Welcome to the first installment of the Business on the Atlanta BeltLine video series. This series visits some of the many businesses along the Atlanta BeltLine, and explores how the Atlanta BeltLine and its culture have impacted their business. As of the end of 2014, over $2.4 billion in private investment has taken place in the Atlanta BeltLine Planning Area. This series features Kevin Rathbun, the Owner and Chef of Kevin Rathbun Steak, Rathbun’s, the Krog Bar, and the KR Steak Bar.
When Kevin Rathbun initially opened Rathbun’s just feet from the then abandoned rail line, the Atlanta BeltLine project was in its early stages. He admittedly “had no idea what the BeltLine was,” but “bought in totally” after learning more about the upcoming development.
“If you’re in proximity to the BeltLine, you’re just going to see a lot of influx of walking traffic.”
Since the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail construction, business for Rathbun has increased “between 12 and 18 percent.” Although he cannot quantify the exact impact of the Atlanta Beltline, Rahthbun adds “I think it has a lot to do with it,” due to the easy access and the ability to walk to stores and restaurants. “The people that live in these apartments, and live down by Piedmont Park, now are walking here to come to dinner at night.”
The retention rate among his employees is also strong, as many have been with his restaurants for several years. Several are moving along the Atlanta BeltLine due to the convenience and accessibility, as they can walk or ride bikes to work.
Watch the short video above as Kevin Rathbun talks about the Atlanta BeltLine’s effect on his business and employees, and his views on the future impact of the Atlanta BeltLine.