Lance Bottoms stated that current restaurants in the area included “fantastic mom-and-pop options” as well as fast-casual franchises and fast-food chains, but no diversity. Residents eat out, she noted, but those looking for more upscale offerings have to go outside the area to find it. “We spend money, we just spend it outside the community,” she said.
Beecher Hills resident April Daniel expressed her interest in seeing the kind of dining options available in Midtown become available near her home. “Something like Two Urban Licks — we don’t have that,” said Daniel, whose daughter attends Beecher Hills Elementary School.
“We have one Applebee’s, lots of chicken wings spots, Chinese takeout, Gladys Knight’s Chicken & Waffles, and of course Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s. That’s about it,” said Beecher Hills Elementary School principal Crystal Jones. The school, along with the Beecher Hills Neighborhood Group, joined forces with Lance Bottoms and the Invest in Southwest Taskforce to make the pop-up restaurant a reality.
Even kids were involved, with fourth- and fifth-grade students from the school running from kitchen to tables with dinner plates of baby gem salad with cured tomatoes, entrees that ranged from short ribs to salmon to a farro with roasted shiitake mushrooms, and chocolate cupcakes.
Lance Bottoms expressed enthusiasm at the turnout for the event, particularly since it was organized in just two weeks. Another pop-up is planned for April although the date and location have not been announced.