What’s a common place embedded in a neighborhood where everyone can pop in? A place that might also allow the family pooch? An establishment that offers free WiFi? Perhaps this place also is unique in design, it used to be a gas station or a yoga studio. It’s a place to hear a live acoustic set or hangs artwork from local creatives. It might also allow you to work on your motorcycle. It’s real. It’s a place that offers a hometown themed latte or chai. It’s the independently owned neighborhood coffeeshop.
Atlanta has many historic neighborhoods and communities each with a backstory. Many of these neighborhoods have changed since 1996. That’s the year the Summer Olympics were held and it’s also a metric that’s used to describe how Atlanta began to shape into a developing uncertain metropolis. Many of Atlanta’s neighborhoods are at the intersection of new development and displacement.
Closer Look wanted to go to these neighborhoods and discuss the past, present and future for its residents and small businesses. So, we researched and we asked about independently owned neighborhood coffeeshops. We recorded Coffee Conversations live at the coffeeshop. We spoke with the owners, residents, city council representatives, neighborhood business owners, neighborhood associations and customers. We focused on the coffeeshop community to held guide the conversations. Why did the owners pick these neighborhoods and how has the coffeeshop become a part of the community. We met small business owners just opening up, we spoke to residents concerned about the negative impact of gentrification, we explored how one coffeeshop is literally an international gathering house for it’s community that features more than 60 languages spoken, we challenged elected officials to discuss their initiatives for the specific community and we celebrated an annual event called House In the Park, a yearly staple in the Atlanta music scene that’s become a “movement” for specific neighborhood. Online we presented all of the live broadcasts with a slide show of photos, a promotional video and a map of the coffeeshops. We asked the community to submit their questions and recommend a coffeeshop.