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Food Issue - Like a boss

Three Atlanta restaurant professionals speak about their over-the-top love affairs with tailgating

Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q co-owner Jonathan Fox loves food and the Atlanta Falcons.

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Before we opened the restaurant, the dishes evolved by cooking on Saturdays for college football, whether it was at a game or in my backyard. That's how a lot of our recipes evolved. I've been an Atlanta Falcons season ticket holder for four years, so I've been tailgating ever since. The restaurant has been open for eight years. As soon as we got time to free ourselves up from the store and got to have fun and do fun things, we started taking tailgating a little more seriously.

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Last year, we had a really large tailgate. We probably had 75 people out there and co-branded it with the Falcons. We had a full barbecue buffet, a DJ, Falcons cheerleaders, and Freddie the Falcon out there. On the buffet, we had 40 racks of ribs, a couple hundred pounds of wings, a couple hundred pounds of brisket, mac and cheese, potato salad, and coleslaw. We had a bar setup, so we had shots going. We had mixed drinks with seven or eight bottles of Cathead Vodka. We had two large smokers; we went through two kegs, one being from SweetWater because the guys behind it were there. We were doing Whynatte Latte shots because those guys were out there too. We had T-shirts, hats, and tickets for everybody.

??
We don't really travel to away games, but we will get groups together and tailgate. There can be anywhere from 12 to 15 people on a small occasion and probably 30 people on the bigger games. We're friends with Kevin Rathbun, so we've been tailgating with the crew that comes out with him. He's a big tailgater, as well. Our season tickets are all in the same section together.

??
We kicked off this year with ribs. Since it was a Monday night game, we tried to get down there a little earlier in the day. Everyone thought about cheese steak, but ... we decided to keep it simple with finger foods and everybody loves ribs. We took a smoker down there and cooked off ... about 12-15 racks of ribs.

??
It's obviously a meat-topia kinda event. We'll feature some kinda meat whether it's ribs, tenderloin, prime rib, fried catfish ... Sometimes we go into regional dishes. Or if we have friends that are fans of the opponent we'll ask what they would like to see. Like if it's the Saints there might be some Cajun stuff ... I was a Cowboys fan while I was living in Texas, but, we are the official barbecue for the Atlanta Falcons and I am a season ticket holder, so my allegiance is to the Falcons. I still watch the Cowboys, but I think because I've lived here for so long I tend care more and more about what the Falcons are doing.

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Victory Brands manager/bartender and lifelong Braves fan Martin Hwang describes his epic opening day tailgate tradition.

??
This year I bought 80 tickets, and ... what we do is charge a set price for anyone who wants to attend that covers all the booze you want, all the food. It's pretty awesome. This year my friends and I ended up with about 120 tailgaters.

??
When it first started out, probably about five years ago at this point, it was definitely a small, low-key thing in the Blue Lot at Turner Field ... and then we just kinda made it a thing every single year and always went back for Opening Day. ... We love baseball and it's just slowly grown. It gets bigger and more debaucherous every single year.

??
Years before we've had caterers, live music, some sort of entertainment like cornhole ... This year, we didn't buy the Bubba Burgers or anything, we made 200 burgers by hand.

??
We bought about 1,000 Miller High Lifes and 20 bottles of liquor. It took three or four cars to get all the beer there. There just weren't enough vehicles. We had about six or seven coolers but that wasn't enough space to store all of the beer. We gave specific instructions on not to bring anything, because we had everything covered, yet people still continued to bring booze. ... We had enough Miller High Life left over after stocking the coolers to essentially create a Throne of Highlife, which was pretty awesome and extremely comfortable even though they were all really wet.

??
Our tailgate has become something that people talk about, and it's because we make it so easy to find. We attach the American and POW flag to my Jeep. This year, it was on top of a 16-foot pole that my buddy made from aluminum that's designed for planes and whatnot. Next year, we plan to rack it up about 20 feet so people will be able to see it anywhere. We might have to get a bigger flag.

??
The Braves have always been my home team. I was born and raised on them. I remember watching Smoltz, Madden. I remember when they got the World Series. ... Talking about the Braves moving out of town is very personal, I get both sides. But, next year, we're going to try to be better for opening day and continue when they move to Cobb County, but the last day at Turner Field will be nothing but debauchery. Hopefully the Braves will make the playoffs, but we'll definitely make the last game a thing.

??


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Sommelier-at-large Stuart White and his anti-fair-weather-fan tailgate crew are major Atlanta Falcons supporters — and they've got the custom suits to prove it.

??
We call ourselves the Red Suit Crew (#redsuitcrew): Greg Teyf, Khanan Teyf, Saurabh Puri, Justin Holloman, Daniel Long, Penny Long, Chuck Heyen ... We got the suits made in 2012. The Falcons had lost to Green Bay horribly, and halfway through the game most of the Falcons fans had left. It was ugly. People started talking about how terrible Atlanta fans are. So we were really pissed off because ... even if it's a shitty season of football, we still go. Personally, I've only missed maybe four Matt Ryan-games. So, we decided we had to do something to give people something positive to talk about. So I thought, let's do a red suit and red gator shoes. ... People look at us like we're crazy especially in the beginning of the season because it's hot outside.

??
There's a lot of prep that goes into tailgating, because you want to have a meal that you can put together quickly and nothing more to do than that. We don't just take Publix hotdog buns and throw them in a skillet. We'll spend several hours ahead of time. And, for playoff games, we'll really throw it down.

??
The last game of the season last year, we made some crazy shrimp and grits ... I've got a crazy chili recipe that I've been doing for five years now, and random people will come up to me asking, 'What week are gonna cook the chili?' ... I usually make burgers from local grass-fed beef and use Pine Street Market bacon. We'll buy local stuff whenever we can. I try to do that with everything I buy. Not to be cheesy, but it's kind of farm-to-tailgate.

??
I do most of the beverage stuff. Typically, it's before noon when we get to the Dome, so you can see me making a lot of Bloody Marys. I try to make some suppressor cocktails, which are lower alcohol drinks. That's because it's so early, and you don't want to get black-out drunk before the game, which is really easy to do. I use the low-alcohol grapefruit beer Stiegl Radler to make cocktails a lot. Gin, Campari, and Stiegel is my go-to cocktail.

??
Daniel Long, who is a mechanic, bought a short school bus and it's completely decked out with Falcons. It's totally professionally done. There's Falcons memorabilia in there and everything you could possibly need for tailgating. We roll up in that to away games. This year, we're going to Nashville when the Falcons take on the Titans.

??
Hopefully, one day, we'll be able to wear our suits at the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is going to be in Atlanta in 2018, and no team has ever played in the Super Bowl the year it came to their hometown. And for the Falcons, you never know. That would be something.



More By This Writer

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  string(7394) "Nuri’s activist roots trace back to the early days of the Black Power Movement. “In order to build a nation, you have to be able to feed and clothe your people,” he says. While managing Georgia’s Nation of Islam farm in the 1970s, he was doing just that, working toward black liberation with a medium he knew well: farming.

Back in the 1960s, Nuri gained a bachelor’s degree in political science from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in plant and soil science from the University of Massachusetts. From there, he traveled to Ghana and Nigeria to build gardens and became the deputy administrator in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration. His goal is and always has been black self-sufficiency, but he recognizes that it’s not easy for African-Americans to become farmers. In addition to lack of land access and capital, there are the vocation’s deep-seated connotations. As Nuri says, “It reminds black people of slavery.”

Whitney Jaye, a network organizer for the Southeastern African-American Farmers’s Organics Network (SAAFON) and a board member of Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative, agrees that farming carries “historical trauma” for black people. However, in rural Georgia, there are black farmers who have owned land for generations and are fighting to keep it. “Our network farmers need farm help, business help, and an organization that can provide opportunities for them to connect to each other,” says Jaye.



LEAFY GREENS: SAAFON member Hilton Graham of Oak Tree Farm in Jacksonville, Georgia tends to a crop of kale.

Terry Hayes

Though they’ve typically focused on rural areas, SAAFON is now starting to build infrastructure in support of urban farming, opening up the vocation to city dwellers. But with this goal comes new challenges. Land in urban areas is expensive, so if someone doesn’t have the privilege of generational wealth or access to initial funds for equipment, they are already behind. Then, says Jaye, black farmers have to “build the social capital to be able to sell to restaurants and chefs who, more times than not, buy from folks in their social circle.” With Atlanta’s restaurants dominated mostly by white men, building those relationships is a process within itself.

After returning to Georgia in 2004, Nuri became Georgia Organics’ only black board member at the time. Knowing this lack of representation didn’t mean a lack of existence, he immediately began seeking out other young black farmers in the area. Once they showed up, he says, “I put a shovel or hose in their hand and tell them to get to work.”

By 2006, Nuri had founded Truly Living Well Farm (TLW) in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. His goal? To provide fresh food to the community while also educating and demonstrating how farming could be profitable and sustainable in metropolitan areas. Although TLW had to relocate to the West End because of development, TLW continues to mentor young people and their communities. Nuri’s hope is to build a bridge across “diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.”

Chris Edwards of Mayflor Farms in Stockbridge is a former mentee of Nuri’s. He grew up in a family of farmers, and after completing a degree in ethnobotany (the study of how people and different cultures use indigenous plants) in Ghana, he moved back to Georgia to find a job. When he stumbled upon TLW, he says, he was embraced by Nuri and his staff. Working there not only improved Edwards’ urban farming skills, but also taught him about nonprofit functionality, as well as how to maneuver around the government. Nuri is proud of how far his mentee has come since going out on his own with Mayflor Farms. "Chris is more than adequately implementing the plan that I gave him,” he says.

Recently, Atlanta’s Community Farmers Market (CFM), where Nuri now serves as a board member, made a conscious effort to diversify by eliminating financial barriers for minorities, waiving the $125 vendor fee for farmers of color, women, and first-year registrants. But Edwards says that while this is a move in the right direction, he can still count all of the black farmers he knows on one hand. “I knew I was the token black farmer,” he says. “I’m not dumb.” Jaye adds that it takes radical actions to confront this disparity: “It is not just about letting black farmers in the markets. We have to ask ourselves, how can we create more?”

PLANTING SEEDS: Chris Edwards of Mayflor Farms in Stockbridge, Georgia, is one of Nuri's mentees.

Joeff Davis

Andrea Blanton, the educational chef for CFM, has drawn from her own experiences as a black woman to help make the markets more comfortable spaces for black farmers. “I make sure their location preferences are given and I help them with their displays,” she says, explaining that a better produce display means better visibility. Yet Blanton recalls moments over the years when her blackness didn’t seem welcome in the farming community, and one morning in particular when she held a chef demo at one of Atlanta’s whiter, more affluent markets. Upon arrival, she was met with hostility from the market’s manager, a white man. “He was being very rude to me, like he had no idea who I was or why I was there.” These feelings of unwelcomeness are a common theme among Blanton’s fellow black farmers, and prevent some of them from approaching Atlanta markets at all. But still, she says, “Most of the time, it’s worth it.”

Encouraging black people to farm and sell their products at very white markets is one hurdle, but getting black communities to appreciate locally-grown food is another, Edwards adds. Like any industry, people tend to buy from those they know, which often translates to those who look like them. “Buying black” has been a motto for the black community since before Nuri’s days as a Black Panther, and Edwards wishes Mayflor Farms could survive on black business alone, but that’s never proven to be feasible. Most of the folks shopping around the West End Farmers Market are black, but foot traffic remains relatively slow, even despite CFM’s doubling of S.N.A.P. benefits. “I don’t sell there because that’s not a viable market,” says Edwards. “There’s not enough money.” 

Fifty years into his career, getting black people to embrace farming and the fresh, local produce that comes from it remains Nuri’s biggest goal. “I am on a laser-pointed mission, and I am undeterred in my work,” he says. “I see the community already. It just needs to grow. I will always be in the food business. It’s my career, and it’s my life.”

Of course, it’s not just up to black people to make black farmers feel welcome in Atlanta. It’s up to everyone, and that means making a concerted effort. At Grant Park Farmers Market, Jaye suggests buying from black vendors like Urban Sprout Farms, Mena’s Garden, and Mayflor Farms. Strolling through Freedom Farmers Market on a Saturday, stop at Truly Living Well and Grow Where You Are. “You can even reach out to farmers and buy directly from them,” she says. For example, Gilliam’s Community Garden sells turkeys and other custom-order meats, and Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative (SWAG) can connect consumers directly to a number of black-owned farms and gardens."
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Back in the 1960s, Nuri gained a bachelor’s degree in political science from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in plant and soil science from the University of Massachusetts. From there, he traveled to Ghana and Nigeria to build gardens and became the deputy administrator in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration. His goal is and always has been black self-sufficiency, but he recognizes that it’s not easy for African-Americans to become farmers. In addition to lack of land access and capital, there are the vocation’s deep-seated connotations. As Nuri says, “It reminds black people of slavery.”

Whitney Jaye, a network organizer for the Southeastern African-American Farmers’s Organics Network (SAAFON) and a board member of Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative, agrees that farming carries “historical trauma” for black people. However, in rural Georgia, there are black farmers who have owned land for generations and are fighting to keep it. “Our network farmers need farm help, business help, and an organization that can provide opportunities for them to connect to each other,” says Jaye.

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LEAFY GREENS: SAAFON member Hilton Graham of Oak Tree Farm in Jacksonville, Georgia tends to a crop of kale.

Terry Hayes

Though they’ve typically focused on rural areas, SAAFON is now starting to build infrastructure in support of urban farming, opening up the vocation to city dwellers. But with this goal comes new challenges. Land in urban areas is expensive, so if someone doesn’t have the privilege of generational wealth or access to initial funds for equipment, they are already behind. Then, says Jaye, black farmers have to “build the social capital to be able to sell to restaurants and chefs who, more times than not, buy from folks in their social circle.” With Atlanta’s restaurants dominated mostly by white men, building those relationships is a process within itself.

After returning to Georgia in 2004, Nuri became Georgia Organics’ only black board member at the time. Knowing this lack of representation didn’t mean a lack of existence, he immediately began seeking out other young black farmers in the area. Once they showed up, he says, “I put a shovel or hose in their hand and tell them to get to work.”

By 2006, Nuri had founded Truly Living Well Farm (TLW) in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. His goal? To provide fresh food to the community while also educating and demonstrating how farming could be profitable and sustainable in metropolitan areas. Although TLW had to relocate to the West End because of development, TLW continues to mentor young people and their communities. __Nuri’s hope is to build a bridge across “diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.”__

Chris Edwards of Mayflor Farms in Stockbridge is a former mentee of Nuri’s. He grew up in a family of farmers, and after completing a degree in ethnobotany (the study of how people and different cultures use indigenous plants) in Ghana, he moved back to Georgia to find a job. When he stumbled upon TLW, he says, he was embraced by Nuri and his staff. Working there not only improved Edwards’ urban farming skills, but also taught him about nonprofit functionality, as well as how to maneuver around the government. Nuri is proud of how far his mentee has come since going out on his own with Mayflor Farms. "Chris is more than adequately implementing the plan that I gave him,” he says.

Recently, Atlanta’s Community Farmers Market (CFM), where Nuri now serves as a board member, made a conscious effort to diversify by eliminating financial barriers for minorities, waiving the $125 vendor fee for farmers of color, women, and first-year registrants. But Edwards says that while this is a move in the right direction, he can still count all of the black farmers he knows on one hand. __“I knew I was the token black farmer,” he says. “I’m not dumb.” __Jaye adds that it takes radical actions to confront this disparity: “It is not just about letting black farmers in the markets. We have to ask ourselves, how can we create more?”

{img src="https://cdn.creativeloafing.com/files/base/scomm/clatl/image/2017/12/640w/Chris_Edwards_048.5a3c4aa7c479c.jpg"}PLANTING SEEDS: Chris Edwards of Mayflor Farms in Stockbridge, Georgia, is one of Nuri's mentees.

Joeff Davis

Andrea Blanton, the educational chef for CFM, has drawn from her own experiences as a black woman to help make the markets more comfortable spaces for black farmers. “I make sure their [location] preferences are given and I help them with their displays,” she says, explaining that a better produce display means better visibility. Yet Blanton recalls moments over the years when her blackness didn’t seem welcome in the farming community, and one morning in particular when she held a chef demo at one of Atlanta’s whiter, more affluent markets. Upon arrival, she was met with hostility from the market’s manager, a white man. “He was being very rude to me, like he had no idea who I was or why I was there.” These feelings of unwelcomeness are a common theme among Blanton’s fellow black farmers, and prevent some of them from approaching Atlanta markets at all. But still, she says, “Most of the time, it’s worth it.”

Encouraging black people to farm and sell their products at very white markets is one hurdle, but getting black communities to appreciate locally-grown food is another, Edwards adds. Like any industry, people tend to buy from those they know, which often translates to those who look like them. __“Buying black” has been a motto for the black community since before Nuri’s days as a Black Panther, and Edwards wishes Mayflor Farms could survive on black business alone, but that’s never proven to be feasible.__ Most of the folks shopping around the West End Farmers Market are black, but foot traffic remains relatively slow, even despite CFM’s doubling of S.N.A.P. benefits. __“I don’t sell there because that’s not a viable market,” says Edwards. “There’s not enough money.” __

__Fifty years into his career, getting black people to embrace farming and the fresh, local produce that comes from it remains Nuri’s biggest goal. “I am on a laser-pointed mission, and I am undeterred in my work,” he says. “I see [the community] already. It just needs to grow. I will always be in the food business. It’s my career, and it’s my life.”__

Of course, it’s not just up to black people to make black farmers feel welcome in Atlanta. __It’s up to everyone, and that means making a concerted effort.__ At Grant Park Farmers Market, Jaye suggests buying from black vendors like Urban Sprout Farms, Mena’s Garden, and Mayflor Farms. Strolling through Freedom Farmers Market on a Saturday, stop at Truly Living Well and Grow Where You Are. “You can even reach out to farmers and buy directly from them,” she says. For example, Gilliam’s Community Garden sells turkeys and other custom-order meats, and Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative (SWAG) can connect consumers directly to a number of black-owned farms and gardens."
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  string(8027) " Rashid Nuri Erik Meadows 4.5a3c4aa966de6  2018-02-05T02:31:22+00:00 Rashid_Nuri_Erik_Meadows_4.5a3c4aa966de6.jpg     How a small but mighty community is working to support and empower Georgia's black farmers 2501  2017-12-22T04:54:00+00:00 Farming while black ben.eason@creativeloafing.com Ben Eason Hillary Holley  2017-12-22T04:54:00+00:00  Nuri’s activist roots trace back to the early days of the Black Power Movement. “In order to build a nation, you have to be able to feed and clothe your people,” he says. While managing Georgia’s Nation of Islam farm in the 1970s, he was doing just that, working toward black liberation with a medium he knew well: farming.

Back in the 1960s, Nuri gained a bachelor’s degree in political science from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in plant and soil science from the University of Massachusetts. From there, he traveled to Ghana and Nigeria to build gardens and became the deputy administrator in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Clinton administration. His goal is and always has been black self-sufficiency, but he recognizes that it’s not easy for African-Americans to become farmers. In addition to lack of land access and capital, there are the vocation’s deep-seated connotations. As Nuri says, “It reminds black people of slavery.”

Whitney Jaye, a network organizer for the Southeastern African-American Farmers’s Organics Network (SAAFON) and a board member of Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative, agrees that farming carries “historical trauma” for black people. However, in rural Georgia, there are black farmers who have owned land for generations and are fighting to keep it. “Our network farmers need farm help, business help, and an organization that can provide opportunities for them to connect to each other,” says Jaye.



LEAFY GREENS: SAAFON member Hilton Graham of Oak Tree Farm in Jacksonville, Georgia tends to a crop of kale.

Terry Hayes

Though they’ve typically focused on rural areas, SAAFON is now starting to build infrastructure in support of urban farming, opening up the vocation to city dwellers. But with this goal comes new challenges. Land in urban areas is expensive, so if someone doesn’t have the privilege of generational wealth or access to initial funds for equipment, they are already behind. Then, says Jaye, black farmers have to “build the social capital to be able to sell to restaurants and chefs who, more times than not, buy from folks in their social circle.” With Atlanta’s restaurants dominated mostly by white men, building those relationships is a process within itself.

After returning to Georgia in 2004, Nuri became Georgia Organics’ only black board member at the time. Knowing this lack of representation didn’t mean a lack of existence, he immediately began seeking out other young black farmers in the area. Once they showed up, he says, “I put a shovel or hose in their hand and tell them to get to work.”

By 2006, Nuri had founded Truly Living Well Farm (TLW) in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. His goal? To provide fresh food to the community while also educating and demonstrating how farming could be profitable and sustainable in metropolitan areas. Although TLW had to relocate to the West End because of development, TLW continues to mentor young people and their communities. Nuri’s hope is to build a bridge across “diverse cultures, backgrounds, and experiences.”

Chris Edwards of Mayflor Farms in Stockbridge is a former mentee of Nuri’s. He grew up in a family of farmers, and after completing a degree in ethnobotany (the study of how people and different cultures use indigenous plants) in Ghana, he moved back to Georgia to find a job. When he stumbled upon TLW, he says, he was embraced by Nuri and his staff. Working there not only improved Edwards’ urban farming skills, but also taught him about nonprofit functionality, as well as how to maneuver around the government. Nuri is proud of how far his mentee has come since going out on his own with Mayflor Farms. "Chris is more than adequately implementing the plan that I gave him,” he says.

Recently, Atlanta’s Community Farmers Market (CFM), where Nuri now serves as a board member, made a conscious effort to diversify by eliminating financial barriers for minorities, waiving the $125 vendor fee for farmers of color, women, and first-year registrants. But Edwards says that while this is a move in the right direction, he can still count all of the black farmers he knows on one hand. “I knew I was the token black farmer,” he says. “I’m not dumb.” Jaye adds that it takes radical actions to confront this disparity: “It is not just about letting black farmers in the markets. We have to ask ourselves, how can we create more?”

PLANTING SEEDS: Chris Edwards of Mayflor Farms in Stockbridge, Georgia, is one of Nuri's mentees.

Joeff Davis

Andrea Blanton, the educational chef for CFM, has drawn from her own experiences as a black woman to help make the markets more comfortable spaces for black farmers. “I make sure their location preferences are given and I help them with their displays,” she says, explaining that a better produce display means better visibility. Yet Blanton recalls moments over the years when her blackness didn’t seem welcome in the farming community, and one morning in particular when she held a chef demo at one of Atlanta’s whiter, more affluent markets. Upon arrival, she was met with hostility from the market’s manager, a white man. “He was being very rude to me, like he had no idea who I was or why I was there.” These feelings of unwelcomeness are a common theme among Blanton’s fellow black farmers, and prevent some of them from approaching Atlanta markets at all. But still, she says, “Most of the time, it’s worth it.”

Encouraging black people to farm and sell their products at very white markets is one hurdle, but getting black communities to appreciate locally-grown food is another, Edwards adds. Like any industry, people tend to buy from those they know, which often translates to those who look like them. “Buying black” has been a motto for the black community since before Nuri’s days as a Black Panther, and Edwards wishes Mayflor Farms could survive on black business alone, but that’s never proven to be feasible. Most of the folks shopping around the West End Farmers Market are black, but foot traffic remains relatively slow, even despite CFM’s doubling of S.N.A.P. benefits. “I don’t sell there because that’s not a viable market,” says Edwards. “There’s not enough money.” 

Fifty years into his career, getting black people to embrace farming and the fresh, local produce that comes from it remains Nuri’s biggest goal. “I am on a laser-pointed mission, and I am undeterred in my work,” he says. “I see the community already. It just needs to grow. I will always be in the food business. It’s my career, and it’s my life.”

Of course, it’s not just up to black people to make black farmers feel welcome in Atlanta. It’s up to everyone, and that means making a concerted effort. At Grant Park Farmers Market, Jaye suggests buying from black vendors like Urban Sprout Farms, Mena’s Garden, and Mayflor Farms. Strolling through Freedom Farmers Market on a Saturday, stop at Truly Living Well and Grow Where You Are. “You can even reach out to farmers and buy directly from them,” she says. For example, Gilliam’s Community Garden sells turkeys and other custom-order meats, and Southwest Atlanta Growers Cooperative (SWAG) can connect consumers directly to a number of black-owned farms and gardens.    Erik Meadows/CL File FIVE DECADES STRONG: Atlanta's OG of black farming, K. Rashid Nuri, at Truly Living Well's Old Fourth Ward farm.        20986853         http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2017/12/Rashid_Nuri_Erik_Meadows_4.5a3c4aa966de6.png                  Farming while black "
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Thursday December 21, 2017 11:54 pm EST
How a small but mighty community is working to support and empower Georgia's black farmers | more...
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It's Sunday morning on Edgewood Avenue. To-go boxes, plastic cups and water bottles are the only remnants of the late-night bar scene that dominated the street just hours before. Mothers, fathers and children navigate around to receive their weekly sermon from Boulevard's historic churches. At no other time can one witness so clearly the duality of Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. district and the gentrified Old Fourth Ward. But in between the old and new sits an outlier: Caf̩ 458, a Sundays-only, volunteer-run brunch spot where all proceeds go toward the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency. Unlike some restaurants on Edgewood Ave., Caf̩ 458's sole mission is inviting everyone inside, in the process providing aid to local homeless people through rapid rehousing, workforce development, veteran services, life stabilization and social enterprise in the process.

"First ticket for Solar Sunday!" front of house manager K.C. Myers shouts to her staff. "We are a little short on volunteers today because people are out of town for the solar eclipse." But Myers' face bears no signs of worry. A 20-plus-year restaurant veteran, she says her path toward nonprofit work began one day when she "began to feel unfulfilled in life and wanted to find meaningful work." Caf̩ 458 is where she landed.

Every Sunday, the little restaurant relies on volunteers in the front and back to run its often-busy brunch service. Some are repeat volunteers, but many are first timers. "I don't require any restaurant experience, but most of them are in the service industry," Myers explains. That said, "as a front of house manager, I have to be mentally prepared to do all of service by myself just in case."

Caf̩ 458 has a classic diner feel, with the kind of funk music that old folks play at fish fries and family reunions. Batdorf & Bronson's Ren Doughty provides organic coffee every week. The walls are blanketed with daily vegetable plate ingredients and other menu information written in rainbow-colored chalk. From younger, solo diners to elderly couples, all arrive hungry and eager to learn of ACSS and the work they do.

Chef Shane Devereux, who boasts credentials from Top Flr, the Lawrence, Barcelona Wine Bar and the Sound Table, delivers a simple 10-item brunch menu consisting largely of Southern staples such as chicken and waffles, spicy shrimp and grits, and biscuits with pepper gravy. The fresh, local and often donated ingredients bring a familiar comfort and satisfaction that pairs well with the caf̩'s soul-warming mission.

Husband and wife founders A.B. Short and Ann Connor began working with the homeless community back in 1981, but it wasn't until Short partnered with John Pickens, founder of the Georgia Justice Project, that Caf̩ 458 came to be. Believing that the restaurant's mission complemented Martin Luther King's Jr.'s teachings, the pair scouted out the civil rights leader's birthplace and opened their doors on Edgewood in January of 1988.

After 29 years, Caf̩ 458 continues to serve its cause. Mondays through Saturdays are "client-focused," meaning homeless people are invited every morning to come in for breakfast and, as ACSS's director of development marketing Stephanie Shapiro puts it, "break bread with our staff." Shapiro volunteers (often paying for her children's care while she's there) nearly every Sunday, as well. "Most people who come in heard about us on Yelp, so I'm there to let them know our history and what we are about," she says. "Caf̩ 458 ... it's like my child."

Her voice grows passionate as she begins speaking of the clients she serves. "When the homeless people come in for breakfast, they come in apologetic," she says, pointing to a widespread lack in confidence among homeless populations, due to society's heavy stigma. But, she adds, that stigma is misplaced. "If something happens, most people nowadays don't have a month of rent saved, so it can happen to anyone. And many people don't know this until they walk that walk."

Since 2010, with 10 percent of the ACSS' revenue coming from Caf̩ 458, the nonprofit has helped 1,208 homeless men and women secure full-time jobs, with wages averaging $9.41 an hour. More than 1,500 participants have completed the CareerWorks employment readiness program, which includes coursework and employment readiness training, job search assistance, help with professional appearance and housing placement. Self-sustainability is key at ACSS. Homeless people come into the office during the week to utilize the center's computer room. They update profiles and resumes and send out job applications. "We focus on sustainable jobs with benefits, guaranteed pay checks ... we also give out around 30,000 MARTA cards a year because to sustain a job you gotta be able to get there," Shapiro adds.

The ACSS also conducts drug tests, and despite typical assumptions, Shapiro says less than 10 percent test positive: "The people on Edgewood aren't here trying to score drugs; they are here because it's their home during the day ... They are couch surfing or sleeping in shelters at night." But if a homeless person walks in on a Sunday during the caf̩'s operating hours, they won't be denied. "People think the homeless people want a handout, but they want an open hand that reaches back. That's it. says Shapiro. "Many times, the homeless end up volunteering around the office. They will say, 'let me get that box for you, Ms. Stephanie.'"

Back at the caf̩, after boxing up the leftovers from a very large mozzarella and veggie frittata and thanking the volunteers for their service, I exit through the lobby. There, I meet another volunteer, Melissa Camilo, who says that a homeless man was just here. "When I went to tell K.C. Myers, she only asked for his name," she tells me. Myers already had an idea as to who it was: one of Caf̩ 458's VIPs (a title Shapiro gives to their homeless clients). Once the man's identity was confirmed, the manager explained that he was there simply because he's hungry. "Bring this out to him for me," she told the volunteer, handing her a plate of food.

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It's Sunday morning on Edgewood Avenue. To-go boxes, plastic cups and water bottles are the only remnants of the late-night bar scene that dominated the street just hours before. Mothers, fathers and children navigate around to receive their weekly sermon from Boulevard's historic churches. At no other time can one witness so clearly the duality of Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. district and the gentrified Old Fourth Ward. But in between the old and new sits an outlier: Caf̩ 458, a Sundays-only, volunteer-run brunch spot where all proceeds go toward the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency. Unlike some restaurants on Edgewood Ave., Caf̩ 458's sole mission is inviting everyone inside, in the process providing aid to local homeless people through rapid rehousing, workforce development, veteran services, life stabilization and social enterprise in the process.

"First ticket for Solar Sunday!" front of house manager K.C. Myers shouts to her staff. "We are a little short on volunteers today because people are out of town for the solar eclipse." But Myers' face bears no signs of worry. A 20-plus-year restaurant veteran, she says her path toward nonprofit work began one day when she "began to feel unfulfilled in life and wanted to find meaningful work." Caf̩ 458 is where she landed.

Every Sunday, the little restaurant relies on volunteers in the front and back to run its often-busy brunch service. Some are repeat volunteers, but many are first timers. "I don't require any restaurant experience, but most of them are in the service industry," Myers explains. That said, "as a front of house manager, I have to be mentally prepared to do all of service by myself just in case."

Caf̩ 458 has a classic diner feel, with the kind of funk music that old folks play at fish fries and family reunions. Batdorf & Bronson's Ren Doughty provides organic coffee every week. The walls are blanketed with daily vegetable plate ingredients and other menu information written in rainbow-colored chalk. From younger, solo diners to elderly couples, all arrive hungry and eager to learn of ACSS and the work they do.

Chef Shane Devereux, who boasts credentials from Top Flr, the Lawrence, Barcelona Wine Bar and the Sound Table, delivers a simple 10-item brunch menu consisting largely of Southern staples such as chicken and waffles, spicy shrimp and grits, and biscuits with pepper gravy. The fresh, local and often donated ingredients bring a familiar comfort and satisfaction that pairs well with the caf̩'s soul-warming mission.

Husband and wife founders A.B. Short and Ann Connor began working with the homeless community back in 1981, but it wasn't until Short partnered with John Pickens, founder of the Georgia Justice Project, that Caf̩ 458 came to be. Believing that the restaurant's mission complemented Martin Luther King's Jr.'s teachings, the pair scouted out the civil rights leader's birthplace and opened their doors on Edgewood in January of 1988.

After 29 years, Caf̩ 458 continues to serve its cause. Mondays through Saturdays are "client-focused," meaning homeless people are invited every morning to come in for breakfast and, as ACSS's director of development marketing Stephanie Shapiro puts it, "break bread with our staff." Shapiro volunteers (often paying for her children's care while she's there) nearly every Sunday, as well. "Most people who come in heard about us on Yelp, so I'm there to let them know our history and what we are about," she says. "Caf̩ 458 ... it's like my child."

Her voice grows passionate as she begins speaking of the clients she serves. "When the homeless people come in for breakfast, they come in apologetic," she says, pointing to a widespread lack in confidence among homeless populations, due to society's heavy stigma. But, she adds, that stigma is misplaced. "If something happens, most people nowadays don't have a month of rent saved, so it can happen to anyone. And many people don't know this until they walk that walk."

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It's Sunday morning on Edgewood Avenue. To-go boxes, plastic cups and water bottles are the only remnants of the late-night bar scene that dominated the street just hours before. Mothers, fathers and children navigate around to receive their weekly sermon from Boulevard's historic churches. At no other time can one witness so clearly the duality of Atlanta's Martin Luther King Jr. district and the gentrified Old Fourth Ward. But in between the old and new sits an outlier: Caf̩ 458, a Sundays-only, volunteer-run brunch spot where all proceeds go toward the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency. Unlike some restaurants on Edgewood Ave., Caf̩ 458's sole mission is inviting everyone inside, in the process providing aid to local homeless people through rapid rehousing, workforce development, veteran services, life stabilization and social enterprise in the process.

"First ticket for Solar Sunday!" front of house manager K.C. Myers shouts to her staff. "We are a little short on volunteers today because people are out of town for the solar eclipse." But Myers' face bears no signs of worry. A 20-plus-year restaurant veteran, she says her path toward nonprofit work began one day when she "began to feel unfulfilled in life and wanted to find meaningful work." Caf̩ 458 is where she landed.

Every Sunday, the little restaurant relies on volunteers in the front and back to run its often-busy brunch service. Some are repeat volunteers, but many are first timers. "I don't require any restaurant experience, but most of them are in the service industry," Myers explains. That said, "as a front of house manager, I have to be mentally prepared to do all of service by myself just in case."

Caf̩ 458 has a classic diner feel, with the kind of funk music that old folks play at fish fries and family reunions. Batdorf & Bronson's Ren Doughty provides organic coffee every week. The walls are blanketed with daily vegetable plate ingredients and other menu information written in rainbow-colored chalk. From younger, solo diners to elderly couples, all arrive hungry and eager to learn of ACSS and the work they do.

Chef Shane Devereux, who boasts credentials from Top Flr, the Lawrence, Barcelona Wine Bar and the Sound Table, delivers a simple 10-item brunch menu consisting largely of Southern staples such as chicken and waffles, spicy shrimp and grits, and biscuits with pepper gravy. The fresh, local and often donated ingredients bring a familiar comfort and satisfaction that pairs well with the caf̩'s soul-warming mission.

Husband and wife founders A.B. Short and Ann Connor began working with the homeless community back in 1981, but it wasn't until Short partnered with John Pickens, founder of the Georgia Justice Project, that Caf̩ 458 came to be. Believing that the restaurant's mission complemented Martin Luther King's Jr.'s teachings, the pair scouted out the civil rights leader's birthplace and opened their doors on Edgewood in January of 1988.

After 29 years, Caf̩ 458 continues to serve its cause. Mondays through Saturdays are "client-focused," meaning homeless people are invited every morning to come in for breakfast and, as ACSS's director of development marketing Stephanie Shapiro puts it, "break bread with our staff." Shapiro volunteers (often paying for her children's care while she's there) nearly every Sunday, as well. "Most people who come in heard about us on Yelp, so I'm there to let them know our history and what we are about," she says. "Caf̩ 458 ... it's like my child."

Her voice grows passionate as she begins speaking of the clients she serves. "When the homeless people come in for breakfast, they come in apologetic," she says, pointing to a widespread lack in confidence among homeless populations, due to society's heavy stigma. But, she adds, that stigma is misplaced. "If something happens, most people nowadays don't have a month of rent saved, so it can happen to anyone. And many people don't know this until they walk that walk."

Since 2010, with 10 percent of the ACSS' revenue coming from Caf̩ 458, the nonprofit has helped 1,208 homeless men and women secure full-time jobs, with wages averaging $9.41 an hour. More than 1,500 participants have completed the CareerWorks employment readiness program, which includes coursework and employment readiness training, job search assistance, help with professional appearance and housing placement. Self-sustainability is key at ACSS. Homeless people come into the office during the week to utilize the center's computer room. They update profiles and resumes and send out job applications. "We focus on sustainable jobs with benefits, guaranteed pay checks ... we also give out around 30,000 MARTA cards a year because to sustain a job you gotta be able to get there," Shapiro adds.

The ACSS also conducts drug tests, and despite typical assumptions, Shapiro says less than 10 percent test positive: "The people on Edgewood aren't here trying to score drugs; they are here because it's their home during the day ... They are couch surfing or sleeping in shelters at night." But if a homeless person walks in on a Sunday during the caf̩'s operating hours, they won't be denied. "People think the homeless people want a handout, but they want an open hand that reaches back. That's it. says Shapiro. "Many times, the homeless end up volunteering around the office. They will say, 'let me get that box for you, Ms. Stephanie.'"

Back at the caf̩, after boxing up the leftovers from a very large mozzarella and veggie frittata and thanking the volunteers for their service, I exit through the lobby. There, I meet another volunteer, Melissa Camilo, who says that a homeless man was just here. "When I went to tell K.C. Myers, she only asked for his name," she tells me. Myers already had an idea as to who it was: one of Caf̩ 458's VIPs (a title Shapiro gives to their homeless clients). Once the man's identity was confirmed, the manager explained that he was there simply because he's hungry. "Bring this out to him for me," she told the volunteer, handing her a plate of food.

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Thursday September 14, 2017 07:47 pm EDT
Caf̩ 458's sole mission is inviting everyone inside. | more...
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  string(6356) "It’s Sunday morning on Edgewood Avenue. To-go boxes, plastic cups and water bottles are the only remnants of the late-night bar scene that dominated the street just hours before. Mothers, fathers and children navigate around to receive their weekly sermon from Boulevard’s historic churches. At no other time can one witness so clearly the duality of Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. district and the gentrified Old Fourth Ward. But in between the old and new sits an outlier: Café 458, a Sundays-only, volunteer-run brunch spot where all proceeds go toward the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency. Unlike some restaurants on Edgewood Ave., Café 458’s sole mission is inviting everyone inside, in the process providing aid to local homeless people through rapid rehousing, workforce development, veteran services, life stabilization and social enterprise in the process.

“First ticket for Solar Sunday!” front of house manager K.C. Myers shouts to her staff. “We are a little short on volunteers today because people are out of town for the solar eclipse.” But Myers’ face bears no signs of worry. A 20-plus-year restaurant veteran, she says her path toward nonprofit work began one day when she “began to feel unfulfilled in life and wanted to find meaningful work.” Café 458 is where she landed.

Every Sunday, the little restaurant relies on volunteers in the front and back to run its often-busy brunch service. Some are repeat volunteers, but many are first timers. “I don’t require any restaurant experience, but most of them are in the service industry,” Myers explains. That said, “as a front of house manager, I have to be mentally prepared to do all of service by myself just in case.”

Café 458 has a classic diner feel, with the kind of funk music that old folks play at fish fries and family reunions. Batdorf & Bronson’s Ren Doughty provides organic coffee every week. The walls are blanketed with daily vegetable plate ingredients and other menu information written in rainbow-colored chalk. From younger, solo diners to elderly couples, all arrive hungry and eager to learn of ACSS and the work they do.

Chef Shane Devereux, who boasts credentials from Top Flr, the Lawrence, Barcelona Wine Bar and the Sound Table, delivers a simple 10-item brunch menu consisting largely of Southern staples such as chicken and waffles, spicy shrimp and grits, and biscuits with pepper gravy. The fresh, local and often donated ingredients bring a familiar comfort and satisfaction that pairs well with the café’s soul-warming mission.

Husband and wife founders A.B. Short and Ann Connor began working with the homeless community back in 1981, but it wasn’t until Short partnered with John Pickens, founder of the Georgia Justice Project, that Café 458 came to be. Believing that the restaurant’s mission complemented Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s teachings, the pair scouted out the civil rights leader’s birthplace and opened their doors on Edgewood in January of 1988.

After 29 years, Café 458 continues to serve its cause. Mondays through Saturdays are “client-focused,” meaning homeless people are invited every morning to come in for breakfast and, as ACSS’s director of development marketing Stephanie Shapiro puts it, “break bread with our staff.” Shapiro volunteers (often paying for her children’s care while she’s there) nearly every Sunday, as well. “Most people who come in heard about us on Yelp, so I’m there to let them know our history and what we are about,” she says. “Café 458 … it’s like my child.”

Her voice grows passionate as she begins speaking of the clients she serves. “When the homeless people come in for breakfast, they come in apologetic,” she says, pointing to a widespread lack in confidence among homeless populations, due to society’s heavy stigma. But, she adds, that stigma is misplaced. “If something happens, most people nowadays don’t have a month of rent saved, so it can happen to anyone. And many people don’t know this until they walk that walk.”

Since 2010, with 10 percent of the ACSS’ revenue coming from Café 458, the nonprofit has helped 1,208 homeless men and women secure full-time jobs, with wages averaging $9.41 an hour. More than 1,500 participants have completed the CareerWorks employment readiness program, which includes coursework and employment readiness training, job search assistance, help with professional appearance and housing placement. Self-sustainability is key at ACSS. Homeless people come into the office during the week to utilize the center’s computer room. They update profiles and resumes and send out job applications. “We focus on sustainable jobs with benefits, guaranteed pay checks … we also give out around 30,000 MARTA cards a year because to sustain a job you gotta be able to get there,” Shapiro adds.

The ACSS also conducts drug tests, and despite typical assumptions, Shapiro says less than 10 percent test positive: “The people on Edgewood aren’t here trying to score drugs; they are here because it’s their home during the day… They are couch surfing or sleeping in shelters at night.” But if a homeless person walks in on a Sunday during the café’s operating hours, they won’t be denied. “People think the homeless people want a handout, but they want an open hand that reaches back. That’s it. says Shapiro. “Many times, the homeless end up volunteering around the office. They will say, ‘let me get that box for you, Ms. Stephanie.’”

Back at the café, after boxing up the leftovers from a very large mozzarella and veggie frittata and thanking the volunteers for their service, I exit through the lobby. There, I meet another volunteer, Melissa Camilo, who says that a homeless man was just here. “When I went to tell K.C. Myers, she only asked for his name,” she tells me. Myers already had an idea as to who it was: one of Café 458’s VIPs (a title Shapiro gives to their homeless clients). Once the man’s identity was confirmed, the manager explained that he was there simply because he’s hungry. “Bring this out to him for me,” she told the volunteer, handing her a plate of food.

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“First ticket for Solar Sunday!” front of house manager K.C. Myers shouts to her staff. “We are a little short on volunteers today because people are out of town for the solar eclipse.” But Myers’ face bears no signs of worry. A 20-plus-year restaurant veteran, she says her path toward nonprofit work began one day when she “began to feel unfulfilled in life and wanted to find meaningful work.” Café 458 is where she landed.

Every Sunday, the little restaurant relies on volunteers in the front and back to run its often-busy brunch service. Some are repeat volunteers, but many are first timers. “I don’t require any restaurant experience, but most of them are in the service industry,” Myers explains. That said, “as a front of house manager, I have to be mentally prepared to do all of service by myself just in case.”

Café 458 has a classic diner feel, with the kind of funk music that old folks play at fish fries and family reunions. Batdorf & Bronson’s Ren Doughty provides organic coffee every week. The walls are blanketed with daily vegetable plate ingredients and other menu information written in rainbow-colored chalk. From younger, solo diners to elderly couples, all arrive hungry and eager to learn of ACSS and the work they do.

Chef Shane Devereux, who boasts credentials from Top Flr, the Lawrence, Barcelona Wine Bar and the Sound Table, delivers a simple 10-item brunch menu consisting largely of Southern staples such as chicken and waffles, spicy shrimp and grits, and biscuits with pepper gravy. The fresh, local and often donated ingredients bring a familiar comfort and satisfaction that pairs well with the café’s soul-warming mission.

Husband and wife founders A.B. Short and Ann Connor began working with the homeless community back in 1981, but it wasn’t until Short partnered with John Pickens, founder of the Georgia Justice Project, that Café 458 came to be. Believing that the restaurant’s mission complemented Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s teachings, the pair scouted out the civil rights leader’s birthplace and opened their doors on Edgewood in January of 1988.

After 29 years, Café 458 continues to serve its cause. Mondays through Saturdays are “client-focused,” meaning homeless people are invited every morning to come in for breakfast and, as ACSS’s director of development marketing Stephanie Shapiro puts it, “break bread with our staff.” Shapiro volunteers (often paying for her children’s care while she’s there) nearly every Sunday, as well. “Most people who come in heard about us on Yelp, so I’m there to let them know our history and what we are about,” she says. “Café 458 … it’s like my child.”

Her voice grows passionate as she begins speaking of the clients she serves. “When the homeless people come in for breakfast, they come in apologetic,” she says, pointing to a widespread lack in confidence among homeless populations, due to society’s heavy stigma. But, she adds, that stigma is misplaced. “If something happens, most people nowadays don’t have a month of rent saved, so it can happen to anyone. And many people don’t know this until they walk that walk.”

Since 2010, with 10 percent of the ACSS’ revenue coming from Café 458, the nonprofit has helped 1,208 homeless men and women secure full-time jobs, with wages averaging $9.41 an hour. More than 1,500 participants have completed the CareerWorks employment readiness program, which includes coursework and employment readiness training, job search assistance, help with professional appearance and housing placement. Self-sustainability is key at ACSS. Homeless people come into the office during the week to utilize the center’s computer room. They update profiles and resumes and send out job applications. “We focus on sustainable jobs with benefits, guaranteed pay checks … we also give out around 30,000 MARTA cards a year because to sustain a job you gotta be able to get there,” Shapiro adds.

The ACSS also conducts drug tests, and despite typical assumptions, Shapiro says less than 10 percent test positive: “The people on Edgewood aren’t here trying to score drugs; they are here because it’s their home during the day… They are couch surfing or sleeping in shelters at night.” But if a homeless person walks in on a Sunday during the café’s operating hours, they won’t be denied. “People think the homeless people want a handout, but they want an open hand that reaches back. That’s it. says Shapiro. “Many times, the homeless end up volunteering around the office. They will say, ‘let me get that box for you, Ms. Stephanie.’”

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  string(6837) " Oral Feature Cafe458 Featured  2017-09-13T23:57:14+00:00 oral_feature_cafe458_featured.jpg     Dedicated to serving everyone, the long-running brunch spot supports self-sufficiency for Atlanta's homeless population 1014  2017-09-13T23:57:36+00:00 Cafe 458 brings out the best of Edgewood Avenue jim.harris@creativeloafing.com Jim Harris By Hillary Holley  2017-09-13T23:57:36+00:00  It’s Sunday morning on Edgewood Avenue. To-go boxes, plastic cups and water bottles are the only remnants of the late-night bar scene that dominated the street just hours before. Mothers, fathers and children navigate around to receive their weekly sermon from Boulevard’s historic churches. At no other time can one witness so clearly the duality of Atlanta’s Martin Luther King Jr. district and the gentrified Old Fourth Ward. But in between the old and new sits an outlier: Café 458, a Sundays-only, volunteer-run brunch spot where all proceeds go toward the Atlanta Center for Self Sufficiency. Unlike some restaurants on Edgewood Ave., Café 458’s sole mission is inviting everyone inside, in the process providing aid to local homeless people through rapid rehousing, workforce development, veteran services, life stabilization and social enterprise in the process.

“First ticket for Solar Sunday!” front of house manager K.C. Myers shouts to her staff. “We are a little short on volunteers today because people are out of town for the solar eclipse.” But Myers’ face bears no signs of worry. A 20-plus-year restaurant veteran, she says her path toward nonprofit work began one day when she “began to feel unfulfilled in life and wanted to find meaningful work.” Café 458 is where she landed.

Every Sunday, the little restaurant relies on volunteers in the front and back to run its often-busy brunch service. Some are repeat volunteers, but many are first timers. “I don’t require any restaurant experience, but most of them are in the service industry,” Myers explains. That said, “as a front of house manager, I have to be mentally prepared to do all of service by myself just in case.”

Café 458 has a classic diner feel, with the kind of funk music that old folks play at fish fries and family reunions. Batdorf & Bronson’s Ren Doughty provides organic coffee every week. The walls are blanketed with daily vegetable plate ingredients and other menu information written in rainbow-colored chalk. From younger, solo diners to elderly couples, all arrive hungry and eager to learn of ACSS and the work they do.

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Husband and wife founders A.B. Short and Ann Connor began working with the homeless community back in 1981, but it wasn’t until Short partnered with John Pickens, founder of the Georgia Justice Project, that Café 458 came to be. Believing that the restaurant’s mission complemented Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s teachings, the pair scouted out the civil rights leader’s birthplace and opened their doors on Edgewood in January of 1988.

After 29 years, Café 458 continues to serve its cause. Mondays through Saturdays are “client-focused,” meaning homeless people are invited every morning to come in for breakfast and, as ACSS’s director of development marketing Stephanie Shapiro puts it, “break bread with our staff.” Shapiro volunteers (often paying for her children’s care while she’s there) nearly every Sunday, as well. “Most people who come in heard about us on Yelp, so I’m there to let them know our history and what we are about,” she says. “Café 458 … it’s like my child.”

Her voice grows passionate as she begins speaking of the clients she serves. “When the homeless people come in for breakfast, they come in apologetic,” she says, pointing to a widespread lack in confidence among homeless populations, due to society’s heavy stigma. But, she adds, that stigma is misplaced. “If something happens, most people nowadays don’t have a month of rent saved, so it can happen to anyone. And many people don’t know this until they walk that walk.”

Since 2010, with 10 percent of the ACSS’ revenue coming from Café 458, the nonprofit has helped 1,208 homeless men and women secure full-time jobs, with wages averaging $9.41 an hour. More than 1,500 participants have completed the CareerWorks employment readiness program, which includes coursework and employment readiness training, job search assistance, help with professional appearance and housing placement. Self-sustainability is key at ACSS. Homeless people come into the office during the week to utilize the center’s computer room. They update profiles and resumes and send out job applications. “We focus on sustainable jobs with benefits, guaranteed pay checks … we also give out around 30,000 MARTA cards a year because to sustain a job you gotta be able to get there,” Shapiro adds.

The ACSS also conducts drug tests, and despite typical assumptions, Shapiro says less than 10 percent test positive: “The people on Edgewood aren’t here trying to score drugs; they are here because it’s their home during the day… They are couch surfing or sleeping in shelters at night.” But if a homeless person walks in on a Sunday during the café’s operating hours, they won’t be denied. “People think the homeless people want a handout, but they want an open hand that reaches back. That’s it. says Shapiro. “Many times, the homeless end up volunteering around the office. They will say, ‘let me get that box for you, Ms. Stephanie.’”

Back at the café, after boxing up the leftovers from a very large mozzarella and veggie frittata and thanking the volunteers for their service, I exit through the lobby. There, I meet another volunteer, Melissa Camilo, who says that a homeless man was just here. “When I went to tell K.C. Myers, she only asked for his name,” she tells me. Myers already had an idea as to who it was: one of Café 458’s VIPs (a title Shapiro gives to their homeless clients). Once the man’s identity was confirmed, the manager explained that he was there simply because he’s hungry. “Bring this out to him for me,” she told the volunteer, handing her a plate of food.

“This is why Café 458 is here,” Camilo says as I open the door. “They are here to serve.”    Eric Cash                                    Cafe 458 brings out the best of Edgewood Avenue "
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Wednesday September 13, 2017 07:57 pm EDT
Dedicated to serving everyone, the long-running brunch spot supports self-sufficiency for Atlanta's homeless population | more...
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But one of Knott’s most prominent tattoos is dedicated to the memory of her good friend and former colleague David Durnell, who passed away this past February. Atlanta diners may know Durnell as Bocado’s innovative beverage director, and would-be managing partner at Inman Park’s Amer before his untimely death at age 28. But Knott and many of Durnell’s friends remember him for what they drank while hanging out after hours, or during what Knott calls “friend dates.” 

Knott and Durnell met during Bocado’s early days. “He was this very guarded, quiet, super awkward guy. I think it took him a month to say hi to me,” she recalls. Slowly, Durnell warmed up to Knott, and a few conversations over the bar blossomed into a five-year friendship. 

To this day, Knott very clearly remembers Durnell introducing her to Campari and soda. They would walk over to the Westside Octane for a cortado and one of the famously bitter cocktails. “So, it was always something that has reminded me of him, and I felt like the tattoo was … the best thing I could get that would represent him and how much I loved him,” she says.

No value assignedCreated by David Patterson at Kingdom Tattoo in Decatur, the tattoo is positioned prominently on Knott’s forearm. “It’s so bright that everyone comments on it,” she says, adding that the contrast between the bright red ink and her skin leads some people to conclude that she’s wearing a sticker. “I found the bottle cap that was Campari and soda, but it was just red and white. My tattoo artist knows that I really like this seafoam-ish green color that he has, so he sneaks it into a lot of my tattoos.” 

Knott wanted her tattoo to stand out even though Durnell purposefully tried not to. “It’s a good reminder,” she says. “A lot of people didn’t get David. He was very hard to get to know. I know that. Deep down, he was this very sweet, fun guy.” 

Knott misses the fanciful cocktails that Durnell would craft, instantly identifiable but with a style that was always changing. “I can recognize one of his drinks by the look of it and the names," she says. “Before he passed away, he was very into garnishes, whereas a year before he thought garnishes were stupid. He would say, ‘Don’t put a straw in one of my drinks.’ And then, all of sudden, it would be blackberries, mint, a flower and a straw in a crazy glass with crushed ice. He just went into his phases.”

Durnell also held a fascination with clarifying juices, which guests can still experience today at Amer. “He just had things that he would spend hours and hours on,” says Knott. Today, the bartenders at Amer do the same. 

The bar stands as a strong reminder of Durnell, and going there can be hard for Knott. She remembers when Durnell got his Amer tattoo, inspired by a French-Belgian horror movie of the same name. He was very into foreign thrillers. Amer means bitter in French.

As director of operations for both the Mercury at Ponce City Market and the Pinewood in Decatur, Knott’s high visibility keeps Durnell’s memory alive. Meanwhile, at Amer, cocktail aficionados can experience firsthand the genius behind the creation. For Knott and many of Durnell’s friends and family, this means everything. "
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But one of Knott’s most prominent tattoos is dedicated to the memory of her good friend and former colleague David Durnell, who passed away this past February. Atlanta diners may know Durnell as Bocado’s innovative beverage director, and would-be managing partner at Inman Park’s Amer before his untimely death at age 28. But Knott and many of Durnell’s friends remember him for what they drank while hanging out after hours, or during what Knott calls “friend dates.” 

Knott and Durnell met during Bocado’s early days. “He was this very guarded, quiet, super awkward guy. I think it took him a month to say hi to me,” she recalls. Slowly, Durnell warmed up to Knott, and a few conversations over the bar blossomed into a five-year friendship. 

To this day, Knott very clearly remembers Durnell introducing her to Campari and soda. They would walk over to the Westside Octane for a cortado and one of the famously bitter cocktails. “So, it was always something that has reminded me of him, and I felt like [the tattoo] was … the best thing I could get that would represent him and how much I loved him,” she says.

%{[ data-embed-type="image" data-embed-id="57ed41e238ab46e04b8b4576" data-embed-element="span" data-embed-size="320w" data-embed-align="left" contenteditable="false" ]}%Created by David Patterson at Kingdom Tattoo in Decatur, the tattoo is positioned prominently on Knott’s forearm. “It’s so bright that everyone comments on it,” she says, adding that the contrast between the bright red ink and her skin leads some people to conclude that she’s wearing a sticker. “I found the bottle cap that was Campari and soda, but it was just red and white. My tattoo artist knows that I really like this seafoam-ish green color that he has, so he sneaks it into a lot of my tattoos.” 

Knott wanted her tattoo to stand out even though Durnell purposefully tried not to. “It’s a good reminder,” she says. “A lot of people didn’t get [David]. He was very hard to get to know. I know that. Deep down, he was this very sweet, fun guy.” 

Knott misses the fanciful cocktails that Durnell would craft, instantly identifiable but with a style that was always changing. “I can recognize one of his drinks by the look of it and the names," she says. “Before he passed away, he was very into garnishes, whereas a year before he thought garnishes were stupid. He would say, ‘Don’t put a straw in one of my drinks.’ And then, all of sudden, it would be blackberries, mint, a flower and a straw in a crazy glass with crushed ice. He just went into his phases.”

Durnell also held a fascination with clarifying juices, which guests can still experience today at Amer. “He just had things that he would spend hours and hours on,” says Knott. Today, the bartenders at Amer do the same. 

The bar stands as a strong reminder of Durnell, and going there can be hard for Knott. She remembers when Durnell got his Amer tattoo, inspired by a French-Belgian horror movie of the same name. He was very into foreign thrillers. ''Amer'' means bitter in French.

As director of operations for both the Mercury at Ponce City Market and the Pinewood in Decatur, Knott’s high visibility keeps Durnell’s memory alive. Meanwhile, at Amer, cocktail aficionados can experience firsthand the genius behind the creation. For Knott and many of Durnell’s friends and family, this means everything. "
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Knott and Durnell met during Bocado’s early days. “He was this very guarded, quiet, super awkward guy. I think it took him a month to say hi to me,” she recalls. Slowly, Durnell warmed up to Knott, and a few conversations over the bar blossomed into a five-year friendship. 

To this day, Knott very clearly remembers Durnell introducing her to Campari and soda. They would walk over to the Westside Octane for a cortado and one of the famously bitter cocktails. “So, it was always something that has reminded me of him, and I felt like the tattoo was … the best thing I could get that would represent him and how much I loved him,” she says.

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Knott wanted her tattoo to stand out even though Durnell purposefully tried not to. “It’s a good reminder,” she says. “A lot of people didn’t get David. He was very hard to get to know. I know that. Deep down, he was this very sweet, fun guy.” 

Knott misses the fanciful cocktails that Durnell would craft, instantly identifiable but with a style that was always changing. “I can recognize one of his drinks by the look of it and the names," she says. “Before he passed away, he was very into garnishes, whereas a year before he thought garnishes were stupid. He would say, ‘Don’t put a straw in one of my drinks.’ And then, all of sudden, it would be blackberries, mint, a flower and a straw in a crazy glass with crushed ice. He just went into his phases.”

Durnell also held a fascination with clarifying juices, which guests can still experience today at Amer. “He just had things that he would spend hours and hours on,” says Knott. Today, the bartenders at Amer do the same. 

The bar stands as a strong reminder of Durnell, and going there can be hard for Knott. She remembers when Durnell got his Amer tattoo, inspired by a French-Belgian horror movie of the same name. He was very into foreign thrillers. Amer means bitter in French.

As director of operations for both the Mercury at Ponce City Market and the Pinewood in Decatur, Knott’s high visibility keeps Durnell’s memory alive. Meanwhile, at Amer, cocktail aficionados can experience firsthand the genius behind the creation. For Knott and many of Durnell’s friends and family, this means everything.              20835336         http://dev.creativeloafing.com/image/2016/09/food_foodink1_1_XX.57ed43b9f3d97.png                  Food Ink: Lindsey Knott of the Mercury and the Pinewood "
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Thursday September 29, 2016 05:00 pm EDT
The director of operations at two popular Atlanta restaurants pays tribute to the late David Durnell with a fresh tattoo | more...
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  Tuesday 
  
  SweetWater Brewery Tues., May 10, 7:15 p.m. Yoga on Tap Enjoy this all-level yoga class that comes with live music, three beer samples, a souvenir glass, and brewery tours. Please bring your own mat or purchase a specialized SweetWater Brewery mat onsite. Details 
  
  Wednesday
  
  West Egg Cafe Wed., May 11, 5:30-9 p.m. Oddbird Pop-up Happening on the second Wednesday of each month, Oddbird offers fried chicken biscuits, Nashville-style hot chicken, chicken and waffles, beer, cocktails, and pie. Details  
Argosy Wed., May 11, 7 p.m. Argus Cider Dinner Welcome the owner Jeff Mickel of the Austin, Texas, based Argus Cidery for a meet-and-greet coupled with a pre-fixe meal celebrating natural local ingredients and pairing the dishes with fermented offerings from the Argus portfolio. Details        Bellina Alimentari Wed., May 11, 6-7:30 p.m. Healthy Mama Cooking Class Learn some quick and easy recipes to make healthy, balanced, and fun food for your kids. A cooking demo by owner and mom Tal Baum featuring Italian inspired easy kid meal recipes. All dishes will be tasted. Details        Thursday
  
  Trees Atlanta's TreeHouse Thurs., May 12, noon-1 p.m. Lunch & Learn: Georgia’s Native Edible and Medicinal Trees Join Trees Atlanta’s Mike McCord, NeighborWoods Coordinator & Urban Forestry Crew member, in a conversation surrounding Georgia’s native edible and medicinal tree species. He will also discuss productive species that Trees Atlanta has planted within Atlanta’s urban forest. Details
  
  Perrine's Wine Shop Thurs., May 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Velenosi Tasting In addition to a month-long wine tasting series, enjoy an exclusive Italian wine tasting featuring Velenosi wines this Thursday. Details 
  
  Friday
  
Ray's at Killer Creek Fri., May 13, 5-8 p.m. A Toast for Tails The dinner features live music and dishes by chef Mike Fuller on the Big Green Egg. Details 
  
  Petite Auberge Fri., May 13, 6:30-8:30 Fundraiser for Staff Member Help raise money for staff member Tiffany Waymon, a cherished server and bartender who was recently diagnosed with aggressive ovarian cancer, at 29 years old. The event will feature a buffet and carving station, live entertainment by musician Berne Poliakoff, prize raffles, a silent auction, cash bar, and more. Donations of $35 per person are requested to be paid directly to Waymon. All of the proceeds from the door, raffles, silent auction and bar go to Waymon. Details      Sunday
  
  O-Ku Sun., May 15, 2-5 p.m. Charity Cocktail Challenge O-Ku is hosting the second Four Roses Bourbon cocktail challenge to benefit the Folded Flag Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and educational grants for the spouses and children of fallen military men and women. Details
  
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  Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking class? Let us know. Create a CL account and [/atlanta/Events/AddEvent|submit your Food and Drink happs here],
  
  __Tuesday __
__  __
__  [/atlanta/sweetwater_brewery/Location?oid=1295108|SweetWater Brewery] __Tues., May 10, 7:15 p.m. __Yoga__ __on Tap__ Enjoy this all-level yoga class that comes with live music, three beer samples, a souvenir glass, and brewery tours. Please bring your own mat or purchase a specialized SweetWater Brewery mat onsite. [/atlanta/yoga-on-tap/Event?oid=17204635|__Details__] 
  
  __Wednesday__
__  __
__  [/atlanta/west_egg_cafe/Location?oid=1294173|West Egg Cafe]__ Wed., May 11, 5:30-9 p.m. __Oddbird Pop-up__ Happening on the second Wednesday of each month, Oddbird offers fried chicken biscuits, Nashville-style hot chicken, chicken and waffles, beer, cocktails, and pie. [/atlanta/oddbird-popup/Event?oid=17027882|__Details %%% __]
[/atlanta/argosy/Location?oid=7725710|__Argosy__] Wed., May 11, 7 p.m. __Argus Cider Dinner__ Welcome the owner Jeff Mickel of the Austin, Texas, based Argus Cidery for a meet-and-greet coupled with a pre-fixe meal celebrating natural local ingredients and pairing the dishes with fermented offerings from the Argus portfolio. [/atlanta/argus-cider-dinner/Event?oid=17192653|__Details %%%    %%%   __][/atlanta/bellina_alimentari/Location?oid=15784019|__Bellina Alimentari__] Wed., May 11, 6-7:30 p.m. __Healthy Mama Cooking Class__ Learn some quick and easy recipes to make healthy, balanced, and fun food for your kids. A cooking demo by owner and mom Tal Baum featuring Italian inspired easy kid meal recipes. All dishes will be tasted. [/atlanta/healthy-mama-cooking-class/Event?oid=17184607|__Details %%%    %%%   __]__Thursday__
__  __
__  __[/atlanta/trees_atlanta_s_treehouse/Location?oid=15156179|__Trees Atlanta's TreeHouse__] Thurs., May 12, noon-1 p.m. __Lunch & Learn: Georgia’s Native Edible and Medicinal Trees__ Join Trees Atlanta’s Mike McCord, NeighborWoods Coordinator & Urban Forestry Crew member, in a conversation surrounding Georgia’s native edible and medicinal tree species. He will also discuss productive species that Trees Atlanta has planted within Atlanta’s urban forest. [/atlanta/lunch-and-learn-georgias-native-edible-and-medicinal-trees/Event?oid=17179285|__Details__]
  
  [/atlanta/perrine_s_wine_shop/Location?oid=3373285|__Perrine's Wine Shop__] Thurs., May 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. __Velenosi Tasting__ In addition to a month-long wine tasting series, enjoy an exclusive Italian wine tasting featuring Velenosi wines this Thursday. [/atlanta/velenosi-tasting/Event?oid=17128858|__Details__] 
  
  __Friday__
__  __
____[/atlanta/ray_s_at_killer_creek/Location?oid=15535511|__Ray's at Killer Creek__] Fri., May 13, 5-8 p.m. __A Toast for Tails__ The dinner features live music and dishes by chef Mike Fuller on the Big Green Egg. [/atlanta/a-toast-for-tails/Event?oid=17134855|__Details__] 
  
  [/atlanta/petite_auberge/Location?oid=1292560|__Petite Auberge__] Fri., May 13, 6:30-8:30 __Fundraiser for Staff Member__ Help raise money for staff member Tiffany Waymon, a cherished server and bartender who was recently diagnosed with aggressive ovarian cancer, at 29 years old. The event will feature a buffet and carving station, live entertainment by musician Berne Poliakoff, prize raffles, a silent auction, cash bar, and more. Donations of $35 per person are requested to be paid directly to Waymon. All of the proceeds from the door, raffles, silent auction and bar go to Waymon. [/atlanta/fundraiser-for-staff-member/Event?oid=17204644|__Details %%%    %%% __]__Sunday__
__  __
__  __[/atlanta/o_ku/Location?oid=16859912|__O-Ku__] Sun., May 15, 2-5 p.m. __Charity Cocktail Challenge__ O-Ku is hosting the second Four Roses Bourbon cocktail challenge to benefit the Folded Flag Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and educational grants for the spouses and children of fallen military men and women. [/atlanta/charity-cocktail-challenge/Event?oid=17204645|__Details__]
  
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  Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking class? Let us know. Create a CL account and submit your Food and Drink happs here,
  
  Tuesday 
  
  SweetWater Brewery Tues., May 10, 7:15 p.m. Yoga on Tap Enjoy this all-level yoga class that comes with live music, three beer samples, a souvenir glass, and brewery tours. Please bring your own mat or purchase a specialized SweetWater Brewery mat onsite. Details 
  
  Wednesday
  
  West Egg Cafe Wed., May 11, 5:30-9 p.m. Oddbird Pop-up Happening on the second Wednesday of each month, Oddbird offers fried chicken biscuits, Nashville-style hot chicken, chicken and waffles, beer, cocktails, and pie. Details  
Argosy Wed., May 11, 7 p.m. Argus Cider Dinner Welcome the owner Jeff Mickel of the Austin, Texas, based Argus Cidery for a meet-and-greet coupled with a pre-fixe meal celebrating natural local ingredients and pairing the dishes with fermented offerings from the Argus portfolio. Details        Bellina Alimentari Wed., May 11, 6-7:30 p.m. Healthy Mama Cooking Class Learn some quick and easy recipes to make healthy, balanced, and fun food for your kids. A cooking demo by owner and mom Tal Baum featuring Italian inspired easy kid meal recipes. All dishes will be tasted. Details        Thursday
  
  Trees Atlanta's TreeHouse Thurs., May 12, noon-1 p.m. Lunch & Learn: Georgia’s Native Edible and Medicinal Trees Join Trees Atlanta’s Mike McCord, NeighborWoods Coordinator & Urban Forestry Crew member, in a conversation surrounding Georgia’s native edible and medicinal tree species. He will also discuss productive species that Trees Atlanta has planted within Atlanta’s urban forest. Details
  
  Perrine's Wine Shop Thurs., May 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Velenosi Tasting In addition to a month-long wine tasting series, enjoy an exclusive Italian wine tasting featuring Velenosi wines this Thursday. Details 
  
  Friday
  
Ray's at Killer Creek Fri., May 13, 5-8 p.m. A Toast for Tails The dinner features live music and dishes by chef Mike Fuller on the Big Green Egg. Details 
  
  Petite Auberge Fri., May 13, 6:30-8:30 Fundraiser for Staff Member Help raise money for staff member Tiffany Waymon, a cherished server and bartender who was recently diagnosed with aggressive ovarian cancer, at 29 years old. The event will feature a buffet and carving station, live entertainment by musician Berne Poliakoff, prize raffles, a silent auction, cash bar, and more. Donations of $35 per person are requested to be paid directly to Waymon. All of the proceeds from the door, raffles, silent auction and bar go to Waymon. Details      Sunday
  
  O-Ku Sun., May 15, 2-5 p.m. Charity Cocktail Challenge O-Ku is hosting the second Four Roses Bourbon cocktail challenge to benefit the Folded Flag Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and educational grants for the spouses and children of fallen military men and women. Details
  
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Article

Monday May 9, 2016 10:38 am EDT

image-1
Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking class? Let us know. Create a CL account and submit your Food and Drink happs here,

Tuesday 

SweetWater Brewery Tues., May 10, 7:15 p.m. Yoga on Tap Enjoy this all-level yoga class that comes with live music, three beer samples, a souvenir glass, and brewery tours. Please bring your own mat or purchase a specialized SweetWater Brewery mat...

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