Coffee Conversations with Rose Scott: Brother Moto in Cabbagetown

Brother Moto general manager Zach Cane stands outside Brother Moto in Cabbagetown.

Grace Walker / WABE

Closer Look’s new series, “Coffee Conversations with Rose Scott,” continues this week at Brother Moto, a coffee shop and community motorcycle garage located in Atlanta’s Cabbagetown neighborhood.

As part of this ongoing program, the “Closer Look” team is heading out into the Atlanta community to speak with residents, business owners and community leaders about the issues that matter most to them from affordable housing to transit to gentrification.

Below are some highlights from that conversation. (Scroll down to see more of the coffee shop)

Brother Moto General Manager Zach Cane, Co-owner Jared Erickson, and Drew Perlmutter, a member

(Grace Walker/WABE)

Erickson on Brother Moto’s customer base:

“We have a great neighborhood support. You know it’s kind of all over the board. A lot of creatives, a lot of freelancers and artists and people that work for themselves you know use the coffee shop as kind of a place to hang out work out of. And then, our members are all over the board as well. You know we have 18-year-olds, the 60-year-olds and we love getting the knowledge from the older generation you know passing down to the younger people.”

Cane on the mission of Brother Moto:

“We’re here to provide a nice welcoming place for people hang out. We’d like to say that we’re for the moto-curious. You don’t have to be into motorcycles to hang out.”

Perlmutter on becoming a Brother Moto member:

“I remember the first day I came here. I remember where I sat. I remember I met Jared the first day that I came here and I think I’ve come here every day since then. I had known him about Brother Moto before I had even moved to Atlanta. I came up here and they were in between the spaces during that time and. I was very excited at the fact that they were reopening and just I had an interest in motorcycles and this place just resonated. It clicked and yeah the rest is history.”

District 5 City Councilmember Natalyn Archibong

(Grace Walker/WABE)

On where she sees Cabbagetown in five years:

“We don’t know what’s going to happen in five years relative to appraise values of property. We don’t know what may happen with the big R word — a recession. So that might mean belt tightening and a time when valuation may be skewed in a direction that makes it difficult. I hope in five years we will have figured out how to do something about the assessed value in the tax burden. Because what I’m hearing is– and I hear it in Cabbagetown town a lot — is I’m being taxed out of my property. And it’s the same conversation that I was having with seniors, lower income people saying the exact same thing. So we’ve got both ends of the spectrum saying the same thing. In five years we need to grapple with that and figure out how to do better.”

John Dirga, a representative for Neighborhood Planning Unit N, and Chelsea Arkin, president of the Cabbagetown Neighborhood Improvement Association

(Grace Walker/WABE)

On where they see Cabbagetown in five years:

Dirga: “You know I’d like us to to continue to lead as a place that nurtures and supports the arts where perhaps it may not be affordable for artists to live here anymore. I think we’ve got a good track record and good foundation for going forward to kind of be the community that can create places like Brother Moto or projects like Forward Warrior that support artists and young people and their creative and entrepreneurial endeavors.”

I mean I hope it’s the same kind of inclusive place that it is now. Hopefully even more inclusive. I hope I can afford it in five years. My property taxes keep going up and I’ve been in the neighborhood for about 12 years, so this has been definitely the biggest hike… And I think that’s something that we’re all dealing with across the city it’s not unique to Cabbagetown.”

Peter Ferrari, Founder of Forward Warrior

(Grace Walker/WABE)

On preserving Cabbagetown’s art scene:

“I think you know there will come a day when when someone’s gonna want to tell me what to put on the [mural] wall. And, there’s going to come a day when when these people say “oh this isn’t OK.” And so I kind of expect that. And I think what we need to do is continue to invest into events like Forward Warrior, Stack Squares, this kind of stuff that we’re doing where people really see the value and they see that, hey this is something that might have might not have big corporate backing, but it’s important to the identity of the neighborhood,  it’s important to the identity of Atlanta. And so we’re going to keep it around.”

Closer Look is Candace Wheeler and Grace Walker. Joy Barge is a contributing producer.