No. 5 Midtown neighborhood activists: Can't stop nightclub from pouring booze

Though big and powerful, the Midtown Neighbors' Association has no game when it comes to the Gidewon brothers.

One of Atlanta's best-organized homeowner groups, the Midtown Neighbors' Association, is not shy about using its clout to affect public policy. While smaller, the Midtown Ponce Security Alliance clearly punches above its weight when it comes to public safety issues.

Imagine the influence these groups could wield, especially if backed by a long roster of CEOs, senior partners and all-around muckety-mucks representing a who's who of Midtown's business interests and property owners, including developer Stephen Selig, Cousins CEO Larry Gellerstedt and parking-deck magnate Michael Robison. Throw in a petition containing the weight of more than 1,400 neighborhood signatures and dozens of pages worth of impassioned public commentary and, well, we certainly wouldn't want to face this juggernaut.

And yet, this seemingly irresistible force was somehow unable to budge – or rather, squash – a relatively small but apparently immovable object, a nightclub complex proposed by Michael and Alex Gidewon, the nightlife impresarios behind the now defunct Midtown mega-club Vision. The Gidewons' plan to open a pair of high-end clubs in a building at the foot of the 1010 Midtown condo tower and the 38-story Loews Hotel, smack in the middle of the much-touted Midtown Mile, brought an onslaught of neighborhood opposition, forebodings of doom and even healthy doses of slander and innuendo directed at the club owners.

All for naught. Despite the clamor, the Gidewons appear to have gotten what they needed, which, in the end, was simply a permit to sell alcohol. The city's License Review Board gave its thumbs-up on the brothers' application last month. If Mayor Shirley Franklin OK's the board's recommendation, the Gidewons could be selling drinks by New Year's Eve.

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