You go to Sweet Auburn Curb Market
for the atmosphere and the goodies. No argument there. But, next time, add a little history to your order. We'll help. Eateries
Hungry? Hope you like options, because Sweet Auburn's got plenty.
- Dig into a Bell Street Burrito, and consider the fact that the Curb Market is nearly 100 years old.
- Sink your teeth into a Grindhouse Killer Burger as you try to imagine the year 1918, when Atlanta established a farmer's market on land cleared by a massive fire that had swept through the city the year before. Back then, you could have picked up a live hen, gotten it slaughtered and dressed and taken it home for dinner. Talk about a fresh meal!
- Satisfy your cravings at Metro Deli Soul Food and say a little thank you to the Atlanta Woman's Club, which raised $300,000 to erect a fireproof brick-and-concrete building. (Now hold that thought.)
- Feed your inner French by ordering from Le Metro Creperie, then say more thanks to the Jewish Council of Women League Voters, Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club and Atlanta Mayor James Key, entities that took that fireproof building and opened it on May 1, 1924 under the name Municipal Market of Atlanta.
After you have satisfied your hunger, perhaps you need to shop for groceries. No problem.
- Pick up some pork at Porky Pig Market and wonder how the market came to be called Sweet Auburn Curb Market.
- While you saunter on over to Atlanta Seafood, chew on this: The "Sweet Auburn" part of the name refers to the market's proximity to Auburn Avenue, described in 1956 by Fortune Magazine as "the richest Negro street in the world."
- Browse Destiny Organics for your produce and ponder the fact that back then, Auburn Avenue was home to three financial institutes – Atlanta Life Insurance Company, Standard Life and Citizens Trust Bank, which extended credit to black homeowners and entrepreneurs who were unable to secure financing elsewhere. Since Auburn Avenue's consolidation of wealth for blacks was unique for its time, blacks began referring to the street as "Sweet Auburn." But wait, there's more. Read on.
You've eaten, you've bought groceries. How about something sweet?
- Miss D's Pralines could be just the place for you. Or maybe you're in the mood for a Snobayou Handcrafted Snoball. No? Well, then try Sweet Auburn Bakery. Whichever you choose, digest this: The "curb market" part of the establishment's name comes from the fact that racial segregation for several decades required that black farmers sell their produce and livestock on the curb. Get it?
Head on down to the Curb Market and do your part to help it fulfill its goal of becoming a place where the community shops on a regular basis, where Saturday is once again embraced as "Market Day," where visitors flock to an historic building, and where vendors and customers are a true reflection of the city of Atlanta.
There are options for reaching Sweet Auburn as well: The Atlanta Streetcar is new, the nearby Atlanta BeltLine is both old and new, and the Sweet Auburn Curb Market is a joyful slice of Atlanta past and present.
Beth Clark is a writer and foodie who loves to roam around Atlanta, uncovering the city's quirky, glam, upscale, and down-home character. Curiosity is her compass, and you'll find her writing on www.thecitydweller.me.