ATL Closeup with Zoie Fenty

Social media star Zoie Fenty dishes on the best place to people watch in Atlanta

Love perusing through social media to find out what your favorite influencers are up to? 

Get a closer glimpse into how they spend their time in Atlanta with “ATL Closeup,” a new AJC feature that explores the leisure lives of some of the city’s most notable personalities as they go from work to play mode over the course of a typical weekend —from their favorite places to dine to the little-known spots where they find retreat.

Once Zoie Fenty arrived at Centennial Olympic Park on a warm Wednesday in May, it took only about five minutes for a couple of fans to recognize him.

Within the next 20 minutes, the social media personality had been stopped by at least five more admirers, who wanted pictures with him. He greeted each of them with his signature line, “Hey, friend!,” and smiled brightly for their smart phones. 

It’s not unusual for the McDonough native to be spotted by supporters. After all, Fenty, who is known by his social media name @ IAmZoie,   has amassed 5.3 million followers on Instagram and 1.7 million subscribers on YouTube within the last six years. 

The 28-year-old, who worked at Starbucks before pursuing a career in entertainment, has gained a litany of fans for his hilarious viral videos, where he often reacts to outrageous nail and hair tutorials or twerks to his favorite songs each Friday. He’s also famous for a few popular YouTube series, including “Dats Tha Story,” “The Life of TT” and “Messy Monday.” 

Zoie Fenty of McDonough. He's a social media star, who has appeared on MTV's "Wild N Out."
Photo: Tyson Horne

His fame has taken him from a cult following on the interweb to the mass appeal of television. Last year, he was a regular on MTV’s “Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out,” and he’s currently in talks to appear on shows, including his own, and feature on a comedy tour.

What’s the secret to his success? He said it’s his authenticity.

“It’s just from me being myself and finding things that fit me,” Fenty told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I feel like the people in Atlanta are themselves. Atlanta is free. We go hard for what we want.”

When the internet darling and aspiring actor isn’t making the masses laugh with his hysterical content, he’s carving out time to hit up some of his favorite places. Here’s where you’ll likely find DeKalb resident on any given weekend in Atlanta.

Finger-licking good meal

As a new vegan, Fenty is always on the hunt for something nutritious but tasty. And The Slutty Vegan in the Westview neighborhood never disappoints him. He even documented his first trip to popular eatery on social media. 

“I thought I would be able to eat three burgers, because it wasn’t real meat,” he admitted. “But I didn’t realize it would still fill you up quick, friend. All you need is a couple of bites, and you’re good.”

The foodie is also a fan of Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, which is in McDonough, and The Juicy Crab, which has locations in McDonough, East Point and Smyrna. 

“You can’t go wrong with The Juicy Crab!” he exclaimed. “You get the juicy special with the hot flavor. You can’t go wrong.” he exclaimed. 

His top dining picks:

The Slutty Vegan, 1542 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd SW, Atlanta. 678-732-3525, sluttyveganatl.com.

Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, 1965 Jonesboro Road, McDonough. 678-759-8634, cheddars.com.

The Juicy Crab, 1873 Jonesboro Road, Suite #1-5, McDonough. 678-782-7210, thejuicycrab.com.

Shop-til-you-drop spot

Fenty’s style is super laidback. You’ll likely catch him in something sporty and comfortable. 

“I don’t need all the name brands. I don’t care how rich I get,” he said. “Just give me some Nikes, Adidas and a pair of jeans. And I’m good to go.”

According to Fenty, the best jeans can be found at Zara. He frequents the brand’s Lennox Mall location. And when he needs some shorts, H&M in Atlantic Station rarely lets him down. 

If he’s invited to an event that requires formal attire, he won’t go. 

“I don’t dress up,” he confessed. “If they tell me I got to dress up, I say, ‘Well friend, I can’t come.’ I hate dressing up. It’s uncomfortable.”

He did make an exception for the BET Social Awards this year, where he was nominated for the LMAO! Award. He sported a white button-up with some blue slacks, and the whole fit came from Zara. 

His top shopping picks:

Zara, 3393 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. 404-948-1516, zara.com/us.

H&M, 231 18th St. NW, Atlanta. 855-466-7467, www2.hm.com/en_us/index.html.

Social Hour

When it’s time to have some fun, Fenty calls up his friends and heads to The Mansion Elan, a nightclub located near Brookhaven, or Bulldogs, a gay nightspot in Midtown.

“I prefer bars, because it’s quieter and it’s free. You just have to pay for the drinks,” he laughed. “Birthdays are reserved for the club.”

The Instagram influencer also loves spending quality time with his homies at home. 

“I love Netflix. I love scary movies,” he revealed. “So we’ll just sit there and we’ll do that.”

His top party picks:

The Mansion Elan, 3595 Clairmont Road, Atlanta. 404-997-6901, themansionelan.com.

Bulldogs, 893 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-872-3025, facebook.com/bulldogsbaratlanta.

The wind down

Aside from relaxing at his crib watching TLC’s “Dr. Pimple Popper,” he finds solace at Centennial Olympic Park downtown. He enjoys being surrounded by nature and folks of all backgrounds. 

“It fits with me, because I like people. I’m a Gemini, and we are observers,” he explained. “You can see different types of people. You see kids, you see adults, you see gay, straight, and just everybody. I like different energies, and you come out here, and it’s just awesome.”

His top relax destination:

Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave W NW, Atlanta. 404-223-4412, gwcca.org/centennial-olympic-park.

Hidden gem

Fenty’s picks are grounded in the arts— Candytopia in Buckhead and The Gallery by Wish ATL in Little Five Points. 

He thinks the pop-up confectionery shop doesn’t get enough shine. It’s only in town until July, and he believes everyone should experience it. 

“When they pop up, y’all better go, because it’s amazing how they build all the things out of candy,” he said. 

As for Wish ATL, he goes to the gallery and apparel store for the shoes.

“When you walk in, it’s like a vault,” he described. It’s like oh my gosh! I last bought some Jordan’s there that were not on the market. It’s so many amazing shoes there.”

If you go: Candytopia at Lenox Marketplace, 3535 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. 100, Atlanta. 1-888-718-4253, candytopia.com/atlanta.

The Gallery by Wish ATL, 447 Moreland Ave., Atlanta. 404-880-0402, wishatl.com.

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