Monday, November 8, 2010

After Short Rest, Park Bench Getting Back in the Game in Buckhead

Longtime Buckhead watering hole Park Bench on East Paces Ferry closed abruptly a few months ago, but a new location may finally be on the horizon. Despite the fact that they seemed to never really use the entire space on East Paces, Park Bench will re-open at 34 Irby Avenue in a 6,600 s/f space that most recently was Cucine LUBE of Atlanta, before which it was a Storehouse Furniture outlet of sorts. Renovations and permitting were delayed by objections from area neighbors related to noise and traffic. With the understanding that much of the bar's parking will be handled at the nearby Whole Foods deck, it seems the last hurdle was passed. The location is less than a half mile from their old location and is surrounded by would-be competition from the likes of The Pool Hall and Five Paces Inn. In its old location, it seemed at times to have a pretty steady crowd late nights on weekends and may very well have done better were they open now with the added traffic created by the opening of Buckhead Bottle Bar. Instead, they will open in a heavy bar district while Al's Cafe Agora expands into a portion of their old space. (According to Al, this expansion should start by year end and hopefully be completed by May.) With the space wrapped in butcher paper, its hard to get a true sense for the progress being made but some sources say they could be open by as soon as January, if not by year end. ToNeTo Atlanta

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