Thursday thoughts

July 20 — In the opening match of this year’s tournament, co-host New Zealand upset former champion Norway for the country’s first-ever Women’s World Cup win. The other co-host, Australia, is playing Ireland now

☁️ Today will be Hot and 97°.

⚖️ The state has joined the City of Atlanta in opposing a petition drive that would put the fate of the public safety training center on the November ballot. 

🏈 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has fired investigative reporter Alan Judd after the paper issued corrections to a recent investigation of the University of Georgia’s football program’s handling of sexual abuse allegations against players and recruits.

🗳 Nearly 200,000 “inactive” Georgia voters are going to be removed from the state’s voter rolls. 

⚖️ A federal court has dismissed Georgia’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit challenging state House and Senate district lines drawn by the Republican-controlled General Assembly two years ago. 

🏞️ After being closed due to E. coli contamination, all parts of the Chattahoochee River have been reopened.

💸 The Sandy Springs City Council has approved the acceptance of more than $1.6 million funded by the American Rescue Plan Act to go toward violent crime reduction measures.

🏊 Brookhaven’s Briarwood Pool is closed until further notice after glass was found in the water.

🕖 Today’s newsletter is  stories.

• Toco Hills annexation withdrawn
• Food Hall saga update
• Weekend in Nashville
• Quick Bites

Have a good day,
Collin & Sammie 

🌿 Passionate about nature? Check out the Friends of Conservation and Sustainability in Georgia online giving circle. Learn about the nonprofits that treat every day like Earth Day as they make a difference for the outdoors in Georgia. Learn more here.

1. Annexation application for Toco Hills neighborhoods withdrawn

🏙️ The City of Brookhaven announced today that the application to annex 462 acres of privately owned land in unincorporated DeKalb County is being withdrawn.

The annexation application for Toco Hills neighborhoods and commercial districts was filed by resident Howard Ginsberg in May.

Ginsberg’s withdrawal ends the annexation process for this petition, but it does not stop residents from making another annexation application in the same area. Six additional areas south of Brookhaven are working on applications to annex.

➡️ Learn more about the withdrawn application here.

Reimagine the Legacy

❤️ Reimagine the Legacy: Honoring Congressman John Lewis is an annual memorial initiative in Atlanta that celebrates the life and legacy of the late civil rights leader.

Activities take place from July 17-30, culminating in a moment of reflection with the ringing of bells on July 30.

🔔 Free handbells can be picked up at various locations. Featured programs include a civil rights cemetery tour, stamp dedication ceremony, and guided walking tour.

Visitors are encouraged to take action by registering to vote, reading Lewis’ essays and books, and supporting charitable organizations.

📍 Points of interest include the John Lewis HERO Mural, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and The King Center.

➡ Visit the website for more information.

Teresa Acosta at one of Dunwoody’s annual events, Green Eggs and Kegs. Photo: Teresa Acosta

2. Contest winner walked away from Dunwoody food hall after terms revealed

😳 A Dunwoody chef who won a 2021 contest to receive a complimentary vendor space at the now-shuttered The Hall at Ashford Lane said she nixed the deal because of the overwhelming financial burden she would have had to assume in taking the space.

Teresa Acosta, who now has a thriving catering business in Dunwoody called Renzo’s Fire, said she was initially excited about winning the contest, which was pitched as a “nationwide search” by The Hall’s owner, Jamal Wilson.

Acosta said in hindsight, she dodged a bullet – personally and professionally – after learning that she would have to pay $40,000 in start-up costs and $16,000 a month in rent. 

Meanwhile, former employees, some of whom were undocumented workers, are still waiting to be paid after the food hall’s sudden closure.

➡️ Read Cathy Cobbs’ ongoing investigation into the food hall here. 


📍 Dunwoody food hall employees accuse owner of malfeasance regarding pay, hiring

📍 Dunwoody food hall owner has shuttered similar concepts across Southeast 

3. A Weekend in Nashville

🪕 Earlier this year, Jacob Nguyen road tripped to Nashville, TN with friends to see a concert at the historic Ryman Auditorium, which is a great first stop on a weekend visit to Music City.

Located just four hours north of Atlanta, the city of Nashville has a little something for everyone – even if country music isn’t your thing. 

No matter what you’re looking for, Jacob has you covered. He documented his trip – from trying hot chicken to visiting local honky-tonks – for Rough Draft, and it has the definitive list of what not to miss.

🐔 Get ready for your trip to Music City here.

⛪ From our humble Southern Baptist roots to a vibrant, justice-seeking, rainbow-flag-waving, hymn-belting family, Virginia-Highland Church is celebrating 100 Years on Sun., July 23 from 11 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. Join us as we mark our past, toast to our present, and leap headfirst into an even more exciting future. Find out more and RSVP here.

4. Quick Bites

🥪 Lunch is returning to Miller Union on Aug. 3. Lunch will be served Thurs.-Sat. from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

🎟️ Tickets are on sale for the inaugural Sandy Springs Wine Festival.

🍻 Underground Atlanta has terminated its lease with Atlanta Brewing Company after the brewery failed to begin construction.

😋 The new restaurant taking the place of The Lawrence in Midtown is expected to open this fall.

🥐 A luxury pastry boutique pop-up called The Choux Box (pictured) will operate out of Atlas this summer.

🥯 A New York-style bagel shop called Bronx Bagel Buggy is expected to open up in September in Chamblee.

🥗 gusto! is opening up a new location at the upcoming Lee + White food hall along the BeltLine.

🍽️ Southern Grace will open up its first brick-and-mortar spot at the upcoming Terminal South development in Atlanta in 2024.

🦐 Atlanta rapper Lil Baby has opened a restaurant called The Seafood Menu Restaurant and Lounge on the edge of Atlanta University Center.

🍳 Cardi B’s personal chef is opening up an all-day breakfast spot called Betty Sue’s in Five Points Plaza.

🍹 Atlanta’s Omakase Table launched its beverage menu on July 19.

🍸 The Viet-Cajun seafood spot Girl Diver has debuted a brand new speakeasy.

🍪 Dirty Dough, a gourmet cookie franchise, is expected to open a location in Roswell in August.

🚬 Prince Omotayo and Akin Awujo are looking to open Seventeen 69 Lounge – a three-story building with a rooftop deck, dining area, and cigar lounge – in Atlanta.

😋 Hungry for more food news? Subscribe to Side Dish, our weekly food newsletter. 

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

Sammie Purcell is Associate Editor at Rough Draft Atlanta.