ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell is honing in on the possible future home for Doc’s Cafe after a preliminary review of the city’s top relocation site was deemed unviable.
At the Dec. 10 Administration, Finance, and Recreation and Parks Committee meeting, City Council members decided to move discussion of a contract to evaluate three possible locations for the historic building.
Doc’s Cafe, a historic part of Roswell’s African American community, was in danger of demolition last year because of the Oxbo Road Realignment project.
“Doc’s Cafe was a historic gathering place in and around the Groveway Community,” said Recreation and Parks Director Jeff Leatherman. “It is a piece of our history here in the City of Roswell. The intent is to not only move but to save that structure.”
The city worked with Pastor Sabin Strickland on plans to preserve the structure and, earlier this spring, moved it from its home at 20 Oxbo Road.
The original plan was to move Doc’s Cafe across the street onto private property at 30 Pleasant Hill Drive. During the relocation process, however, that location was deemed ill-advised.
“It was determined by our contractors that the structure could not be moved there, just based on the slope of the hillside and how that home would potentially sit at that future location,” Leatherman said.
In addition, Leatherman said there were concerns about drainage and parking constraints at that location as well.
The city has temporarily placed Doc’s Cafe at Oxbo Linear Park.
The city has come up with two additional possible site locations. One is behind the gas station on the corner of Ga. 9 and Oxbo Road in an area colloquially known as the “kudzu pit.”
The third possible location, and seemingly most popular among council members, is near the corner of Oak Street and Myrtle Street at Waller Park.
“I envision [Doc’s Cafe] to be a part of our historic tours,” said Mayor Lori Henry. “We do have a lot of interest in fundraising. The churches are interested, the Groveway Community is interested, and what I like about the Waller Park Area is… the fact that it pulls it closer into the Groveway Community.”
Councilman Matthew Tyser likewise said the Waller site is attractive.
“I really do like that Waller site,” Tyser said. “It’s in a great location, it’s got great parking — hopefully it works out.”
Tyser said he was not opposed to any of the other sites but wants to first know the costs associated with each one.
To determine that information, the city is looking at contracting with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. to do a cost evaluation of all three sites. The contract is not to exceed $40,000.
The City Council is expected to vote on that contract at its next meeting.