Edgewood Avenue has arguably become one of the most trendsetting corners in Atlanta.
Actually, that designation has been a long time coming. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, which consists of a visitor center devoted to the civil rights icon, the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the King grave and eternal flame, the Freedom Hall and historic Fire Station No. 6) are all one block from Edgewood Avenue.
Killer Mike's barbershop, The SWAG Shop, is on Edgewood. And the Sweet Auburn Curb Market backs up to Edgewood as well. That street car runs up and down Edgewood too. During the day, it's just a quiet little city street.
But at night? The masses descend on the place from all walks of life, all races, age groups and religions. They tend to share one thing in common: They're looking for somewhere fun to drink.
Other night spots to add to the list:
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And Edgewood has them covered (except for if they want to park their car, which is virtually impossible to do on Edgewood.)
If one had just four hours to spend on the chic thoroughfare, these five spots would give you life (or categorically fill the need for a good drink and some unabashed dancing):
483 Edgewood Ave. SE
The first thing to know about Edgewood Avenue is that SoundTable is one of the highlights. The bar is stocked. The dance floor's often full and you'll hear some bumping sounds from some of Atlanta's best DJ's. The DJ's performing at SoundTable are the class of the city. The environment is chill. The food is artful. It's one of those places. Bad news: SoundTable is closed on Monday and Tuesday nights.
327 Edgewood Ave. SE
House music fans can surely find a home at the Music Room. Between this bar and Sound Table, you've got your weekend destination anchors. The difference? Sound Table's de luxe vibe is a counter to Music Room's edge. The basement aesthetic, with its dark, dank air and its old brick walls will get you going every time. The owners, who set the chill tone of the dance bar, even occasionally blog about things like the nuanced distinctions between house music and EDM.
Church's unique blend of quirk and swag brings a nightly buzz to Edgewood. Wednesday night is karaoke night.
466 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta GA
Probably the most famous bar on the street, Church attracts the bar scene for a wide spectrum —from the 20something girls night out to the frat brothers outing. For those looking to slam cheap domestic beers and reasonably-priced well drinks in a decidedly unpretentious environment, Church is your spot. Things you can do at Church: ping pong, darts, pound water in a hurry (until someone turns it to wine), et al. Soak in all the irreverence until, like so many pancakes, you've kind of had enough of a good thing for one night.
447 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
If you and your friends want to dance but you also hate nightclubs for all of the reasons you reasonably could, then go to Mother. What you're gonna get is this: two bars, a dance floor that gets pretty lit upstairs, a respectable back patio, all kinds of things for $2 on Tuesdays, various gastropub accouterments, a fun Thursday crowd, and, of course, the availability of pickleback shots, for the steelworker in you. They'll even respond to you on Foursquare.
357 Edgewood Ave. S.E, Atlanta, GA 30312
Don't let the "deli" part throw you. All week? Yeah, pretty much sandwiches. Weekend night? Nope, forget the sandwiches. Noni's transforms itself into a dance party on weekend nights. A sweaty dance party. And actually, don't forget the sandwiches. Sandwiches are still needed after dark.
Grant Henry, a former seminary student and church deacon, owns CHURCH, named best themed bar in the world by BuzzFeed. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM