Come Saturday morning…to Buford

Posted: October 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

If I were to put up a “Help Wanted” sign to the world, I would have it say, “Help Wanted: Buford, Georgia Needs a few good entrepreneurs.” After dropping Caitie, my 13-year-old off at a cheerleading practice in nearby Sugar Hill, I was looking to kill some time without having to schlep back home to Peachtree Corners-only to waste gas returning to the area. So I spent the recent Saturday morning in Historic Buford, just up the road from Sugar Hill. I wouldn’t really call Historic Buford, “Downtown Buford.” On a Saturday morning, there just isn’t that much to do. Many of those cute antique shops and few restaurants aren’t open. I noticed some hair salons and a florist doing business, but overall, it’s simply too quiet. Yes, there are the occasional walkers, runners and cyclists. I bet that there are a lot of folks who like it that way, but I would love to see more. It seems that there’s plenty of vacant space in Buford’s buildings and I believe that there are scores of talented entrepreneurs out there who could open up a bevy of restaurants and shops. I wonder if the city has done enough to attract such business, but then again, these are tough times. Everyone is hurting.

I write these facts out of love because this well-maintained historic district has so much potential. Things look great in Historic Buford. Nice sidewalks, classic-looking lampposts and homey storefronts characterize the district, but here I was, early on a Saturday looking for somewhere to eat. Where does a hungry blogger go to get a bite on a crisp weekend morning? I spotted Buford’s Grill, just off of West Main Street. I love this place. If I was looking for the heart of Buford, I would find it here. This bustling eatery’s front bar was filled with locals ranging from electricians to retired Department of Defense employees alike chatting away over coffee, eggs, homemade muffins and flaky biscuits. Waitresses scrambled around the joint eagerly serving up the delicious fare. As I sat there in the front dining on my Western Omelet while reading the AJC, I knew that I found Buford’s perfect spot.

OK, I know that there are folks out there who say that Buford comes alive in the afternoon and night. It’s true. Antique stores, a classic pharmacy, a variety theatre, and lunch and dinner restaurants are in the mix including the award-winning Aqua Terra. Again, Buford could do so much more! There’s also Tannery Row and even a museum dedicated to Buford’s history. The historic district is great for festivals which, I’m sure draw plenty of visitors

My old friend Walter Biscardi, Jr. is another shining light in Buford. Wally built a massive video production facility near downtown called Biscardi Creative. There’s no doubt that Wally is an example of living the American dream that has been talked about so much lately. Here’s an uber-talented young man who, just like his hard-working family, decided to be an entrepreneur, open up a business utilizing his vast skills and business acumen to create a successful company. Wally also puts people to work. This nation needs to see more folks like Wally out there – ready to have the confidence to take risk and create jobs. I know that city leaders are proud of Walter and the few others like him who chose to call Buford their “business home.”

I love Buford and I’m writing to tell fellow Gwinnettians and the world to patronize the city and perhaps open up a restaurant or two.



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