ATL's Upper Westside is Having a Moment: Here's What We Know

Lauren Finney Harden | April 15, 2021 | Lifestyle

Once a predominately industrial area, the Upper Westside is having its moment.

The gallery in The Makers Building at The Works PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WORKS ATL
The gallery in The Makers Building at The Works

Far west Buckhead has been on Atlantans’ radars for years; it’s home to all sorts of home design businesses, industrial warehouses and business headquarters. But recently, a flurry of developments, especially concentrated between Marietta Boulevard and Howell Mill Road, have had all eyes on the area.

It was strategic and a bit of a full circle for Selig Development, the developer of The Works (theworksatl.com), the most anticipated newcomer to the area. Says Malloy Peterson, senior vice president of development, “The Works has been owned by Selig Enterprises for over 70 years, with Selig developing its first industrial building on the site [on Chattahoochee Avenue] in 1950. Recognizing the growth happening on the Upper Westside, the late Scott Selig shared his vision for The Works in 2016 when he announced bold plans to transform the site into an exciting mixed-use destination featuring food and beverage, retail, entertainment, offices, residences, a hotel and 13 acres of green space.”

The development’s main entrance on Chattahoochee Avenue. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE WORKS ATL
The development’s main entrance on Chattahoochee Avenue.

The Works currently holds the title of the largest industrial adaptive redevelopment in Atlanta, with many of the tenants housed in The Makers Building. Seventy thousand square feet of retail sits alongside the highly anticipated Chattahoochee Food Works, “a 32-stall food hall curated by celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern and Robert Montwaid, who is behind Gansevoort Market in Manhattan,” says Peterson. Expect the food hall to include a variety of locally owned, globally focused businesses, many of which are establishing their first brick-and-mortar at Chattahoochee Food Works. Current tenants already operating include Ballard Designs, Adelina Social Goods, Bobo Intriguing Objects’ first direct-to-consumer space, Basik Spaces, Stellar Bodies and Scofflaw Brewing Co.

“In addition to creating a highly amenitized community gathering area inside The Works, the Selig team is leading the charge for a more walkable, bikeable, greener and safer Upper Westside,” Peterson continues. “In partnership with the Upper Westside CID, City of Atlanta and other area stakeholders, we are working to add sidewalks and bike lanes, improve roads, decrease traffic and generally make the area safer and more beautiful. The Works will quite literally be the stitch that brings together South Buckhead, Midtown and Smyrna/Vinings, so it’s critical to get the infrastructure right for the community.”

Westside Village is home to Ted’s Montana Grill’s newest Atlanta location PHOTO COURTESY OF TED’S MONTANA GRILL
Westside Village is home to Ted’s Montana Grill’s newest Atlanta location

Craig Koch, the owner of WAGA-LOT (wagalot.com), chose the Upper Westside for his third location. “It’s been on my radar for nearly a decade now as not only a destination for food, fun and family, but a place to hang your hat and call home,” he says. “Early pioneering destinations like Hankook Taqueria, Nuevo Laredo, Ballard Designs and Piece of Cake lured me to this area. But then I took note of the Upper Westside’s stellar proximity to other attractive Atlanta neighborhoods and major travel arteries. Along with its nice array of housing options, I eventually realized this was the perfect place to grow my dog daycare and boarding business. Cool, creative, smart people were already investing and dwelling here. Expansion, growth and development were all but certain.”

The restaurant’s Southwestern-seasoned crabcakes served with guacamole, Parmesan-roasted broccoli and kale salad. PHOTO COURTESY OF TED’S MONTANA GRILL
The restaurant’s Southwestern-seasoned crabcakes served with guacamole, Parmesan-roasted broccoli and kale salad.

George McKerrow, co-founder and CEO of Ted’s Montana Grill (tedsmontanagrill.com), agrees, as he chose the Upper Westside’s Westside Village for his 12th Atlanta-area location. “It’s an up-and-coming, sought-after neighborhood that offers Atlantans a new urban lifestyle destination,” he says, with walkability top of mind. “Every experience at Ted’s is consistent, but each location is treated as an independent restaurant, which means we support local farms and purveyors with the freshest ingredients whenever possible. Our Westside Village restaurant partners with Greener Fields Together to provide safe, sustainable produce from Jaemor Farms, Parker Farms, Coggins Farm and Southern Valley Farms in Georgia.” The new location also sources its all-natural chicken from Springer Mountain Farms, Fiddler bourbon from ASW Distillery and draft beers from Scofflaw Brewing Co., Monday Night Brewing and SweetWater Brewing Co., keeping things exceptionally local.

Nuevo Laredo Cantina is one of the oldest—and most beloved—spots on the Upper Westside. PHOTO: COURTESY OF NUEVO LAREDO CANTINA
Nuevo Laredo Cantina is one of the oldest—and most beloved—spots on the Upper Westside.

Upon first opening, Nuevo Laredo primarily was feeding businesses in the area and patrons who had followed them from U.S. Bar Y Grill. Says Ashley Evans, vice president, “Our community has grown, as has our customer base. I think our food continues to stand the test of time, and we are glad that Atlantans do too.”

Craig Koch, founder and CEO of WAGA-LOT, inside his company’s new Upper Westside location PHOTO: BY CHRISTINA HILL
Craig Koch, founder and CEO of WAGA-LOT, inside his company’s new Upper Westside location PHOTO: BY CHRISTINA HILL

Of course, one can’t speak of the Upper Westside without mentioning one of its oldest spots, Nuevo Laredo Cantina (nuevolaredocantina.com), which has been on Chattahoochee Avenue since 1993. Says Vice President Ashley Evans, “The amount of growth—especially in the last 10 years—on the Upper Westside has been exponential! This area has gone from a primarily industrial area to a vibrant community filled with homes, families, shopping, restaurants and more. This side of Atlanta is one of the last few areas inside the perimeter that is left to develop, and it is happening now.” You heard her—get in on the Upper Westside while you still can.



Photography by: From top: courtesy of The Works ATL; courtesy of Ted's Montana Grill; courtesy of Nuevo Lardo Cantina; by Christina Hill