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Pictured is the exterior of Boxcar and Hopcity.

Drive through the West End side of Fulton County just north of East Point and you’re bound to see a renaissance of food and drink, work and play unfolding.

Along the Westside BeltLine that runs behind Lee Street, established Atlanta entrepreneurs are excited to expand their businesses – Monday Night Brewing, ASW Distillery, and Wild Heaven Beer are among the fan favorites that have recently flocked to the area.

According to Kraig Torres, founder of Hop City Craft Beer and Wine, the allure of the area is the history and community.

“We love this side of the city – it really is the original suburb of Atlanta,” he said. Now Torres is leading the business resurgence in what was once a huge, abandoned warehouse with the recent opening of a combined Hop City Craft Beer and Wine downstairs and the new Boxcar restaurant upstairs.

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Boxcar Sous Chef Wes McNeil plates up an appetizer.

Torres started his adventures in food about two years ago when he opened Barleygarden Kitchen in Alpharetta. He and Chef Matt Hutchins wanted to expand with a more elegant menu and the concept of Boxcar was born.

“Barleygarden is great, but we didn’t want to duplicate that concept in a different location. Boxcar is really about showcasing Matt (Hutchins’) talent. He’s taken little components from different major cities and parts of the world where he’s been a chef and brought that all to the Boxcar menu. Each item on the menu is a little bit familiar with a twist,” said Torres.

Take for instance the Yuzu Fried Chicken which puts a delicious Asian spin on the southern classic with black sesame, yuzu mayo and blistered shishitos. Additional elevated menu items include the popular chicken live pate with brandied prunes and raisins and lemon vinaigrette as well as lamb and ribeye entrees.

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Pictured is the Duck Prosciutto and Egg with goat cheese, fennel, almonds and lemon vinaigrette.

But the menu also offers more casual handheld favorites like the enormous BoxCar Beef Burger topped with bacon and colossal homemade onion rings.

Boxcar also features an outdoor/indoor bar with handcrafted cocktails and of course, plenty of local and seasonal beers on tap.

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The restaurant opened March 1, with the lower portion of the building (Hop City) opening a week later and the local response has been positive so far according to Torres.

“We’re very fortunate to have great neighbors that we’re friends with like Monday Night Brewing and ASW Distillery. It’s inspiring to be surrounded by quality producers of great stuff,” said Torres.

For more information and to view a complete menu, visit www.boxcaratl.com.

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