A rendering of the new Souper Jenny and bookstore space on the campus of the Atlanta History Center.

Final preparations are underway for the opening of Souper Jenny’s flagship café on the Atlanta History Center campus.

Set to open on April 2, Souper Jenny will share an airy, new 4,017-square-foot space with the Atlanta History Center’s greatly expanded bookstore and gift shop. After 16 years, owner Jenny Levison will close the original Souper Jenny location on East Andrews Drive this Saturday, March 26.

The combination café and independent bookstore will be new for the Atlanta History Center, a fusion of two businesses under one roof that also will be unique in metro Atlanta. The café-bookstore can be accessed through its own West Paces Ferry Road entrance or, steps away, the Atlanta History Center’s redesigned main entrance. Souper Jenny and bookstore customers will be able to make use of the Atlanta History Center’s free parking deck, and museum admission is not required for dining or shopping.

Open seven days a week, the menu will still feature fresh soups, salads and sandwiches that change daily according to what is fresh in the local market. Patrons will enjoy dinners to-go, organic juices and gluten-free desserts from Juicy Jenny, as well as a full coffee bar featuring Batdorf & Bronson coffees and sweets from local purveyors.

“The vision is the same for Souper Jenny when we move,” Levison said. “The menu will be the same, and we will be open for Sunday brunch, offering the same popular $20 brunch we served at Café Jonah,” her recently closed Buckhead bistro.

The combination Souper Jenny café and bookstore was designed to be a community gathering place. Customers will be encouraged to pull books off the shelves and page through them, even while dining. Beyond the café tables, there will be ample seats for customers who wish to check out the greatly expanded selection of titles — more than 500, doubling what was previously offered.

The bookshop will feature a deep selection of Atlanta and Civil War titles, cookbooks, gardening, architecture, Southern fiction, Southern studies, and Civil Rights. Books by authors with an Atlanta connection and University of Georgia Press titles will be specially displayed. The bookstore also will offer a dedicated children’s books section and a larger children’s play area. A mezzanine level with a view of the Buckhead skyline and Veteran’s Park will feature themed and staff-curated book sections. Oxford, Mississippi’s famed Square Books helped guide the History Center on creating an independent bookstore.

Souper Jenny hours will be 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 2 p.m. on Sundays.  The bookstore will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5  p.m. on Sundays.

 

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.