Community rallies to save Little 5 Points Star Bar

Developments forcing star bar to relocate
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:39 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - A long-standing dive bar in Little 5 Points has received support from thousands of people worried a redevelopment plan could shut the business down for good.

Third & Urban, an Atlanta-based developer, announced plans for a multi-use development at the corner of Moreland and Euclid Avenue. The 2.5-acre property will include housing, workspace, retail, and dining.

However, part of the plans would put Star Community Bar’s future in jeopardy according to the bar’s co-owner, Luke Lewis. Lewis said the developer and his landlord notified him the building had been bought out last month.

“All these great places – we’re seeing them swallowed up by giant developers to put in cookie cutter houses to cookie-cutter businesses because that’s what gets them return on investment,” said Lewis. “It stinks when we’re getting run over by someone else.”

Lewis said the developers proposed the bar relocate to a unit in the planned multi-use facility, but fear the bar might not survive the move.

“To reinvest that money somewhere else is another huge financial expenditure, especially after the pandemic,” said Lewis. “We spent a lot of money getting this facility back into shape.”

In a matter of days, thousands of people signed a petition to “Save the Star Bar Atlanta.” Many expressed concerns over how removing local businesses could also remove the neighborhood’s personality.

The Atlanta-based developer, Third & Urban, said it is still early in the planning process and is working with Star Bar to evaluate options.

“We are exploring creative ways of keeping the best parts of the site intact while replacing the surface parking lots with new greenspace and structures that better activate the street and bring more pedestrian activity to the community,” said Hank Farmer, co-founder of Third & Union.

Supporters of the project point toward additional business opportunities in the area. Some say there is not a lot of business in Little 5 Points 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on weekdays, and the redevelopment could help existing businesses.

Other supporters point toward housing opportunities – optimistic about more affordable housing options in Atlanta.