BeltLine Creator Launching Post-Apocalyptic Pub “Aftercar” in Atlanta

2017 Wasteland Weekend Cards and Drinks Photo by Thomas Kerns

A few weeks ago my photographer friend Thomas Kerns returned from the end of the world with his camera bursting with images from Wasteland Weekend, the world’s largest full-immersion post-apocalyptic festival. As I was looking through photos of people living the Mad Max Fury Road experience, I was reminded of an obscure posting I’d read earlier in the summer: the visionary who dreamed up the Atlanta BeltLine was going to launch a post-apoc pub / think tank (!!).

“Wait until the Wasteland people hear about this!!” I remember muttering out loud to myself.

2017 Wasteland Weekend Desert Run Photo by Thomas Kerns

With the images from Thomas’ Facebook album of Wasteland Weekend photos staring me in the face tonight, I realized I should probably fetch up that story and share it with him.

2017 Wasteland Weekend Card Game Photo by Thomas Kerns

Problem was, I couldn’t remember where I’d seen the posting.

It took some serious digging through my bookmarks and some cross-eyed googling, but I finally fetched up the place I’d found the link: Aftercar is described on Ryan’s own website!

Aftercar: A Thinking Person's Dystopia

COMING SOON: a bar, a venue, and a platform for ideas about the future of cities.

The neighborhood pub, much like the cockroach, will ultimately endure the apocalypse. To make sure, however, we’re designing Aftercar as a space for survival as much as a bar and restaurant. It will be a venue for interwoven ideas about the future of cities, engaging design, culture, food, and entertainment with support from its upstairs companion, Generator, a nonprofit idea studio. This symbiotic relationship, along with Aftercar’s end-times ambiance and stunning location along the Atlanta Beltline, will make it a beautifully-dystopian portal between the city and a world of ideas.

Aftercar’s opening is planned for 2018.

I love the idea of a collective with a backstory – a bit of theater, not unlike the pirate-themed think tank operated by Thomas’ friend Captain Drew (@piratepalooza on Twitter).

It’s been a bit more than a year since Ryan left the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership citing concerns over a lack of commitment to affordable housing in the trail’s current developments. Affordable housing is a national issue since the service industry depends on people who could not normally afford to live in these hot real estate markets. In 2015 the Urban Land Institute, created to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide, published a document:

Preserving Multifamily Workforce and Affordable Housing (PDF)

So it will be interesting to see if Aftercar becomes a cultural salon, an idea studio, or a simple tax dodge designed to let him and his friends get hammered while listening to Tina Turner sing We Don’t Need Another Hero.

If you’d like to follow the progress of Ryan’s post-BeltLine venture on Twitter the Twitter handle is @aftercarbar

And let me know, is this something that YOU would like to see come to Atlanta?


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