Ponce City Market (or PCM as its affectionately nicknamed) has become the hot topic of conversation when Atlantans are searching for the latest, greatest event or seeking the city’s best dining and shopping.
More on Ponce City Market:
Atlantans had been awaiting the project since 2011, when developer Jamestown Properties bought City Hall East, a former Sears distribution center, and announced plans to turn it into a mixed-use development that would feature retail, restaurants and food stalls, office space, high-end apartments.
In 2012, Dancing Goats Coffee Bar was the first tenant to open. By 2015, the shops, Central Food Hall and access to the Beltline opened, marking the widespread love affair with this attraction.
Ponce City Market History:
Before PCM became a shopping and dining hot spot, the land was tilled and nurtured as the Ponce de Leon Springs in the late 1860s. By the 20th century, the area expanded into a popular amusement park. The development lived many lives throughout the century including serving as the backdrop for Atlanta’s baseball teams Atlanta Crackers and Black Crackers and as the South’s train-stop headquarters for Sears, Roebuck & Co.
There are several more businesses still slated to open, but those who have been eagerly awaiting PCM already have plenty of opportunities to eat, shop, listen to music and more.
Here are three reasons to visit:
Situated atop Ponce City Market’s rooftop, Skyline Park is an amusement park atop the popular mixed-use development, which opened in summer 2016. The carnival-style rooftop attraction is a throwback to the historical site's once claim to fame as Ponce de Leon Amusement Park, aka the "Coney Island of the South." The park features games, priced around $1 to $3, a beer garden and a giant slide that sits behind the popular “Ponce City Market” sign. Throw a giant hammer over your shoulder and see if you have enough strength to ring the bell or test your hoop skills with a basketball game while on the roof. Admission for adults and kids over 12 is $10 and $7 for kids under 3.
WonderRoot’s Artist Market
From noon to 6 p.m. every Sunday in 2018 starting in March, WonderRoot’s Artist Market creates a space for 40 local artists to sell their unique, artisan wares in the shed area of Ponce City Market. WondRoot, the arts organization behind the market, helps the greater community connect with artists from diverse backgrounds.
Though Ponce City Market has a dining answer for every taste, one of the most unique features is its combination of music and food − City Winery. The Atlanta location of the restaurant/music venue, which is an offshoot of the acclaimed New York City venue of the same name, offers a New American menu of small plates, entrees, sides and desserts, as well as its housemade wines. Dog-friendly brunches and a speakeasy are recent additions to the Ponce City Market spot.
Here are other important things to know about Ponce City Market:
Ponce City Market food
As varied as the culinary options at Ponce City Market are, they all have one thing in common — lots of buzz.
Some of the city’s most well-known chefs have provided their star power to the opened Central Food Hall offerings, including Restaurant Eugene’s Linton Hopkins, who has both H&F Burger and Hop’s Chicken; Empire State South’s Hugh Acheson, who, along with Dale Donchey, formerly of Steady Hand Pour House, is offering high-end coffee drinks at Spiller Park Coffee; Bacchanalia head Anne Quatrano, who focuses on seafood with Dub’s Fish Camp; and Jia, the Szechuan spot from Tasty China II operators Dahe Yang and Jiguo Jiang. Brezza Cucina, the Italian concept from New York chef Jonathan Waxman, opened in 2015, in addition to juice bar Lucky Lotus; Minero, a casual Mexican food concept from Charleston-based James Beard Award winner Sean Brock; gourmet Italian market Bellina Alimentari; The Mercury, from the owners of Decatur’s the Pinewood; the Latin-inspired sandwiches of El Super Pan, from Hector Santiago, formerly of Pura Vida; and King of Pops, the popular Atlanta gourmet frozen pop vendor.
Also open for business are hot dogs and cocktail spot Drafts + Dogs, Honeysuckle Gelato, edible cookie batter spot Batter Cookie Dough Counter, Nashville-based Five Daughters Bakery, known for its 100-layer doughts, and soup and sandwich stand Farm to Ladle, as well as Dancing Goats Coffee Bar in the North Avenue building. Stores 18.21 Bitters, which sells bitters and other cocktail ingredients, and Tap on Ponce, which sells beer, wine and specialty foods, are also open.
The attraction also offers Botiwalla, an Indian street food concept from the owners of Decatur’s Chai Pani, Ton Ton, a Japanese concept from Miso Izakaya restaurateur Guy Wong; Biltong Bar, a South African-inspired store and food counter from the owners of 10 Degrees South and Yebo; and the Middle Eastern cuisine of Marrakesh.
Ponce City Market apartments
The Flats at Ponce City Market offer residents a chance to live in a nearly century-old warehouse, with all the character and unusual views and angles that entails. The apartments — from studios to three-bedroom units — are among the city’s most expensive per square foot. But they also put the Beltline and the rest of Ponce City Market’s shopping and dining at your doorstep.
Studios start at $1,632 per month for a 560-square-foot studio, with three-bedroom units fetching as much as $3,716 monthly, according to the complex’s website.
The apartments ultimately will feature two fitness centers, 200 dedicated bike parking spaces, valet dry cleaning, refurbished steel warehouse windows, quartz counters, stainless steel appliances and stained concrete floors.
Ponce City Market stores
Anthropologie, Onward Reserve and West Elm all opened in June 2015, with West Elm serving as an anchor store to the Central Food Hall along with Williams Sonoma, which opened in August. The Williams-Sonoma store features a more industrial design than the other metro area stores and offers a range of products from local and regional artisans.
Goorin Bros. Hat Shop and Lou Lou Accessories both opened their first locations in the Atlanta area. Goorin Bros. offers hats for men and women in a range of styles and fabrications, starting at $30 for baseball style caps. Lou Lou features jewelry, handbags, gifts and more, with items ranging from under $20 to more than $100.
Other retailers of note: the Frye Co., CorePower Yoga, Karoo, Madewell, J. Crew, Mountain High Outfitters and Ponce Denim Co.
Ponce City Market parking, access and hours
So, how do you navigate the 2 million square feet of Ponce City Market?
We have a few tips:
Ponce City Market is located at 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. Ponce City Market encourages “alternative transportation,” but, if you must drive, parking is pay-only. Rates for self-parking are $1 for up to 30 minutes and $1 for each additional half-hour; four-to-eight hours will cost $10 and eight-24 hours will be $15. The convenience of valet parking will come with a higher cost, with up to four hours at $8 and four to eight hours costing $15.
Visitors who self-park have three ways to pay.
Several pay stations are scattered throughout the parking areas. The machines accept all major credit cards and cash. They do not accept coins. You will need to know your license plate number to use the machines.
An option for the mobile-minded is the Parkmobile app. For every transaction made through the app, Ponce City Market will donate $1 to the Atlanta Beltline. The app can be used at many parking spots throughout Atlanta.
The third pay option is calling 1-844-PARK-PCM.
No car? No problem. Ponce City Market is nestled off the eastside trail of the Atlanta Beltline. A direct access point from the Beltline recently opened to the public. Free bike valet is offered to visitors who enter from that access point.
As Ponce City Market is a mixed-use property with office and living space, it also offers free showers for those who live and work in the building and choose to commute by bike.
If you wish to use MARTA, North Avenue and Inman Park are the closest train stations, and Buses 2 and 102 drop off directly in front of the building.
For more how to get to PCM, visit http://www.poncecitymarket.com/parking/.
The main attraction of PCM for the public undoubtedly is the retail and food options. Hours for each restaurant and store vary.
Dancing Goats Coffee Bar, the first tenant to open at PCM, opens at 6:30 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends. A few of the cafes in the main food hall open at 7 a.m. Most, however, begin serving at 11 a.m.
Closing times also vary, with most closing up shop between 10 and 11 p.m.
Most retail shops open between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and close between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Check out the full directory here.
AJC staffers Yvonne Zusel, Stephanie Toone, J. Scott Trubey, Krista Miller, Nedra Rhone and Jewel Wicker contributed to this report.
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