Beltline’s new futuristic restaurant welcomes young activists


Photo courtesy of Aftercar

Projection of the restaurant’s outdoor seating area.

Maeve Malaney-Lau

Just when the people of Atlanta thought the Beltline couldn’t expand more, it got even bigger. A year of exciting new restaurants and new concepts lie ahead for Atlanta’s beloved Beltline as famous chefs and vendors vye for a coveted spot on the real estate Mecca. The founder of the Beltline, Ryan Gravel, continues to push boundaries with even more creative ideas.

Gravel plans to open his new restaurant, Aftercar, in the basement of the Telephone Factory Lofts within the next few months. The restaurant will combine sustainability with futuristic features, and Gravel intends for it to be a space of creativity. 

“I used to work at Playa Bowls on the Beltline, and I think that any restaurant on the Beltline has a lot of potential,” said senior Sarah Likins. 

While restaurants on the Beltline tend to be pricey due to high demand, Gravel wants Aftercar to be affordable and comfortable to Atlanta. All of the restaurant’s food will be locally grown, and the restaurant will feature a rooftop garden perfect for enjoying a cup of tea or coffee on the go. 

“You do see a lot of higher prices on the Beltline, but that doesn’t stop the constant  flow of customers at all,” said Likins. “A restaurant with more affordable prices would definitely attract a lot more people, too.”

Gravel hopes that the affordability of Aftercar will drawn in a wide range of customers, and wants the restaurant to be a place of common ground. The futuristic feel of the restaurant will provide inspiration to customers who are planning the future of the city right now in the heart of the city itself.

“Having a place like Aftercar nearby is such a cool idea, and I hope we will be able to work with them,” said the co-founder of Grady’s March For Our Lives chapter, junior Emma Uppelschoten. “Next school year our goal is to have more guest speakers and organize more community gatherings, and if we could do this at Aftercar I think it could add some legitimacy  to our club.”

Some of the most notable political and social movements in history started in restaurants, bars, and pubs, and Aftercar aspires to be an open space for creativity and discussion. Atlanta’s rich history gives young minds a canvas to expand on, and many of these minds our developing at our very own Grady High School in the heart of the city.

Young activists are Aftercar’s target customer type, and the location’s proximity to Grady offers an exciting potential for networking and planning. The space also offers room for  entertainment and art exhibits which will provide great opportunities for Grady students to showcase their work. Gravel wants the restaurant to be an ever-changing experience with lights, videos, and live performances. This kind of concept is new to the Beltline as it is no traditional restaurant.

“I one hundred percent think that a place like Aftercar could allow for more collaboration between organizations in Atlanta. Especially with the restaurant being on the Beltline, it would be super easy to access the public and organize bigger groups,” said Uppelschoten.