While rumors of both a 4 Rivers Smokehouse and a Guy Fieri operated establishment have been heard as replacements to the former H. Harper Station, the truth is thankfully far more organic. Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, which opened in the fall of 2014 on John Wesley Dobbs Avenue near the BeltLine's Eastside trail will open a spinoff in the space early next year.
An employee at Ladybird confirmed the new location and expected opening to me last night but was unaware of the exact theme or name of the new concept saying only that it will be "similar" to Ladybird. A real estate source who spoke on condition of anonymity given the deal was not yet public, indicated that a lease has been signed.
H. Harper Station closed this past April after about five years in business. H. Harper opened in place of The Depot Bar & Restaurant in the 80 year old former train depot building in Reynoldstown. The area has changed a great deal in those years and is likely to change even more in the years to come. As the grand vision for the BeltLine gets closer to fruition, it’s worth noting that a portion of the extension will pass right beside the former H. Harper station property at 904 Memorial Drive.
The property, like many in metro Atlanta, is owned and managed by Cartel Properties. While ownership at H. Harper Station claimed part of their reasoning for closing was increasing rent, Ladybird has had the kind of success that will likely allow owner Michael Lennox to pony up premium rent.
The restaurant, which aims to be "base came for the urban explorer" is easily one the most popular eateries to be located along the BeltLine. Located at mile marker 9.25, Ladybird is open six days a week and serves lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The space features a large patio for al fresco dining with access and views of the BeltLine. Earlier this spring, Lennox added a bar, ping pong tables, and room for live music to the popular establishment.
What elements of Ladybird would you like to see recreated at the new establishment? What is your favorite restaurant or bar along the BeltLine? If you are a fan of the BeltLine and want to see it completed, do you support it financially?
Please share your thoughts below.