Given the popularity of my web page
that lists ten good happy hour places in Dunwoody’s Perimeter Mall
area – see
– permit me to list my ten favorite places that make Dunwoody
special in my opinion.
Dunwoody, since its incorporation in
2008, has evolved from suburban state of mind to thriving city with a
growing tax base and increasingly urban lifestyle. The city
government has carried out an ambitious program to promote
walkability – sidewalks, traffic calmers, new or improved parks,
more pedestrian-oriented commercial areas, and bike / multi-use
The aim of this web page is simply to
showcase ten components of Dunwoody that make me want to continue
living here. I am not promoting any restaurant or business, only
listing places that have become special to me during the forty-one
years that I have lived and retired here.
#1: Multi-Use Trail and the
growing bike network
Similar to the Beltline in Atlanta,
Dunwoody’s development of a necklace of parks threaded together by
a bike / multi-use trail is transformative. Great value is added to
the neighborhoods where the new parks have been built and the trail
Brook Run Park is the heart of the
citywide bike network.
The first stretch of trail built was
the 2.2-mile oval that winds around the park’s perimeter – red for
the former diagram, yellow for the following one.
The is the 0 (zero) mile marker or the
trail’s beginning though a plan supposedly exists to connect it
with greenways in Norcross and Peachtree Corners.
The twelve-foot wide concrete trail
leaves Brook Run Park where it connects with Pernoshal Park, crosses
it and Shallowford Road and winds through Georgetown Park.
The trail currently ends at Georgetown
Park. The next development stage, according to Mr. Brent Walker,
Director, Dunwoody Parks & Recreation, is for the trail to follow
Chamblee-Dunwoody Road down towards I-285.
The Georgia Department of
Transportation is building a new service road from Ashford-Dunwoody
Road / Ravinia to Chamblee Dunwoody Road. Supposedly, GDOT will
construct a bike trail for Dunwoody that’s attached to the service
road and connect it with the bike trail extension coming from
Georgetown Park. Construction, mainly ground being broken and graded
to date, November 15, 2019, has started on the service road.
Mr. Walker and I agreed that the long
incline up Spring House Lane, a possible choice for a trail route,
was simply too long and steep for cyclists as well as unaffordable.
The GDOT-built lane will be relatively flat in comparison. I am an
experienced cyclist and have thrice negotiated the hill that is so
long and steep that I had to stop twice to scale it.
The trail will turn northward at the
Georgetown Tennis and Swim Club and march toward the new forty-foot
long bridge that was recently built over North Nancy Creek. The
wooden incline leads up to the bridge.
After crossing the bridge, the trail
turns right – though a short extension to the left funnel riders and
walkers into an adjacent office park.
The trail runs past new townhomes and
turns after their row ends.
The trail turns left and right and
heads up to the Perimeter Parkway East entrance.
This is the trail’s Perimeter Parkway
entrance where it will become part of the planned Perimeter Center
East Park. See the following diagram of the park to be built across
from the Lofts and Drexel apartment complexes.
From the proposed Perimeter Center East
Park, the trail will snake westward along Perimeter Parkway East and
cross Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Perimeter Mall and follow Hammond
Drive to Georgia 400 where a branch will connect with the bike trail
being built along the highway into Buckhead and its trail system.
Another branch will follow Hammond Drive into the heart of Sandy
Springs where it will connect with that city’s bike system
I provided an aerial view of Perimeter
Mall where the bike trail will cross – also shows the restaurant
corridor spread across the mall’s front facing.
The restaurants seem to come and go
except for the Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s but the constant
parade of people to watch as they walk by is always interesting.
My current favorite at the moment is
The Café Intermezzo is a special place
for me. My late wife Sue and I moved to Dunwoody in November 1978
and lamented the lack of a good dessert place. My late
father-in-law, Herman Auerbach, a restaurant designer, moved to
Atlanta in 1979 and his first project was Café Intermezzo. The
original version was a Viennese-style coffee house featuring great
baked goods and small bites and we loved the cakes and pies.
Herman also designed Joey D’s the
next year, and the beautiful Villa Christina the year after that. He
would be amazed by Intermezzo’s becoming a full-service restaurant
and its four expansions that have virtually taken over the north side
of Park Place plaza.
The former picture is of Café
Intermezzo’s patio and the following shows Eclipse de Luna’s
front face. I am always amazed that only two-tenths of a mile from
me is a lively Portuguese / Brazilian tapas restaurant and night club
with good food and drink and an excellent band.
My father-in-law did two small jobs for
Eclipse de Luna too plus he also designed the venerable sea food
restaurant that stood for thirty years where Del Frisco’s is today
in the first of five new State Farm buildings. I am obviously proud
of the contribution he made to the Dunwoody dining scene and deeply
appreciate the survivors that are still vibrant restaurants today.
Eclipse de Luna’s entrance and back
part of the restaurant where artistic classes are held every Monday I
Whenever I have family members or
friends staying with me, brunch at Alon’s Bakery and Market is an
automatic choice. Sitting and schmoozing on Alon’s front patio on
a nice sunny day over a cup of coffee is always enjoyable and one of
the nicer pleasures in Dunwoody.
The Sage Woodfire Grill at Park Place
has a lovely patio and better outside bar. It is a joy to sit at
that outside bar on a warm summer night chatting over a cold beer or
good drink listening to the music pouring through the windows.
For thirty-four years I lived off of
Happy Hollow Drive in the Foxwood subdivision and frequently shopped
and dined in the Orchard Park commercial node. Los Rancheros has
served consistently good and authentic Mexican food for almost four
decades as well as providing a warm inviting atmosphere and great
The Asian Café was China Garden II for
perhaps thirty-five years and as consistently good for Chinese food
as Los Rancheros was for Mexican. For my son Sasha’s Bar Mitzvah,
we held the Friday night dinner for close family and out of town
guests at China Garden II and I still patronize the Asian Café which
has maintained similar quality in food and service.
Italian take-out food was always from
E. 48th St. Market who was also amazingly consistent. My
wife Sue was from Brooklyn – I am from New Jersey – both places
had large Italian populations and the food was always a big part of
our lives growing up. E. 48th provided us that sustenance
after we moved to Dunwoody and discovered their delicious breads,
cold cuts, and prepared dishes.
For many years, my late wife Sue and I
celebrated Valentine’s Day at home with a special dinner prepared
by E. 48th St. for that holiday. A customer walked
through the door, smelled the baked goods, ogled the rich dishes in
the cold boxes, and received a warm smiling welcome from the whole
Oscar’s from Little Italy in New
York, and Tony’s located in the adjacent shopping center, were two
very good Italian restaurants around 1985 to 2005 that provided
wonderful family dining experiences but, of course, are long gone.
Tony’s would spawn Peter’s in the
former High Cotton that succeeded the original Pizza Hut location.
My wife Sue and I and John Allen and his late wife Cathy celebrated
seven straight New Year’s Eve dinners at Tony’s. We loved the
four-course menu and golden oldies band.
My son’s little league teams had
victory celebrations in the Pizza Hut. High Cotton was a pretty good
restaurant before going under. I dined regularly at Peter’s which
had a great kitchen, an intimate room and a fine host. Ultimately,
the room was too small to cover rising expenses and Nuova Cuccina
expanded the place. I am fond of their pasta and pizza.
I always love when on a nice evening,
the restaurant opens up the French doors and lets the fresh air in.
I have lived at the Loft’s apartments
since November 4, 2012. It is tucked away down a quiet cul-de-sac
and has a resort feel to it in the summer. The reason is the pool
which has a special quality – it brings people together by
facilitating talking to each other. People start sharing their beer
or whatever, become friends, create a sense of community and become a
What makes the pool special is a
constant subject for discussion when around it. Some say it’s the
ledges and cutouts that encourage communication. People learn that
they have much in common and begin hanging out.
An annual pool party is always a big
event. Unfortunately, the cooling weather and accelerating pace of
life after Labor Day begins driving us back to our apartments to
hibernate through the winter in our caves and
start coming out again in mid-April and early May.
The magic of the pool asserts itself –
brings together a new season of pool people – and creates the
closest thing to a beach feel in Atlanta.
That’s my Dunwoody – full of
surprises and a rich place to live, work, and play.