proceeds benefit nonprofit Turning the Page. Pints about what the East End was like when he was growing up. Bay View is its own bubble, and it’s a bubble we’d all be so lucky to be stuck in. Being a vegetarian in Brooklyn is normal.
Being a vegetarian in Wyoming is probably not an easy thing to do. But it’s easier if you’re in downtown Laramie, what with Sweet Melissa Cafe and its soul food without all that pesky meat to ruin it. Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist and one day will play all 1,800 games at that place in Indy. The era of the standalone growler store in Alpharetta came to an end with the recent closing of The Beer Growler on Main Street at Windward Parkway. Let’s all pour one out of our 64 oz amber glass bottles for the ones that we lost. Places like Blind Murphy, Tap It Growler, Draft Beer Market and Crafty Draught have all left us.
I have to admit, the growler concept lasted longer than I thought it would. Most of the growler stores had five to twelve taps, but Draft Beer Market in Johns Creek went nutty with 64 brews on tap. Video screens replaced most place’s chalk boards to list what was on tap. While the majority of growler stores gave samples in plain, boring plastic shot glasses, Draft Beer Market went all out with glass mini brandy snifters. My pinkie was in the air when I took those samples.
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So if these stores were so cool and hip, why have all of them closed? Well, the standalone growler concept isn’t really good from a business standpoint. People come in, maybe try samples, fill their bottles, and go. There’s no hanging out, no other products for people to spend money on and no reason to stay.
These guys were paying rent on a sometimes large, sometimes prime real estate and all they sell is beer to go. A lot of the stores sold glassware or beer in bottles and cans. That brings me to my next point. The 64 oz jug o’ beer is not suitable for most situations. You really, really, really like that type of beer?
The majority of beer drinkers aren’t going to stomach all that beer before it goes flat and loses its right-out-of-the-tap-on-draught specialness. I found myself losing interest in the growlers and buying my beer in bottles. The smaller 32 oz size growlers were a step in the right direction. Look at the growler places that are still around in Alpharetta.
There’s the gas station at Bethany Bend in Milton. Labeled as the first growler gas station in Georgia, it’s perfect. Get gas, buy some lottery tickets, and fill your growler, all on the way home from work. There’s also a growler station at the Whole Foods at Avalon. Again, do your shopping and if you can still afford it, fill up on beer. Two liquor stores in Cumming have growler stores attached.
So let’s not shed too many tears for the passing of the standalone growler store. Changes in the laws let you buy beer right from the brewery, and that’s what we really wanted anyway. For nearly six years Roots in Alpharetta has brought Alpharetta and the surrounding community compelling content on news, politics, technology, restaurants and general stuff. At least I hope it’s been compelling content. It’s taken a great deal of time to research and write the articles you find here each week. It’s been well worth the effort, a very rewarding experience. Unfortunately I need to cut back on my blogging schedule and frequency.
I simply don’t have as much time to devote to writing. My work schedule is changing and I’m spending more time working from home. This means my time in Alpharetta is less than it used to be. I’m not walking the beat like I used to.
Additionally there are concerns in my Forsyth County community that are extremely pressing. There’s a role for me to fill here, I’m just trying to figure out exactly what that is. This doesn’t mean goodbye Roots, just a little less. I hope my readers understand because I value your feedback and contributions to the discussion. You’re the best and you’ve made this a lot of fun. The Drake House provides transitional housing for homeless women and their families. Their small facility in Roswell stays full almost year round.
They also host one of the most unique food festivals in our area, Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’. We don’t often post events to this blog so you know this one is worth your time and a few of your hard-earned dollars. The cause is certainly worth it. Volunteers from the business and faith communities make some amazing homemade ice cream and offer samples. 6 you get all you can eat. There are also activities for kids and families. What: 11th Annual Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’.
A fundraiser to benefit The Drake House. It’s been quiet in the restaurant news department this month. Either the pace of new restaurants is slowing or I’m been derelict in my restaurant sleuthing duties. Speaking of Mugs on Milton, their new Crabapple location is now open. Also coming to Crabapple is a second location for fishmonger Kathleen’s Catch. Their original location is on Medlock Bridge Road in Johns Creek.
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Demolition has started on two projects that should bring new restaurants or perhaps a Starbucks or two. The former Tilted Kilt building on Windward will become a small stripmall with a Starbucks drive thru. And demo and grading has begun at The Atwater, a series of small shopping centers adjacent to Avalon. They’ve been tight lipped about the retailers and restaurants planned here, but something tells me Starbucks might make the list. We’re hearing rumors that another growler store closure may be imminent.
I’m not ready to publish the name until the closure is confirmed. The implosion of the growler fad is nearly complete. Promising doughnut shop opening bear Bite on Kimball Bridge Road. Expect an opening very soon on Highway 9 in Milton. Opening on Milton Avenue in downtown Alpharetta next to 2B Whole Bakery. Varasano’s Pizzeria – Coming to the back entrance of North Point Mall.
Announced opening on Windward in the former Uncle Maddio’s space. Stir fry joint coming soon to downtown Alpharetta. Mexican concept to open in Milton in the original Bobby G’s location. Small taco restaurant on Jordan Court near Costco. New free-standing restaurant to be built at Windward and North Point. Mom and pop French joint coming to the former Cosmic Deli location on Windward.
Juice bar opening near Bite on Kimball Bridge. A restaurant has opened that’s not a burger, pizza or cupcake place. Quick, gather your battered palates and head down Old Milton to The Bowl, which is located in the former Wok and Chopstick location. While I am not an expert on Korean food, I do know what tastes good. I have yet to have eaten anything here that wasn’t filling and satisfying. While I have stuck primarily to the bowls themselves, The Bowl does have several entrees to offer.
The bowls come with your choice of white or brown rice or egg noodles with vegetables mixed in. On my first visit I ordered the beef stroganoff bowl over noodles. The meat was crazy tender and was combined with a mushroom sauce, onions, broccoli and carrots. Each bowl comes with a roll to sop up all the juice, which I did. My wife had the crab cake dinner. We were told that the crab cakes were one of the best selling items on the menu.
Not the best she’s ever had, but better than a lot of crab cakes that use Miracle Whip or something along that line as a binder. The crab cake dinner came with one large softball sized crab cake. The corn succotash and spinach that come with it were very good and complimentary. I will also recommend the spicy pork bowl. It’s a whole pig’s worth of pork belly cooked with chili pepper and mixed with veggies over rice. I wish they had chopped it up before putting it in the bowl. Each piece was too big and unwieldy on it’s own.
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The spice level was just right, and by just right I mean way up there. While the food has been outstanding, the experience has been less than stellar. The lunch procedure and dinner procedure are opposites, which can be confusing. At lunch, you order fast casual at the counter.
At dinner, you sit and are waited on. As I pointed out before, the dinner menu is smaller than the lunch menu. The service has not been up to snuff either. It was awkward for the diners.
And in our last visit, an appetizer we ordered was forgotten. When I brought it up to our waitress, we were told flat out that no, we had not ordered it. I’m hoping they can get these issues worked out and soon because I am willing to fight the Old Milton traffic to get at this food, but not if this is how The Bowl is run. You have a good genesis here, help it grow. The Bowl, Modern American Cuisine is located at 4000 Old Milton Parkway, Suite 200.
Scroll down or hit this link to read about the project as a whole. There’s a lot to it and a scant amount of ink has been spilled on the project. The development is, at best, 18 months away from opening but the potential restaurant and retail lineup is promising. First and foremost is an upscale food hall. Comparisons to Atlanta’s Krog Street Market started immediately. Several small chef-driven concepts would exist in an open market setting along the main vista in the development. Along the Ronald Reagan Parkway portion of the development will be a few free-standing restaurant buildings.
Among them may be a Mexican concept with a rooftop bar. Rumor is that it will be Pure Taqueria from Alpharetta’s Sedgwick Restaurant Group although Cinco has a concept meeting this description at nearby Vickery Village. A small movie theater is promised in the development, one that features a dining component similar to Studio Movie Grill. The chances are good this will end up being Sprouts. Like at Avalon, grocery stores in mixed-use developments insist on surface parking lots, even though structured parking will abound. The site plan depicts several other restaurant locations but no other names or concepts have been suggested.
This developer has a resume deep with restaurant development experience. If they can pull off this mixed-use project then I have no doubt they can land some quality grub. And hopefully a successful restaurant scene would be contagious to the surrounding properties. But the project certainly isn’t without concern. The development would sit on 134 acres, 43 of which are unbuildable thanks to being in wetlands near Big Creek. 430 apartments are planned, some of which are senior living. The plan was largely a strip mall concept with big-box retailers and apartments.