Once a drab shell of hollowed warehouses and industrial artifacts from Atlanta’s manufacturing heyday, the Westside has reemerged in recent years with a live, work, play mantra and a hefty platter of top-tier dining, arts, and nightlife destinations for the city at large. Indie art galleries banded together with the communities and other institutions to establish the Westside Arts District, and large, mixed-use developments such as Atlantic Station and the Westside Provisions District have helped reclaim some of the most derelict expanses. With a growing number of young, ambitious professionals choosing to call the area home, this long-overlooked expanse of western ATL seems primed for yet another chapter of growth and revitalization.
The trendy, inexpensive boutique is a stone's throw from the Emory University campus and attracts an undergrad clientele. Sorry fellas, but this brick and mortar is for the ladies, packed with garments for every season and accessories to match.
When mother Ettie Wurtzel and daughter Talia Wurtzel Blanchard opened Squash Blossom in Decatur in 1999, they must have known they were on to something special. More than a decade later, the ladies are striking the perfect balance between funky one-of-a-kind pieces and wearable designer gems. Think of a better-quality Decatur version of Anthropology with brands like Free People and Prairie Underground. The shabby-chic store with exposed brick walls is packed with stylish finds — if you prefer the low-maintenance boho-chic style of Rachel Zoe over the skintight cocktail dresses of a Real Housewife, then this is the store for you. Squash Blossom's stylish staffers act as a stand-in for personal shoppers, telling you the truth about how those Mia & Moss jeans actually make your butt look. The clothes can be pricey, but with a sale rack with duds up to 70 percent off, you can have your maxi dress and wear it, too.
Since 1957, this brick-and-mortar collection of tactical military gear and vintage clothing has found fans among veterans, fashion enthusiasts, and hipsters alike. Combat knife? Check. Pea coat a la the U.S. Navy? Yeah, they have that, too.
This easy-access storefront gift shop specializes in a collection of items from independent designers, including jewelry, accessories, apothecary, and goods for your home. The space is bright and open, with the original tile flooring from the early-20th-century building, and architectural details from the era to match.
This tiny, nontraditional music venue located in, yes, a former neighborhood grocery store curates and hosts intimate performances of independent singer-songwriters. Attendance is limited and RSVPs are required.
Originally a cotton-gin manufacturer, the Goat Farm is a Westside haven for working artists and performance companies, a frequent location for movie shoots (cough cough, Hunger Games, cough cough), and a great live music venue.
The structure at 72 Marietta St. was once home to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. In recent years, Atlanta's Office of Cultural Affairs overhauled the building inside and out. The resulting gallery is home to a variety of rotating exhibitions and performances in the converted lobby area.
Wild Bill’s is a sanctuary for suburban cowpokes in search of line-dancing, fight nights, and concerts from such country and western stars as Pat Green and Miranda Lambert. The staff even takes down the mechanical bull for fight nights, and the venue has hosted concerts by the likes of Foreigner and Skid Row. If you’re nostalgic for the era of stone-washed jeans and ladies with bangs teased to the ceiling, welcome home.