Retailers and Restaurants: Then and Now
Retailers and restaurants come and go. As a native to East Cobb, I have seen many things leave and join our community over the past thirty-something years. However, there has been a tremendous amount of growth over the last decade or so. As old businesses close, and new ones open, we are all hopeful for something new, different, exciting, and useful. The thought of another bank or mexican restaurant, isn’t quite so appealing.
East Cobb Then
For those of you reading that are long time residents, you will find some of these memories nostalgic, as I do. So many of our frequent stops during errand running were nothing more than grassy or wooded areas. Others were old and worn shopping centers. Then there are the few shopping centers that are also still standing, but have undergone many changes of merchants and exterior renovations.
You may remember Harris Teeter where L.A. Fitness currently is. The Avenue at East Cobb was a driving range. Merchants Walk renovations were such a positive change to the community. The area that had old and rickety wooden buildings with multiple staircases was long overdue for a change. Kohl’s, Old Navy, and Petsmart were a few of the firsts, followed by Whole Foods and other nearby merchants.
Just four years ago, Wellstar opened the East Cobb Health Park on Roswell Rd. You may remember the cute farm house that sat on a large lot of beautiful grassy land. I was a bit sad to see that go, and a big building pop up. The Northside Health Complex near Olde Towne opened its doors just a short time later.
Many years ago, The Pavillion was the place to go for cotillion. Young middle school boys and girls gathered to learn proper etiquette, manners, and simple dance moves. The girls wore white gloves, and boys wore a tie. Cotillion still takes place today, but the Pavillion no longer stands. In that same shopping center, many remember Mellow Mushroom, Good Mews Cat Shelter, and Tuesday Morning. While each merchant was a great one on an individual basis, the shopping center never appeared crowded. I always did find the brick store fronts to be somewhat charming, and different than the typical stucco shopping center in East Cobb.
Johnson Ferry and Roswell Road Intersection
Target’s corner of Johnson Ferry and Roswell used to house a strip shopping center with various stores. If you’re an East Cobb Native, you may remember several of them. Dance Stop Studios was originally located there. Brunos (if I remember correctly), Sweet Spirit Christian Bookstore, and the cutest little toy store I just loved going in to.
Trader Joe’s and California Pizza Kitchen? This corner of Johnson Ferry and Roswell Rd. was much less busy. Rick’s Farmers Market and pine straw sales stood there for many years until they relocated just down the way by Robinson Rd.
Dick’s Sporting Goods was a K-mart back in the day, and a few shops over stood Eckerds (that’s like a CVS or Walgreens to anyone under twenty). Additionally in that shopping center was a Dairy Queen, home to many swim teams after summer swim meets and high schoolers after football games. Phar-Mor, also a drug store, stood next to Home Depot.
Movie Stores and Pizza
As technology developed, we slowly saw Blockbuster Movies vanish from the map. It would blow the minds of kids everywhere if they had to search through shelves for a movie, hoping to find that rental copy available behind the original case. A Friday night with family consisted of renting a movie at Blockbuster, picking up a pizza, and heading home to pop the rented movie in the VCR. Blockbuster was at both Lower Roswell and Johnson Ferry, next to Papa Johns, and at Providence Rd. and Roswell in the building that now houses Advance Auto Parts.
East Cobb Now
So with all of that change, East Cobb continues to grow and develop, meeting the needs of its residents. There are a few big changes coming down the pipeline, and some that are new to the shopping and eatery scene in EC.
Gluten Free and Allergy families are excited about Jason’s Deli coming to the Target shopping center area at Johnson Ferry and Roswell Road. Previously a Houlihan’s, Jason’s Deli renovated the interior to look less like a nice dinner restaurant, and more casual.
Zeal unexpectedly closed its doors this fall after difficulty recovering from a failed health inspection. Rumor has it that Los Bravos will take the place of Zeal. Los Bravos also has a location near East Lake.
The Black Swan Tavern
Part of the Dunwoody Restaurant Group, The Black Swan Tavern is up and running and has been since about this time last year. Burger Night Thursdays and Trivia Tuesdays make the atmosphere fun, friendly, and enjoyable.
Sandy Plains Marketplace
The Sandy Plains Marketplace is bringing new retailers and restaurants to the Sandy Plains and Shallowford area. Mountain View Elementary is now located in a brand new building just down the road and the old school has been deconstructed. It is exciting to hear that construction will soon begin. Publix Greenwise, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar, First Watch, and Jim n’ Nick’s Barbeque are some of the merchants for the marketplace. Developer Fuqua, who also recently developed The Battery and Kennesaw Marketplace, is leading the project.
Set to open in January 2019, this unique marketplace just off the Marietta Square will house seventeen restaurants and retailers. Built similarly to the popular Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market, this marketplace is bound to keep families busy with a locomotive theme and many options for food and activities. An old, renovated trolley will house a final merchant, but the occupant is still undecided. Bookmark the Marietta Square Market Facebook Page for updates, pictures and more.
Glory Haus is one of the two retail shops at the Marketplace. A store that sells home decor items, including collegiate themed, seasonal, and every day themes. Their popular items are adorable and trendy. This shop is for sure going to do great!
‘Merica Clothing Company is the other retail shop to open. This popular and local brand sells clothing and accessories inspired and for the outdoors. National Park related items are sold and a percentage of proceeds benefit those parks. ‘Merica Clothing Company also fundraises for natural disasters, most recently Hurricane Michael.
I can’t wait to share my review of Marietta Square Market’s many restaurants and retailers early next year.
East Cobb is one of Atlanta’s top suburbs to live. With excellent schools, a variety of retailers and restaurants, easy access to downtown, and so many things to do, it’s perfect for singles, couples young and old, families, and more. Do you live in East Cobb? What do you want to see as a new business here?