By Julie Ray
The smell of crepes, baguettes, fruity wines and coffee waft from the doorway of a bustling bistro. Laughter and conversation abound with Chef De’Marcus who is at work behind the counter where patrons watch crepe creations being made to order. This quaint little picture could be in France. It could be but it is not. It is, in fact, in Bartlett. Oui, where Bartlett resident and owner of Le Crepe du Vin, 5788 Stage Road, Chef Kevin De’Marcus Woodard minds the store in Town Square Shopping Center. The Center is indicative of a trend for cities to create ‘place’ and Woodard is definitely adding to that sense of place.
Woodard is just one of many businesses that are creating movement in an area that seems to have had stalled progress for a while in the development of ‘place.’ The Board of Mayor and Aldermen, recently approved business operations for the newly opened music store, reVolve. The special approval for the music store was due to the fact that reVolve buys, sells and trades used music equipment, typically a practice of pawn shops which are discouraged in the Bartlett community. Though reVolve is not a pawnshop but a new trend within the industry.
Shops that have held a presence in the Center for a while should be especially happy to see the movement, some of it spurred by the construction taking place at 5820 Stage Road. This is the space where Mayor Keith McDonald who has been in business for 31 years and his son, Brooks McDonald, who has been in business for almost three years will share office space with a total of 8 employees combined. The two Brooks are looking forward to sharing the 2400 square feet of office space. Driving by the area, the yellow exterior board and plastic windows denote construction in progress.
“Realistically we are looking at the completion date by the end of October,” said Brooks McDonald of the site. “The windows should be installed in the next few days, and the interior work such as plumbing and wiring are almost complete.”
Meanwhile, back in Le Crepe du Vin, Woodard says that Brooks already has a favorite menu item, a sweet crepe called the ‘fluff-a-nutter,’ which according to the menu has peanut butter, fluff, Nutella, banana, and graham cracker crumbs. While the elder McDonald prefers the ‘bonjour,’ a savory crepe with fried egg, choice of ham, turkey or bacon and Swiss or mozzarella.
In addition to fresh ingredients for crepes, sandwiches and salads, the crepery uses local vendors as well. J. Brooks coffee roasters, for example, created a special coffee blend with chocolate overtones and vanilla undertones. Woodard calls the special coffee blend ‘Matin,’ which Woodard says means morning in French. There is a bold Matin and a mild Matin. Either roast has favors that will wake the sleepiest of souls gently. Expansion beyond the north wall will host a wine bar to appeal to romantics.
As a whole, the Center will be an asset to Bartlett as a destination, once complete.