Most restaurants at Krog Street Market have their menus posted above their counter making it clearly visible what they have to offer patrons. If a restaurant does not have a giant menu board, then they have a small paper menu available to browse. No restaurant at Krog Street Market hides its menu making it easy to understand what each restaurant has to serve. By having big menu boards, also, it encourages people to stroll by each restaurant. By doing that, customers can consider all options at the market instead of only a select few.
The market is accessible for disabled people as evidenced by the picture. Outside of the market, there is a large ramp for people who are wheelchair-bound to use. However, the benches attached to the picnic tables are immovable, meaning that a disabled person in a wheelchair would be forced to sit at the end of the table. However, they can move a chair from the individual seating and pull up comfortably (like in the picture). Also, most restaurants have low enough counters so disabled people could talk with workers and receive their food comfortably. By making sure disabled people feel welcome, the market creates a culture and an environment where everyone is welcome and no one is discriminated against.
Most seating at Krog Street Market is in “family-style.” In other words, the market has picnic tables that can probably seat around 15-20 people at each. The picnic tables promote socialization with patrons eating at the market. Because people sit in such close quarters, this encourages them to talk to each other, comment on each other’s food, and so forth. Also by having picnic tables as seating, Krog Street Market is encouraging its customers to bring many people. If the market were entirely tables with just four tables around them, it would be difficult to bring big parties because one would have to ensure there would be enough tables and then they would have to move the tables and chairs. Now, a large party can comfortably sit together at a picnic table with no worry. However, if someone does not like the idea of sitting so close to people, there are tall chairs located on a counter attached to a wall. There are also individual seating around tables (four chairs per table), and some restaurants have their own seating. Overall, the seating in Krog Street Market creates a culture of socialization and friendliness.
Alcohol and the sale of alcohol play a significant role at Krog Street Market. As soon as you walk into the market, there is immediately a bar where guests can sit down and drink. The market also smells like alcohol as soon as you walk into it. You must walk around, passing the different restaurants before the smell dissipates. Multiple restaurants are open, and their bar faces outwards so patrons can feel a part of the restaurant while also feeling part of the market as a whole. Alcohol at Krog Street Market is a big seller, but also promotes socialization amongst customers and visitors.
Slean is a worker at Fred’s Meat & Bread located inside Krog Street Market. I spoke with Slean about his views on Krog Street Market, and his perspective working behind the counter.
Me: What’s the busiest times for Fred’s Meat & Bread?
Slean: Um…I would say on weekends, probably 11:30 am-2:30 pm. On weekdays probably 7:30 pm-9 pm.
Me: What types of people eat here? What types of people have you observed visiting the market?
Slean: Oh I see all types. Business people, neighborhood people, young, old, single people, families, couples, everything. Everyone comes here. There’s a huge demographic. I think Inman Park has a huge influence on the fact that all types of people eat here. The neighborhood use to be “hipstery,” but I don’t think that’s the case anymore. Now everyone, all types of people live in Inman Park and come to the market.
Me: Does the Beltline impact business?
Slean: Yes, for sure. I mean it’s a traffic way for people. Right over there, that’s the beginning and end of the Beltline, so people are starting and ending there. That’s huge not only for the market but for the city, too.
Me: How do you attract new customers?
Slean: We make great food, and we’re incredibly nice. We have great customer service and have a close attention to detail.
I saw Curtis and Jenny eating together outside of Krog Street Market with their dog. I decided to ask them a few questions to understand how they ended up at Krog Street Market. **Special Note: Curtis felt it was important to include their ages in the Built Environment Description. Curtis and Jenny are both 28-years-old.**
Me: Why did you choose Krog Street Market to eat tonight?
Jenny: I like the food. It’s great here.
Curtis: Yeah, I like the food a lot. I like it better than Ponce City Market.
Curtis: Krog has less people and I feel like it has better food too. Plus it has a chiller vibe.
Me: I see you brought your dog with you. Is a pet-friendly environment important to you?
Curtis: Yes, I bring my dog everywhere…to Ponce and to Krog.
Me: Are picnic tables important? Do you use Krog Street Market for socialization?
Curtis: Absolutely the picnic tables are important. It’s important to be a community.
Jenny: Yeah, I bring a lot of friends here, especially friends from out of town.
Me: Do you live in walking distance from Krog Street Market?
Curtis: Yeah I do. Ponce has more parking spaces available but that doesn’t matter. I like walking.
Me: Anything else you’d like to add about Krog Street Market?
Curtis: Krog Street is progressive. I think more places in this city and cities across the country will be more like this. I think more places will be more “market-style.”
With Krog Street Market having such close proximity to the Beltline, it was important for the market to add features that would appeal to people who were coming either to or from it. The market includes two great things that are free to the public: restrooms and water. In the market, restrooms are available even if you are not a customer at the market, encouraging people coming off the Beltline to stop there to rest or individuals who are about to get on the Beltline to get ready for their trip. The free water is also excellent for Beltline visitors because they can stop in the market before their walk or bike ride to fill up their water bottle and they can stop in after their Beltline visit to relax and rest. By offering these free options to the public and taking advantage of the Beltline’s proximity to the market, Krog Street Market can attract more visitors and, hopefully, future customers.
Krog Street Market may be small but the market is rich with culture. The market is filled with all types of people that can be seen as one walks around the market. Young and old, rich and middle-class, white and black, and everything in between fill Krog Street Market’s seats.
The market has picnic table seating so people are almost forced into a socialization environment (see “Seating at Krog Street Market”). By having this family-style seating, patrons of Krog Street Market are encouraged to interact with one another, comment on what each other is eating, and just meet new friends. By having family-style seating, too, people can bring larger parties to Krog Street Market without worry of there being a lack of close together seats. This creates a culture of friendliness and familiarity.
It’s also worth noting that Krog Street Market is pet-friendly (not inside the market, only outside seating allows pets). By having this, people who are walking their dogs, or just want to bring their pets out with them, have the option of coming to Krog Street. This is important to understand as Krog Street Market is so close to the Beltline. (see “Interview with Curtis and Jenny at Krog Street Market”)
The Beltline also has a cultural effect on Krog Street Market. Because the market is located just one block from the start (or end, depending on how you look at it) of the Beltline many people either start or end their walk there. Before walking they may want to grab a bite to eat or purchase some water for the exercise. If they end there, they may be looking for a place to rest or a restaurant to grab a bite. Krog Street Market’s proximity to the Beltline makes it a popular option for visitors to the Beltline. Therefore, it is safe to say that the Beltline plays a major contribution to Krog Street Market’s success and revenue.
Overall, the culture created by Krog Street Market is one of socialization and community. People interact with one another and are able to bond over what the market has to offer everybody: great food, a great environment, and, most importantly, great culture.