The swath of north Atlanta west of I-75 inside I-285—now known as the Upper Westside—was developed in the 19th century as an industrial hub around the CSX line. The area is home to quiet neighborhoods—including Bolton, Riverside, and Whittier Mill Village—and filled with a mix of historic mill worker homes, bungalows, and squat apartment complexes. But lately development, from warehouse conversions to a much-needed grocery store, has been booming in the area. “It’s one of Atlanta’s best-kept secrets,” says Dustin Hillis, a former Riverside Neighborhood Association president. “But that’s rightfully changing.”
At Crest Lawn Cemetery, climb to the top of Casey’s Hill, where you’ll find one of the city’s best skyline vistas among the century-old tombstones. Nearby, the site of the former Whittier Cotton Mills, which opened in the 1890s, is now Whittier Mill Park—a 22-acre expanse with trails, a picnic area, and historic mill ruins.
Matt Shirah opened Scofflaw Brewing Co. in the Bolton neighborhood in 2014. Inside the tasting room, order a pint of the caramelly and hoppy Westside IPA.
A new Publix-anchored shopping center is set to open this year. It’s one of several adaptive-reuse projects in the works, including the Westside Village at Moores Mill, near the cemetery, which could bring fitness studios, a specialty grocer, and the Upper Westside’s first coffee shop.
Riverside’s Hottie Hawgs BBQ shuttered in early 2016, but pitmaster Bryan Furman took over the space to open a new barbecue destination, B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque. (Hillis’s pick: the brisket plate with a side of cracklin’ cornbread.) Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q will open a new location in an old warehouse off Moores Mill this spring.
Coming soon: Riverfront revitalized
The Chattahoochee snakes along the area’s western edge, but the river is difficult to access here. Now proposals like a community-backed river walk and a riverfront residential community could transform this stretch into a waterfront destination. The buzziest plan is for a residential development called Riverview Landing, which the Ardent Companies will build on an 82-acre site just across the river in Cobb.
This article originally appeared in our April 2017 issue.