Settled in the 1850s, Castleberry Hill was once called “Snake Nation” for the prominence of snake oil salesmen. It served as the city’s red-light district and industrial neighborhood for cotton warehouses. It was later named for local businessman Daniel Castleberry and was federally listed as a historic district in 1985. It’s also located near Atlanta’s historically black colleges and universities. This downtown-adjacent neighborhood is one that many visitors pass through without realizing it, but it’s worth exploring further.
Favorite Neighborhood for Hollywood
In the 1990s, the run-down appearance led it to be used in dystopic films like Freejack and Kalifornia. Today, Castleberry Hill is still known for its association with film and the arts. Atlanta Movie Tours, Inc. has their office here, showcasing the area’s best filming locations. Among the projects filmed in the neighborhood in the last few years alone are Captain America: Civil War, BET’s Being Mary Jane, Ride Along, The Boss, and The Walking Dead, among many others. Driving Miss Daisy was filmed right across the street long before the state became known for their tax incentives.
Sports Fans Welcome
Castleberry Hill also sits in the shadow of the city’s sports complexes. In fact, it was the Centennial Olympics that renewed interest in developing the neighborhood. The Georgia Dome will soon be replaced by the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home for the Atlanta Falcons. It’s here that the 2019 Super Bowl will take place. With this new development comes more commerce, including restaurants, shops, and a Hard Rock Hotel, which broke ground this month.
Castleberry’s Best Eats
Dozens of businesses line Walker and Peters streets representing all types of cuisine. Paschal’s Restaurant is a culinary and cultural icon, playing host to Civil Rights leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy in its former location. Today, you can see the images of these great citizens as you enjoy their fried chicken, their most famous dish. The Smoke Ring serves up barbecue with all the sides, while No Mas! Hacienda & Cantina and adjoining ADios Cafe take you south of the border. No Mas was one of the first businesses to set up shop here in the 1990s. Bottle Rocket Fine Food and Beverage, Blu Cantina, Spin, 225 Tapas Lounge, Pearl Restaurant & Lounge and Elliott Street Deli & Pub are also neighborhood favorites.
A Love of the Arts
A number of art galleries also exist in Castleberry Hill, where locals and visitors alike enjoy the Second Friday Art Stroll. Murals on walls now document the area’s notable residents. The Goat Farm has also set up a creative space in the neighborhood. To create your own works of art, visit Mass Collective or The Blu’ Bisque.
Living in the Hill
Former industrial spaces like cotton warehouses and garages were transformed into hip lofts in preparation for the 1996 Olympics. The neighborhood’s residents are fiercely proud and community oriented, holding events like their annual chili cook-off. Castleberry Hill is a short walk from three MARTA Stations, including the Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center Transit Station, Garnett Station, and Vine City Station. You’ll also find a Relay Bike Share area where you can borrow a blue bike to get around the city.