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What Businesses does the Market Village need?

As the Smyrna-Vinings area prepares to welcome a pair of new eating establishments, including one this coming week, another one bites the dust in Market Village.

As Smyrna-Vinings Patch reported last week, The Grape in Vinings Jubilee closed its doors to conclude 2011, but Paces Holding/Vinings Jubilee Property Manager Terri Hilderhoff promised that another eatery was ready to fill the space. It looks as if that restaurant will be the Atlanta-based Cafe At Pharr.

As reported Friday by What Now Atlanta, this will be location No. 5 for Cafe At Pharr. There are currently locations in Buckhead, Chastain and Miami Circle with a Brookhaven spot on the way.

Close by is the Vinings Fish Company. and , both a part of the Great Food Group Inc., which is set next week to open up it’s latest restaurant, Dos Amigos Cantina at 2590 Spring Road in Smyrna.

Located in the former Folks space, the upscale Mexican restaurant features a logo of two friends riding horseback into the sunset. Spicy is nice as the menu includes everything from smoked chicken empanadas to braised brisket tacos to El Patricio Grande burritos and so much more.

And with 36 different tequilas, a margarita would appear to be a must. The restaurant is set to open on Thursday, Jan. 19 and is expected to have created 40-50 new jobs in the Jonquil City.

That’s a good thing because the conclusion of December also saw owners Howard and Krissa Garnell close the doors for good at in Smyrna’s Market Village. Café Michael had been in this previous spot and both eateries had a loyal fanbase.

This past week, Smyrna resident Jay Scott was caught by surprise to find the restaurant closed when he stopped by for lunch.

“I’ve been coming here pretty regularly for about a year he said. “It was excellent food and the service was really good. I thought it was going to make it.

The Garnells could not be reached for comment. There has been speculation from those close to the Market Village retail climate that a new restaurant would soon take its place. One of those mentioned is located within the same building. A Zucca representative could not be reached by Patch on Friday afternoon.

There continues to concern from city officials and residents about the number of empty retail spaces in the Market Village, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary of opening this year.

“For Lease’’ signs are common throughout the downtown complex, which consists of six buildings with five different owners, none of which are the city. The overall rate of retail vacancy in the city is 20 percent, but in the Market Village it is 40 percent. There's little doubt the prolonged swoon in the economy has hurt small business retail stores in the Market Village.

The owners control the rent, and they have reportedly dropped their rates from the once $20 per square foot they once charged. The city did help stage an open house for prospective businesses during the Fall Jonquil Festival, but most owners are not ready to expand or open in the Market Village.

Some encouraging news is that the building owner where the Snap Fitness closed last March, has finished reworking the terms of ownership with the bank and can again market the retail spaces after being prevented from signing new leases for much of 2011.

“I keep waiting for this area to have a moment kind of like Little 5 Points or the Virginia-Highlands,’’ said Scott. “It doesn’t ever seem to catch. I’d like to see it more like Atlantic Station where they combine a variety of restaurants and businesses that appeal to people from a variety of different economic backgrounds. That way we could get every part of the tax base going in one area.”

You’re never going to get a large market like a Trader Joe’s or such, but some suggestions here at Patch for what's best for the Market Village have included a children’s hair salon, bookstore/coffeeshop, or a small, full-time, local food cooperative.

In our August story on the Market Viallge, Patch user J. Mitchell commented:

Ten Realistic Retail Themes for a Vibrant Downtown

1. Lifestyle and wellness retail
2. Community gathering place businesses
3. Retailers that celebrate local heritage
4. Stores that entertain
5. Stores that celebrate local arts
6. Stores that educate
7. Stores with a community and global perspective
8. Gift and indulgences stores
9. Unique destination retailers
10. Neighborhood-services retailers

 So, what business would you like to see in Smyrna's Market Village?

Hunt Archbold (Editor) January 15, 2012 at 07:23 PM
On our facebook page, Betsy Newton Kelley wrote: "Once again, it's important to support your local businesses to keep your money in the community."
Amy January 16, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Something like Eddie's Attic. That old Red Door space was pretty large... It would be awesome to have an artist's music venue in Smyrna. We have tried going to Atkins Park for the music, but it is more of a hookup scene. Which there isn't anything wrong with (those dollars spend as well as any other). But I'd love a place nearby to chill and see good quality acts.
smyrnawife January 16, 2012 at 04:25 PM
The last thing it needs is another gift store. Clearly J.Mitchell doesn't remember it already had those and they went out of business. Not to mention the other ones located nearby like Freckled Frog that closed. Love Street and other shops fill this nicely. It needs things that will bring more traffic. -Another quick lunch option for all of the business workers in the area. -bakery or bagel store -yogurt/ice cream -dentist -accessory store -sporting goods or running store -bar with live music. (not restaurant that serves alcohol and squeezes in music)
Amy January 16, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Also, we need to bring back those Sunday afternoon concerts. They seemed to bring a lot of people in, and the gelato store (now closed) looked to get pretty good business on those days. I know they stopped because of sponsor funding, but they were great.
Roger N January 16, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Sporting goods store would be great, also a craft beer/brewing supply store like Hop City. And yes, a real live music venue where the emphasis is on the music.
Neal Dow January 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM
The question isn't what businesses does Mostly Vacant need but why has the mayor allowed Mostly Vacant to become just that.
Neal Dow January 17, 2012 at 12:52 AM
And before certain Smyrna residents become apoplectic - if the mayor is going to quickly claim credit for anything positive in this city he needs to as quickly claim responsiblity if there are problems.
Susan January 17, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Zoe's Kitchen Yogurt or Ice Cream Deli
Mike January 18, 2012 at 05:07 PM
You know what I think would help? A Smyrna "Shuttle"..where residents can hop in and go to the Smyrna Village and other areas without having to hop in their cars. That would keep a flow of people in hopefully and it could be a welcome option for seniors as well. Its clear something isn't working which is a shame since its such a great area. Maybe they should have more "tastings" or maybe food discounts for Smyrna residents that live in city limits. 10% off could sway some city residents.
Chuck January 19, 2012 at 05:51 PM
Something like a Kilwin's Chocolate shop would do well in Smyrna. That place is one of the reasons I go to Atlantic Station. Ice cream and freshly made chocolates! Sipping wine at The Wine Cellar while having some Kilwins would be ideal. Or perhaps a Ben and Jerry's.
Edward Gaulrapp January 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM
I agree with all the preceding comments and will also add that I think the Wine Cellars, already within Smyrna’s Market Village, fits many categories! “Educational” wine classes, wines by the glass and free “tastings” on Saturdays, game night for that sense of “community”, hostess “gifts,” and “music” once a month. See you at the Wine Cellars and all the other great establishments within the SMV!
Erik Fernald January 22, 2012 at 02:45 PM
anyone interested in a bagel and deli shop where the gelato place was please let me know....I could open one if the rent is reasonable. A good quick bite for breakfast and lunch in a small space can work there. I used to own a pizzeria down town and have run a deli before. I will run it if I can get 1 or 2 financial partners with about $15-$20k of operating capital.
Kimberly Busbee Reynolds January 25, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I'd love to see a bagel shop, music venue, Wild Wing Cafe (or Bru's Room for those familiar with the S. Florida icon), children's hair salon, deli/soup shop, Kilwin's chocolate & ice cream, craft beer store, tapas restaurant. I would also love to see a dedicated car service to and from the village. Maybe 5 mile radius, flat fee one way.
RDA March 07, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Most post are asking for another food establishment. Does anyone feel a fine jewelry store would do well here?

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