ATLANTA -- The grocery store popularly known as the Murder Kroger will close this week. It’s arguably a good news story for the unfortunately-named store – in a part of town where change is rampant and character and affordability are at risk.
Two years ago, the store popularly known as Murder Kroger underwent a renovation and a re-brand. Turns out it wasn’t enough. Soon enough, it’ll have a towering, mixed-use look – adding to a cityscape rife with people-packing density.
"We’re going to all be mixed use. It’s going to be a world of mixed use," chuckled Robert Hatcher. He runs a rare commodity in this neighborhood – a low-cost eatery in a low-slung cinder block building – right across from the upscale behemoth, Ponce City Market, that sits alongside the trendy Atlanta Beltline.
Eats opened in 1993. The neighborhood has "cleaned up a bit," Hatcher said. "There were women of the night on the corner, you know, we’d have to run off" in the early days of Eats.
Back then, the Clermont Hotel up the street still took in boarders. Now it’s a rehab project. Back then, the Masquerade two blocks away was in its infancy as a music venue. It’s also due to close and reopen as another mixed use destination. And back then, a senseless murder in the nearby Kroger parking lot drew xcursory TV coverage, a crime whose notoriety would inexplicably linger for 25 years.
"I've been coming to Murder Kroger for at least 10 years," said Megan Heaney, a resident who said she's used the nickname the entire time.
The neighborhood is in an undeniably accelerated state of transition. The shelves of the Kroger have emptied as it prepares to shut down and then re-brand yet again – in an effort to keep up with its fast-moving surroundings.
"I think there is an ongoing saying that says, tell us what you like most about the culture in Atlanta and we’ll knock it over and build a high rise condo on top," Heaney said.
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