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Andrea

Fat Boy in Smyrna yields to gentrification

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http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/cob...tboy.html?imw=Y

The popular drive-in restaurant plans to close Saturday after 37 years as the place in Smyrna for foot-long hot dogs, burgers and milkshakes. The Kipreos family has operated the drive-in restaurant at this Concord Road location since 1969. Fat Boy, the name of the double-decker cheeseburger, was started by Nick Kipreos.

"If you haven't been there in a while, they'll ask you where you've been," Brown said. "And they always know what you will order."

Fat Boy, which some locals compare to Atlanta's legendary Varsity restaurant, is falling victim to a wave of gentrification that is transforming Smyrna. It's a story that's playing out across metro Atlanta as redevelopment and rising land values squeeze out mom-and-pop businesses.

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You'd think that they would own the building by now as long as they've been there. Why are they still having to pay rent??

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That I don't know, but it's still sad to see decent, hardworking people driven out by big developers with their glitzy cafes, condos and sushi bars. Sometimes you just want a hot dog and you'd rather deal with a real live local merchant instead of some giant chain named Dr. Frankfurter or something like that.

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The opposite can be said for my neighborhood. I live in the MLK Jr Historic District. When I moved here there were so few places to eat. The Patty Hut on Edgewood (still there) and Wing Leader (opened right before the Olympics/ named changed recently) were two of the few that I liked. There were a few more gems, but very few. The King center is one of our most popular attractions, yet there are NO chain eateries. I can't believe there isn't a Chili

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I doubt it is racism. The only color your big corporations care about is green. They have access to all kinds of research and data on what income, crime rates, land cost, etc that they need to make a restaurant work within their acceptable level of risk. Small businesses have always been able to make it in areas that the big companies don't date tread because the small business is more willing to take on risk (or in some cases, just don't fully understand the risk). Another factor is that people who live locally in an area can see changes in demographics much sooner than big corporations who are relying on huge expensive databases that are slow to be updated.

If Ruby Tuesday thinks they can make money in a neighborhood, they're not going to care the skin color of who lives there. As long as the numbers add up, they're going to come in. The interesting thing is that since many of these businesses have similar risk and operations ranges, what you often see is a neighborhood that gets no attention from the big guys and then a certain threshold is crossed and they see that neighborhood on their radar at the same time so you suddenly go from no big chains to having a dozen all coming in at the same time.

I know lots of people visit the King Historic District (and I think you should view any numbers coming out of the King Center with a grain of salt) but that doesn't necessarily equal good business for a national chain. Remember many of these chains are francises so even if they were blind to the appeal of the area or were racist, a francisee would see the market and open a store.

Enjoy your independent stores while you can. Eventually the demographics of the neighborhood will change enough that it will appeal to the big guys and they will come in with guns blazing determined to take over all of the business.

As a side note, even with what I just mentioned in mind, do remember that some businesses fail, even after being open a long time. Blaiming big chains or gentrification is easy to do but isn't always the reason why a business fails.

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I doubt it is racism.

Enjoy your independent stores while you can. Eventually the demographics of the neighborhood will change enough that it will appeal to the big guys and they will come in with guns blazing determined to take over all of the business.

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^ Racism is probably the wrong term. Probably it's prejudice on the part of these corporations, but I honestly doubt it's racism. They exist to make money and will typically move wherever that is achievable.

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How can it be racism if they make independents go out of business? Are independants all owned by people of one race and corporations by people of another? I can't follow your logic in any way, shape, or form. What is your point? Please explain it to me. How is this racism? What is it that you are getting at? First you claim it is racist that they don't locate in the neighborhood and now you think it is racist if they do come in and put independents out of business. What wouldn't be racist, for them to come in, lose money, and go out of business? I can't follow you at all.

Corporations want to make money. They don't care if the neighborhood is made up of klansmen, Zulu, or French mimes. If they can make money there with a comfortable degree of risk, they will do it. Money is money, no matter who you get it from and it spends just the same.

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How can it be racism if they make independents go out of business? Are independants all owned by people of one race and corporations by people of another? I can't follow your logic in any way, shape, or form. What is your point? Please explain it to me. How is this racism? What is it that you are getting at? First you claim it is racist that they don't locate in the neighborhood and now you think it is racist if they do come in and put independents out of business. What wouldn't be racist, for them to come in, lose money, and go out of business? I can't follow you at all.

Corporations want to make money. They don't care if the neighborhood is made up of klansmen, Zulu, or French mimes. If they can make money there with a comfortable degree of risk, they will do it. Money is money, no matter who you get it from and it spends just the same.

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You tell me, I merely asked a question of you, about a statement that you made in your post.

You can't follow my asking a question of you? I never made the claims that you're giving me credit for. Why are you ranting without cause?

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The root problem is, as the article said, not at all vague or obscure: Land Values went up. Fat Boy either rented the site, or couldn't pay their tax bill because of the increased land value. When any town or neighborhood becomes hot, the land values make it impossible for mom and pops to have a business model that works. That's why a corporate client takes over.

Idea: Since land values rise because the community at large creates them - not individuals - the community should tax that land value to decrease other taxes that places like Fat Boy pay. A higer tax on land will also likely stabilize or lower the dollar value of land.

JoshMy Webpage

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Scoop, since there is no ignore feature here, I'm just going to tell you straight up that you've shown in multiple threads an inability to make use of logic or reading comprehension. All of your posts from this point forward will be ignored.

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Not logical because you make no sense. Your points are poorly argued and and almost never backed up. It may be that you are suffering from a debilitating case of shoulderus chipitis.

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That I don't know, but it's still sad to see decent, hardworking people driven out by big developers with their glitzy cafes, condos and sushi bars. Sometimes you just want a hot dog and you'd rather deal with a real live local merchant instead of some giant chain named Dr. Frankfurter or something like that.

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