The other day, I received a text from a friend who was excited about some restaurant changes in Vinings. While I’m always happy for new additions, I was sad all day to hear about Garrison’s closing and her saying La Paz might be closing. So last night, my son and I went to La Paz to find out what was going on. I was relieved when the hostess explained that they weren’t closing but that the ownership was changing.
These restaurants and shops in Vinings are part of our Village and my life and memories. I have come to enjoy the atmosphere, familiarity and tradition associated with both of these places. For as long as I can remember, when I have gone to the Vinings Tree lighting the first Thursday in December, I’ve met a group of friends either at Garrison’s or Mellow Mushroom. I’ve enjoyed many spring and fall days with laughter on Garrison’s patio. Margaritas on Friday’s at La Paz and Sunday night dinner with friends are something I can remember as far back as before my son was born. He’s been eating their queso since he was 2. It makes me really sad to think of these places, where I’ve made so many memories, going away.
While reminiscing about life in the Village, I remember walking my dog to the Village Starbucks and sitting on their patio with him while I read the paper (long before the iPad gave me the news). There was Caribou on the corner next to where Suntrust now is. I actually mourned the loss of the regular employees that all seemed to have left this past year at Suntrust. I knew them on a first name basis – Chris the former manager; I remember my son as a baby kissing Katie when she gave him lollipops when he came in. Now it’s all new employees that I don’t know and don’t know us and it makes me not really care to stop in there anymore.
Remember the small local coffee shop that is where Café at Pharr now is? I have good memories of that as well. I preferred the Vinings Inn in the 90’s when it first reopened to the new ownership that took over in this decade. Oh well, things change and we’ll make new memories, but somehow they all seem to define a season of my life from when I was single and working in corporate America, to when my son came home and I was sharing the pictures from Russia with my friends on the board of the Vinings Historic Preservation Society. I’m now crying with all this flood of memories, but as my son grows and we continue to live here, the restaurants will keep changing and we’ll have new memories at those as well.
At which Vinings restaurants have you made great memories? For those of you who have been around here a while, are there any you particularly miss?