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Can neighborhoods and nightclubs coexist in Atlanta?

Vision nightclub in Midtown in 2006, just before it closed. Its owners, Alex and Michael Gidewon, want to open a new club on Peachtree Street. Neighbors oppose it. AJC file photo

What does it mean to have fun in Midtown? What should it mean?

Can neighborhoods and nightclubs coexist?

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A story on the front page of the AJC last weekend described two perspectives so different, it’s hard to believe we’re talking about the same neighborhood.

The first: a $4 million nightclub unlike anything else in the city — “Video screens on the ceiling. Marble-top bar counters. A state-of-the-art fog system.” — a more mature version of a few years ago, when the blocks between 10th and 14th street were filled with high-profile clubs.

The second: a dense residential neighborhood with new condos, offices and restaurants. Families, young professionals, retirees. New, but comfortable. Busy, but quiet.

The first comes with crime and noise, some argue. Other say the second option cuts off the once-popular Midtown club scene, and keeps Atlanta from being anything special.

A plan for a new nightclub along Peachtree Street is turning this disagreement into a fight about what’s best for Atlanta’s most famous street — daily life, or an active nightlife. I wonder, is there anything in between?

From the story published August 29, “Peachtree Street nightclub plan faces fight”:

Opponents say this part of Peachtree is now residential and believe a nightclub will bring fights, shootings and rowdy folk playing loud music from their cars as they cruise along Peachtree Street.

That does not fit with the neighborhood motif, they say, although most condo buildings on Peachtree Street are several blocks south of the proposed site.

“It has no purpose [on Peachtree Street],” area resident and architect Shraddha Sriviastan said during a Midtown Neighbors’ Association license and permit committee meeting Monday. “This is not going to help the development [of Midtown].”

The Gidewons [the club owners] and their supporters counter that Atlanta, particularly this area, needs their brand of refined nightlife. They haven’t figured out what they’re going to call the venues.

“This is going to be a high-end destination,” said Q100 radio personality Jeff Dauler, who’s gotten a peek inside the buildings. “It is a venue appropriate for Peachtree Street … It makes you feel you’ve been somewhere special.”

Here’s an earlier story, too, “Neighbors don’t want a new Vision nightclub.”

Does Atlanta needs more late-night entertainment, and why? Is Midtown the right place for it, or is there a better location? How can neighborhoods and nightlife coexist?

Remember, this is a blog about fun things to do in Atlanta, not a blog about politics or race. Keep your comments focused and respectful. This is obviously a hot topic among some Atlantans, so let’s push the conversation forward.

28 comments Add your comment


July 9th, 2010
2:57 am

Being a patron of Visions the club did attract a higher end party clientle than nost clubs. Also when the club closed you can feel a shift for Atlanta nightlife for the worse. There are club on Cresent Ave. that bring a lot of traffic. What really gets me is how people are upset about a club being built when you live in a major city on the major street. If the noise concerns you so move to the burbs. There are high rises around that same area that can not open because people are not buying but there is a problem opening a bussiness that generates money for the city. Hum that’s funny to me. Classic case of having the cake and eating it too. I want to live downtown/midtown because its cool and close to everything but if it gets too loud and too many people around I want them to go away. Give me a break and get over yourself


December 15th, 2009
7:06 pm

I really think you guys should bring vision back! It was one of the best night club in geogria actually. Visions was the hot spot. It didn’t give that getto inpression at all. More mature crowd. Please reopen vision back. Also, I wouldn’t mind being a waitress or manager for the club. I have manger experience as well. Thanks for taking time out to read my concerns.

[...] talked before about whether neighborhoods and nightclubs can co-exist, but this takes the question to neighborhoods, nightclubs and hours of the night. Let’s just [...]

Greg Miller

September 9th, 2009
12:04 pm

What happened to “The Midtown Mile” idea – to raise Peachtree Street to world class status like Michigan Avenue in Chicago or Park Avenue in New York?

Does opening Vision Nightclub on Peachtree Street help to raise Peachtree to world class status?

I am from Chicago and Michigan Avenue is the place you go for world class shopping, dining, and lodging… not for nightclubs. You go to Rush Street for that.

Jamie Gumbrecht

September 7th, 2009
11:31 pm

Hey folks, just a reminder: please stay on the topic of whether neighborhoods and nightclubs can coexist. Informed: please don’t throw anonymous accusations around in the comments.


September 7th, 2009
5:24 pm

It’s funny but that family (the Gidewons) should be sent packing. They jumped out onto the scene out of nowhere. I wonder where they got all the money to start these clubs. These clubs are more than likely a front for someone’s drug money. People need to investigate that family. Something doesn’t seem right I bet there’s a BIGGER STORY waiting to be uncovered.


September 3rd, 2009
9:38 am

1) What does it matter what other cities have and do? Atlanta needs to do what is best for Atlanta and it’s citizens. Do you think those cities became what they are because they followed the same pattern?
2) For all those people who say “don’t move to midtown if you don’t want the noise” or “the clubs where there first”, forget that not all the people living in midtown or the condos that have gone up are as old as they are. I’m sure the residents who spent hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to move into midtown did so during the time when Vision or any other “mega-club” was not in business. As far as they are concerned, the noise, litter, and traffic were not what they paid for nor was it a foreseeable problem on such a scale. I, for one, moved into a condo within the last year a block far where SPI will be located and had no idea such a club was in the works. I moved there expecting the the loud sirens, occasional car honking, and human banter walking down the sidewalk. I expected noise… to a degree. I am not willing to give up the atmosphere I have paid for, learned to appreciate, and expect just because people who don’t pay the same taxes I do and who don’t appreciate the city I live in because they came from the ‘burbs want to come into my city to live a night of lower standards then they would expect in their own neighborhoods.
3) I agree that Atlanta needs a little more nightlife. As a “yuppie” as y’all so fondly refer to us as, I want to be able to go out and have fun with my friends. I just don’t want my “neighbor” to be the one throwing the party every weekend and most week nights. There are much better locations for this club. Why not DOWNTOWN? Nobody from out of town talks about visiting “Midtown Atlanta” anyways.
4) I also think this nightclub would be okay if the patrons actually kept to their standards that they want out of a club. A club cannot be high-end or “grown and sexy” unless the people going inside or waiting in line are. The club must also be concerned if they find a need to have metal-detectors at the doors. Unfortunatly that’s only good for inside the club. What about the people that get turned away? As previously stated, there will be 2 cops to help with traffic outside of the club. Well that’s only going to help the 250 people who are lucky enough to get a parking spot in the club’s lot. What about the guaranteed to be needed overflow lots? After looking over the materials presented to Midtown Neighbors’ Association Board of Directors, I noticed that there are people to help with the overflow street lot planned but no one is set up to help with the overflow parking deck. Not to mention, who is actually going to pay to park in that deck when there are free spots lining Piedmont and Juniper. I am very concerned by this fact and the fact that my window looks out at that overflow deck. Who is even going to be responsible for all those people going back to their cars?
5) I understand you can’t please everyone. Sadly it sounds as if the Gidewons have only worried about pleasing themselves. Maybe if they had been a bit more considerate of their neighbors their first go around, people would be more considerate of their efforts now.


September 2nd, 2009
11:31 am

I do not want this club to be opened in this location. I live on Peachtree in South Buckhead and do not want the cruisers from the burbs (b/c that’s usually who it is) driving up and down Peachtree in the middle of the night with their music blaring (don’t even get me started on the stupid motorcycles with no mufflers!). WE are paying the taxes to live there and deserve to be able to sleep at night.

Build your club…but build it some where else! We don’t want you in our neighborhood! Kevin was RIGHT ON!