By Robert M. Sarwark
East Atlanta Village (EAV) is a gem. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that. But it bears repeating. The main drag of Flat Shoals Avenue between McPherson Avenue and May Avenue, and Glenwood Avenue between Moreland and Patterson, is relatively small in area, but mighty when it comes to truly unique and independent cultural offerings. These range from specialty shops to live-music venues, from gloriously divey bars to eclectic eateries. And that’s not even to mention the annual outdoor extravaganza that is the East Atlanta Strut, the fourth Saturday of every September.
I’ve lived in Atlanta for about seven years now. When I moved to Grant Park from the Old Fourth Ward six years ago, I occasionally found reason to make it over to EAV. The Atlanta stop, by Los Angeles’ Chicano Batman at the EARL comes to mind as a particularly fun show in 2017. Pre-pandemic happy hours at Midway Pub are sprinkled throughout my memory as well. A group of coworkers and I once met at Mary’s for some dancing. Despite these excursions, I regret not going over to EAV more often back then. But now it seems I’m making up for lost time.
These last two weeks I’ve been to as many live shows, one at 529 (529 Flat Shoals Avenue) and the other at the EARL (488 Flat Shoals Avenue). The former, on September 19, featured the wryly apocalyptic tunesmith Jake Cook (with his newly debuted Self-Immolation Band) as the headliner. His new album, J E R K S, is a collection of melodious reflections on modern doom worthy of fans of Steely Dan or Randy Newman. On September 28 I caught multimedia artist and former Grant Park resident Jeremy Ray with his visceral, punk-tinged rock act the Howdy Men. Next on the bill was the eerily gorgeous Americana of Ben Trickey and band. More recently, Southern Feedstore (1245 Glenwood Avenue) has featured live music as well, including a wildly popular weekly open mic night.
Whatever your cup of tea (or kombucha), there’s likely something for you to enjoy in the Village. For a listing of many of the businesses and nonprofits in the area, that are members of the East Atlanta Business Association, see https://eastatlantabiz.com/Directory.