As a destination distinctly defined by its diversity, the ATL Airport District is the proud home to dozens of Black-owned businesses, from upbeat brunch locales and Southern barbecue joints to fitness studios and wellness spas. In honor of Black History Month, we’ve put together a quick guide of our Black-owned establishments that we encourage you to support all year long. We’re also rounding up the special events that celebrate Black excellence in the District, and spotlighting a few nearby landmarks and cultural attractions for an added dose of history this February.
We Love Our Black-Owned Businesses
When dining in the District, there is no shortage of Black-owned restaurants to choose from, with each establishment boasting its own local flavor and inspired cuisine. If brunching were a sport, the District would win the gold with options like The Breakfast Boys, Buttermilk Biscuit, The Real Milk & Honey and Buttermilk Biscuit. The Southside also boasts bangin' barbecue hotspots like Hattie Marie’s, Tom, Dick, and Hank, Pit Boss and This Is It! Southern Kitchen & Bar-B-Q.
There are plenty of options for those looking to grab a quick bite. Look no further than Bodega on Main, Wrap-a-Lot, Taco Pete and Zubi’s Taco Kitchen, each serving up a variety of satisfying menu items for those on the go. Date night? Indulge in the intimate ambiance at Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen & Bar, The Corner Grille, Nouveau, Aye Tea Elle , or Party of 5, where charm and elegance come together to create memorable dining experiences.
Venture down to Union City to enjoy made-from-scratch pizza with a touch of Haitian flavor at 1804 Pizza Bar. Or head to J.R. Crickets, a lively sports bar specializing in beer, Buffalo-style chicken wings and other casual eats. This list barely scratches the surface of the Black-owned restaurants in the District, so be sure to check out our more comprehensive list spanning College Park, Hapeville, and Union City here.
Because moderation is key, balance out your dining adventures in the District with a visit to one of our Black-owned wellness spots. For a high-energy workout, head to Cycle Gang for a dynamic group cycling session, or opt for a mindful movement experience at Sanskrit Moon Yoga. In College Park, The Wellness Spot is a locally owned spa and health club offering massage therapy and other rejuvenating experiences. For the little ones, Kids Gym USA is the nation’s first pre-school gymnastics program with activities for all ages.
Black History Month Event Calendar
In addition to supporting our local businesses, we invite you to join us in celebrating the vibrant tapestry of Black culture and heritage in the District with various events to commemorate Black History Month:
Saturday, February 3
The City of College Park is hosting their 3rd annual Black History Month Program, “Trailblazing in Modern Times” at the Gateway Center Arena from 2 to 4 pm on Saturday, February 3rd. The event will include the inaugural swearing-in ceremony for Mayor Bianca Motley Broom, councilwoman Jamelle McKenzie, and councilwoman Tracie Arnold, who were elected as the first Black female representatives of Wards 1 and 3, respectively. Two-time Emmy award-winning reporter La’Tasha Givens will host the event with an appearance from special guest speaker, Lt. Rex “R.J.” Willis Jr. Attendees will enjoy live performances at this free event. Complementary parking will be available in the Sky Lot.
Friday, February 9
The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers returns to Hapeville this Spring with high anticipation. The first featured film, Butterfly in the Sky, directed and produced by Bradford Thomason and Brett Whitcomb, tells the story of the beloved PBS children’s series "Reading Rainbow," its iconic host LeVar Burton, and the challenges its creators faced in cultivating a love of reading through television. A reception will take place at 6 pm with the film starting at 7 pm at the Christ Church and Carriage House.
Saturday, February 10
Atlanta Printmakers Studio celebrates Black History Month with the opening of Souls Exposed, an exceptional art exhibition curated from two private Atlanta art collections specializing in original printmaking created by Black (mostly southern) artists. Stop in from 2 - 4 pm on February 10 for the opening reception, or stop by while the artwork is on display through March 9.
Saturday, February 17
In conjunction with its fourth annual Black History Month Celebration, the City of Hapeville will showcase original works by local artists organized around the theme Multitudes: Celebrating the Depth, Breadth and Diversity of the African American Experience, depicting a wide variety of artistic expression and perspectives. Art will be on display at the Hapeville Depot Museum and a variety of performances will take place at the Academy Theatre during a concurrent opening reception from 2 to 6 pm on February 17. Artwork will remain on display at the Depot Museum through March 9th.
Thursday, February 22 – Tuesday, March 27
The Impact Theatre Atlanta and the Academy Theatre will present A Lady and A Woman, a critically acclaimed love story in which two African American women find in each other the courage to begin life anew.
Historic Landmarks and Attractions Nearby
With the District situated just south of Downtown Atlanta, you can easily embark on a journey through Black history with several notable landmarks and attractions just a quick MARTA ride away. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Park covers about 35 acres and includes several sites related to the life and work of the legendary civil rights leader, including his birth home which is closed until 2025 due to renovations. Nearby, The King Center exhibits MLK related photos and artifacts, plus rooms on Gandhi and Rosa Parks. With services open to the public, you can attend Ebenezer Baptist Church. A mile south sits the historic Oakland Cemetery, which is Atlanta’s oldest public park and the final resting place for many civil rights leaders and activists. Tours through the towering and picturesque oak and magnolia trees are available to the public and highly recommended given the chance. Head a few miles east to check out The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the APEX Museum, which offers a variety of exhibits detailing history presented from the Black perspective, and the national historic landmark, the Herndon Home.