Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, also served as an unofficial reopening of businesses and activities amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. With warmer weather and safety restrictions slightly loosened by Gov. Brian Kemp, many people flocked to parks and restaurants, though some facilities, especially in Atlanta, remained closed. At local spots, social distancing and mask-wearing ranged from strict to nonexistent. Some business owners said the weekend provided an uptick, but still nothing near pre-pandemic times.
Photos by Phil Mosier.
Tubers ride the Chattahoochee River at the National Recreation Area’s Powers Island area in Sandy Springs on May 23. They were among many who flocked to the river on Memorial Day weekend, following partial pandemic closures of the park. As many kayakers and tubers entered the water, social distancing was rare and masks were nowhere to be seen.
Diners were spaced far apart, separated with taped-off tables, at the HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern in Town Brookhaven on the afternoon of May 24 after a manager imposed some order on a big brunch crowd earlier in the day.
The ball fields in Buckhead’s Frankie Allen Park along Pharr Road remained closed on Memorial Day weekend. A phased reopening of Atlanta city facilities is in the works.
A crowd of roughly 100 people gather May 23 at the Shops of Dunwoody in Dunwoody Village, drawn by a band playing at Porter Brew & Que as a pandemic reopening event. The brewpub had reserved tables outdoors, while many others enjoyed a new open-container district in the Village that lets people wander and sit with drinks from any local establishment. The tables were spaced for social distancing, but many in the larger crowd did not observe distancing. The city later said the band and seating lacked permits. The restaurant’s manager said he believed city officials gave the OK and that the event was a boost for the business in the pandemic struggles.
Local resident Tracey Andrews picks up an order from owner Barry Mills at Big B’s Fish Joint in Sandy Springs’ Gateway shopping center May 22. “My husband and I are picnicking in Chastain Park this evening, and we are looking forward to this wonderful meal,” said Andrews. Big B’s had some distanced diners, but takeout was still a popular option for pandemic meals.
The ball fields at Frankie Allen Park were padlocked on Memorial Day weekend.
Diners enjoyed outdoor distanced socializing May 23 at the White House Restaurant on Buckhead’s Peachtree Road.
The tennis courts at Frankie Allen Park lacked nets, let alone players, on May 23.