Climbing out of a long period of steady decline, this is the latest addition to a growing list of gentrified Atlanta neighborhoods. As elsewhere, the process in East Atlanta is a slow one, and even as a solid collection of shops and restaurants gains a foothold in the blocks around the intersection of Flat Shoals and Glenwood Avenues, most of the surrounding area continues to struggle. Visitors to the area should not stray too far from the central business district, although its relatively safe and continually improving as more and more youngsters who can't stomach the price tags in Inman Park or Little Five Points buy up the areas modest housing.
Your shopping options are nice, if limited, representing an interesting mix of the commercial images of Little Five Points and Virginia-Highland. You'll find a few rag-tag vintage stores interspersed with such refined outlets as Verdio House for artistic pieces and Village Wear for funky fashions. The unabashedly gay Mary's is a diminutive send-up of the thriving alternative clubs of Midtown, and seems oddly out of place. The Fountainhead, similarly, seems mislocated amid its earthy surroundings, yet draws a consistent poseur crowd. Generally, East Atlanta's watering holes lean toward the local, blue collar crowd, best typified in the long-standing and unchanged Flatiron Bar. As the area continues to attract young money, dining options will certainly expand, but for now the best choices are the Heaping Bowl & Brew, an organic-minded mixed bag of regional delights, and the popular local eatery/hangout Grant Central Pizza.