In The New Atlanta Falcons Stadium, One Restaurant Has A Mission Beyond Food
The Atlanta Falcons will kick off their first home game at the city’s new Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 17. Regardless the outcome of the game, some residents working there already feel like they’ve pulled out a win.
That’s because The West Nest, a concession stand located on the stadium’s 300-level, will be staffed entirely by local chefs who have graduated or are currently receiving a free culinary education through Westside Works, a workforce development center that’s been created as part of team owner Arthur M. Blank’s efforts to ensure the impoverished Westside neighborhood, which flanks the stadium, gets some benefit from the new arena.
“Most of the stuff I’m learning you’d have to go to culinary school for, but this is a free education.”
COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION: FOR GOOD OR ILL
Blank, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot is doing that through contributions from his eponymous Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, which helped launch the nonprofit Westside Works in June 2014. The concept is part of a package of revitalization ideas that Blank’s team committed to when inking the new stadium deal in early 2013.