Picking up – Kirkwood business climate improvingPhoto by Dan Whisenhunt
Kirkwood’s business community is getting larger.
Within the last few months there were several high profile openings and reopenings.
– The Kirkyard Pub, a sports bar, opened up in Kirkwood Station in December.
– Savor Wine Boutique opened in Kirkwood Station in November.
– Taproom, a coffee and craft beer bar, will open in April.
– Le Petit Marche recently moved down the street from Kirkwood Station and reopened in February.
– A developer wants to build some apartments directly behind Kirkwood Station, which would bring more foot traffic to support the mixed-use retail area.
Damon Sgrignoli, President of the Kirkwood Business Owners’ Association, said he’s noticed his membership rolls increase. Joining the fledgling business association is as little as $25 for an affiliate membership. He said he couldn’t confirm the total number of members just yet because KBOA is still in a membership drive.
Sgrignoli has lived in Kirkwood since 2009. He said that the neighborhood “had a stalling” during the recession. In addition to the new restaurants and retail, Sgrignoli said he’s also noticed an increase in home-based businesses in Kirkwood.
“It’s this really nice scene,” he said. “I see a lot more people, new faces.”
Rich Arroll, the Realtor representing the property behind Kirkwood Station that sold recently, said the draw of Drew Charter School is also enticing more families to move into the area.
“I think all of East Atlanta is experiencing a real resurgence,” he said. He thinks it’s improving because, “The economy getting better and people’s desire to live in town. There’s a lot of interesting housing stock in the east side of Atlanta as far as people renovating things.”
Marchet Sparks, owner of Le Petit Marche and Kyla Cox, owner of Savor Wine Boutique, said that they have had positive experiences since opening their doors in Kirkwood.
“I feel supported here,” Sparks said. “I have felt supported from day one.”
Cox was drawn Kirkwood when she attended the annual wine stroll event. She said Kirkwood residents “have embraced us.”
“They’re very supportive of local businesses,” she said.