Oakhurst the coolest spot in Atlanta

Oakhurst, Atlanta's secret village



is one of my favourite hangouts in lets say Atlanta but its actually Decatur.

Oakhurst History

Oakhurst originally developed as a streetcar suburb of Atlanta. The Atlanta City Street Railway Company built the North Decatur trolley line in 1892. This line crossed the South Decatur trolley line at the center of the Oakhurst business district – the intersection of East Lake Drive, Oakview Road and Mead Road. This portion of Oakhurst was owned by Eugenius N. Meade in the late 19th Century. His land was purchased by John Ridley in 1907. Mr Ridley had a small farm at this location. He made his money in the mercantile business and in real estate. He sold much of his land in 1910. It became part of the newly incorporated Town of Oakhurst. http://www.oakhurstga.org/oakhurst-history

Oakhurst is home to the original Scottish Rite hospital.

Where is Oakhurst?

Oakhurst is a historic neighborhood in the southwest corner of Decatur Georgia. It a suburb of Atlanta Georgia. It is located south of downtown Decatur and approximately six miles east of downtown Atlanta.  It is roughly bounded by the City of Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood west of Winter Ave. On the west, the Atlanta city limits Northern St. & Pharr Rd on the south. West College Ave and the railroad tracks paralleling West College Avenue on the north and South McDonough St. on the east. There is also a neighborhood near the College Heights Early Learning Center roughly centered on South McDonough St. & Lenore St referred to as “College Heights” but it is part of Historic Oakhurst.  When I google a description this is what I found “Oakhurst is an eclectic, liberal-minded community, typical of in-town Atlanta. It has a diverse mix of African Americans, white residents, senior citizens, singles, young couples, young families, empty nesters, and a large gay community. According to the 2000 Census, slightly fewer than 5,000 people lived in Oakhurst”.  From the day I discovered Oakhurst about 12 years ago it has changed dramatically.  Everything from the racial demographics to the type of crime. The style of the houses large craftsman homes are everywhere. While they are beautiful the charm is slowly being eaten away. With the authenticity of this historical village is disappearing.  The restaurants and cafe’s reflect this also.   About 5 years ago it was a buzzing place for singles, couples ranging from late twenties and up.  Great bars and restaurants dot the crossroads in the village and its a unique little place.  On more recent visits I see young kids in high chairs in bars, yes bars, now being called restaurants to accommodate the new demographic in the area. The trendies will have to discover a new area, and they as always are trying to stay a step ahead of the giant strollers the size of mini coopers who follow them everywhere and take over their heaven. Kirkwood is also cool but out-priced now for what is has to offer. Avondale Eastates is cool and also out-priced as are places like Little 5 points. Virginia highlands which went off the charts financially 20 years ago.

Oakhurst, Atlanta's secret village

Sandra and Officer fields

The Yuppies took over Oakhurst

This side of Atlanta is currently my favourite and seems to be of others my age also. Prices have changed a lot from 15-20 years ago. After the recession in the mid 2000’s if you were brave enough there were bargains to be had but it was an intimidating place to live if you didn’t fit in with the general demographic and I mean that with all respect. Crime was quite high even for Atlanta. However as prices went crazy in places like Buckhead, Sandy Srings, Virginia Highlands and Vinings etc Yuppies began looking for areas they could afford to buy and as happens in many cities around the world gentrification took place and each time I return there are even more craftsman houses. Prices are now very high and the crime is still not what you would like it to be and gentrification is spreading to neighbouring neighbourhoods like Kirkwood, Avondale Estates, Candler Park and Inman Park all very expensive now. Belvedere Park still offers some value and Edgewood and I have some friends who have all purchased homes in these areas. They have quite a few years to wait until this neighbourhood gets anything like Oakhurst if ever and Id lie if I said I didn’t know someone who hasn’t been robbed or carjacked at gun point in those latter 2 neighbourhoods.

Oakhurst, whats it like?

Unlike a lot of places in the US its very walkable but do be careful walking alone and after dark. Lots of bikes and Vespa’s which I rarely see in America. Vintage cars from an era gone and cool buildings that have been turned into bars and restaurants. About five years ago the crossroads as I call it was just a group of bars restaurants and cafes and and a store. On my last visit a few weeks ago it seems now they are full of yuppies bringing their kids with them much to the disappointment of the local hipsters who seemed to have braved this location first this making it cool looking for cool places to hangout.

Oakhurst, Atlanta's secret village

Coffee in Oakhurst

Nevertheless Oakhurst to me is a lovely quirky place to live however I have moved passed the stage of wanting to be in bars with children or even family style places as my son is not 20. I can see the people who made this place cool starting to look for the next place to live. Its a cycle though the same thing will happen to the new hot spot.

Oakhurst Celebrations

Oakhurst, Atlanta's secret village


Festivals include Blues & Bluegrass Festival, Harmony Park in Oakhurst. Live music and barbecue. Earth Day in Oakhurst.
Jazz Nights at Old Scottish Rite Hospital. Free jazz concerts under the stars. Artists market.

Oakhurst, Atlanta's secret village

Oakhurst regulars

Whats Close to Oakhurst ?

If Oakhurst is your base its very easy to get to the city of Decatur, Kirkwood, East Atlanta, Little 5 points and from there Buckhead without going near a freeway. You have access to I-285 and to Marta if public transport is what your looking for.

Oakhurst favourite bar

Steinbecks but for the ambiance not the beer. Favourite bartender Jimmy. Favourite restaurant Matador great drinks also.

Do I like it yes. Would I live here yes.  http://www.oakhurstga.org/

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About Sandra

Just a girl from Ireland who wants to live everywhere. Not a planner, a winger when it comes to travel. I don't even like people who plan too much. Without spontaneity there is no depth. A jack of all trades. A great friend, loyal and passionate and I expect the same in return. Always ready for the next adventure at a moments notice.
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