Atlanta

Though the physical store nears its demise, “Disco Kroger” will never truly die – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2021-07-19 17:11:03 –

The murals at Piemont Road Shopping Center are expected to be preserved even if the shopping center is refurbished.

Photo by Myrydd Wells

If it were almost everywhere in the world, it could have been just another grocery store. It was like the patrons didn’t sweat, shine their eyes, or wear bell-bottoms or dazzlingly colored blouses. However, this is the backhead of the 1980s, and the 24-hour shop next to the Limelight Nightclub is a great place for fresh produce and nightclubs, an important refuge from cocaine-fueled dance parties. It was destined to become a “disco clogger”. Decades ago.

Limelight was closed in 1987, but the nicknames and heritage of nearby grocery stores have survived the club’s collapse. But now the store itself is in a disorganized place. As part of an effort to reinvent the Piemont Road Shopping Complex, which the store has called home since 1976, it paves the way for new supermarkets.

But if Atlanta’s knack for anointing Kroger with a permanent nickname is a future sign of Piemont Road’s property, Disco Kroger won’t really die.

“Atlanta has the unique characteristic of naming Krogers after decades of cultural destinations,” said David Mitchell, Executive Director of the Atlanta Conservation Center, Disco Kroger, Gay Kroger. , And even nods to Murder Kroger. Above all.. “No one says, Gay Kroger? What do you mean? Everyone nods and maybe just laughs. “

Disco Kroger is demolished, but heritage remains alive
Rendering of the plan on the north side of the shopping center. Binder’s art supply store (left) is currently hosting disco croger murals.

Rendering with ASD | Sky

Disco Kroger is demolished, but heritage remains alive
Rendering of the plan on the south side of the shopping center.

Rendering with ASD | Sky

Developer Regency Centers, which aims to refurbish the strip malls that Kroger currently holds, has not yet announced a grocery store that could replace the existing grocery store. Will not be a kerger.. But even if Whole Foods, Publix, and Aldi are based on the Backhead site, Mitchell says: Atlanta Magazine, “This is still a disco froger.”

“No matter what you put there, it’s always a landmark,” says Mitchell. See what happened when the so-called “murder kroger” (the location of Ponsey Highlands, named after the violent killing) was replaced by a larger, more sophisticated kroger. $ 200 Million Multipurpose Development Located on Ponsdereon Avenue. Kroger officially renamed the store “Beltline Kroger”.

“Everyone still calls it the’murder kroger’,” says Mitchell.

According to Guy Darema, a house photographer at Limelight Disco, maintaining the disco kroger nickname is important to protecting the cultural and perhaps historic fabrics of the area. “As long as someone is breathing to remember Limelight and Disco Kroger, it will keep that memory alive,” he says in an interview.

The corruption witnessed by Darema is a good reason to preserve the heritage of a dilapidated complex. “It was the nightclubs Sodom and Gomorrah,” he says.

Darema was taking pictures at the club when icons such as Tina Turner, Grace Jones and Andy Warhol appeared. Of course, the grocery store next door has no choice but to accept the role of a trading post for club staff and patrons, he says.

Depending on the day, the limelight closes at 3 or 4 am. Many of its patrons were taking “alternatives.” Some people get too tightly wounded. ”—Flock the disco krogers to nourish them.

“The Kroger probably sold more Nyquil than anything else,” he says.

Every weekend, a procession meandered out the door. Limelight was where it should be. So what began as a sort of spectacle that wealthy locals tried to avoid has evolved into a place that attracts a stunning audience, including those who never intended to see inside the club. Darema says he did.

As the club grows in popularity, people gather outside the Kroger parking lot, “just to taste what the club offers,” he says.

But even after the limelight closed, Kroger remained in a place where people felt comfortable about being themselves. For example, where else would you go when you need to unload a significant drag collection?

When his first husband died in the early 1990s, writer and PR pro Drew Plant entered a stash like “a lot of flashy and glittering dresses, tops and pants.”

Plant has posted a wardrobe job ad in “One of the Gay Chests of drawers,” he says. After “several nuisance calls,” Dominatrix asked. “We planned to meet, but didn’t go anywhere, she said, but she’s a disco ker.”

“A little weird thing won’t bother anyone,” she told him.

“I felt the whole scene was very Atlanta, very Southern Gothic. I know I would have tickled John,” Plant recalls about the deal about his late husband. “Without the role played by Disco Kroger, it wouldn’t have been this edgy.”

It’s not yet clear when Kroger will meet the wrecking ball, but the exchange is expected to start rising in late 2022. However, when a construction worker bites the site, the iconic disco ball hanging in the store is retained. There is also a vibrant disco mural next to the art supply store in the complex.

Mitchell said: “No matter what you put there, it will always be a landmark.”

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