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Friday, August 26, 2011

Party at Ponce will be more like Shindig off North

Big sign for a big party
  • Young Tommy Wheatley
  • Big sign for a big party
It'll be a solid two or three years until the recently privatized City Hall East is ready for full-scale habitation as Ponce City Market, but the building's new owners, Cobb-based Jamestown Properties, aim to keep the project in the public consciousness by throwing a big bash.

They're calling the Oct. 1 event Party at Ponce, but the soiree will actually be held mostly in the parking area off North Avenue that's nestled in the "U" formed by the wings of the edifice. Perhaps it should more accurately be named Old Fourth Ward Wingding.

At any rate, the whoop dee doo will feature home-grown entertainment headlined by Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins and Francine Reed; food samplings from some of Atlanta's top chefs (several of whom also happen to be Jamestown tenants; and tours of the two-million-square-foot former Sears regional distribution center.

(Trivia bonus: Amy Ray says the building has personal meaning for her because her mother worked there when it was owned by Sears. Who knew?)

Tickets for the event are $85 a pop, with proceeds benefiting the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and Georgia Organics. So far, about 1,000 tickets have been sold, a spokeswoman says, with a total expected attendance of about 2,500.

What do you get for that? Besides the musical performances — which will take place on a stage formed by the building's loading docks — there will be food from the likes of, oh, let's just give you the list:

• Kevin Rathbun of Rathbun's
• Anne Quatrano of Bacchanalia
• Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene
• Shaun Doty of Yeah! Burger
• Jay Swift of 4th and Swift
• Hugh Acheson of Empire State South
• Ford Fry of JCT Kitchen
• Duane Nutter of One Flew South
• Brian Jones of the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta
• Joe Truex of Watershed

…as well as a number of food trucks. Hmm, there's no mention of beverages on the website and I forgot to ask, but it seems safe to assume they wouldn't want you to get parched.

As for the building tours, they'll only last 15 minutes or so the night of the event, and are first-come-first served. To get a better look at the place — and, take it from CL, it's worth a good look — you've got to sign up for the hour-long sessions that will be held the previous week, Sept. 22-25. The website promises "a peak into the many forgotten nooks and crannies of the building."

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