First, a few updates: Miss Darrow was interviewed over on Creative Loafing’s Culture Surfing blog, where she says terrible things about blogs! Don’t forget who made you who you are, “Susannah”!!! Also, the Georgia Soul blog has an actual single – Vicki Collins’ “I’m Ready” – released by Soulville Records, the record label storefront behind Robert Kennedy in this 1968 photo of Martin Luther King’s funeral procession we posted a few weeks ago.
Now, I don’t really do restaurant reviews around here because I’m not a food writer, and most of the time I order the same thing at the same restaurants. I went to Lunacy Black Market today primarily because I was intrigued by the location – Mitchell Street! Downtown. Not Peachtree Center Downtown, or even GSU Downtown, but Downtown. The part I love the most because of how perfectly preserved it still is since no one cares about it. (Oh, and also since it is on the National Register.) The restaurant is on Hotel Row, named such because it used to have a bunch of hotels there right by where Terminal Station was. This is the most visible vestige of that time, the former Concordia Hall:
These photos were all taken with my phone but I hope you can still see how marvelous the remaining Victorian architecture is. This was the one building on the block not to be destroyed in a 1908 fire
What does that awning say? Oh yes: “Johnny L.A. Custom Tailor (Hidden Treasure in Atlanta).”
There are, as is often the case in cities, other buildings around, so the shadows can obfuscate the details I wanted to capture. There are still some spaces for rent in this building (233 Mitchell) so check it out if you’re so inclined.
Oh – right. About the restaurant. It was good! I always think a trip Downtown is worth the hassle, so maybe I’m not the right person to ask. Lunacy Black Market has a good feel and cozy (but not heavy) food and, as is still the case, I can’t help but think it’s a great space for a party or wedding reception or something if you feel like going off the beaten path as far as venues. I think Lunacy Black Market will make it because it’s close enough to Castleberry Hill, and those neighbors are pretty loyal in terms of supporting nearby restaurants and such.
A few of the reviews I read of the restaurant (all linked on LBM’s website) were like, “Ewwwww, Mitchell Street!! Can you believe they picked this location?” (In so many words. The main word being “seedy” to describe this part of town.) Uh, YES, I can believe the spot. Because it is the best. More places should open there. Get over it.
Also, it is inexpensive and chef Paul Luna looks like a nice European version of Bob from Twin Peaks, so if that doesn’t make you want to go, I don’t know what else will.
On my way back from lunch, I passed this pink building on Broad Street.
Oh, Downtown. Every time I go Downtown I have such a bipolar reaction because I LOVE everything I see so much but I’m so disappointed that it’s not in better shape and that more people don’t go down there and start businesses and patronize businesses. Obviously Central Atlanta Progress does all they can, and who has the money to open a cafe or shop these days? I have the same feelings when I go through the area where Sweet Auburn, Old Fourth Ward, and Downtown merge. I’ll come up with a Julia Sugarbaker-esque rant about this another time that will include my rage over the streetcar proposal too. JUST YOU WAIT.