West End Restaurant Will Honor Civil Rights Heroes
The corner of Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is pretty much Main and Main for the civil rights movement in Atlanta. It’s at this intersection that leaders like Joseph E. Boone, Ralph David Abernathy and Andrew Young lived, worked and planned the protests and marches that would shape the country.
In honor this history, Quincy L.A. Springs IV is opening a new Vine City Chick-fil-A in 2018. There’s no mistaking Springs’ passion for the historic Westside of Atlanta and its history – he can rattle off the names of the historic figures from the civil rights era who lived and worked in the community, he can drive the streets surrounding the restaurant site and point out the homes of these historic leaders, and, just as importantly, he knows the names of the people who call them home now.
“When it comes to the Historic Westside, the whole is greater than the sum total of its parts. The amount of love, pride of place and genuine caring for others makes it feel like home to me,” Springs says. “This community is so rich in spirit, and my hope is that my restaurant can be a gathering place for my neighbors and friends.”
Years of divestment be led to one-third of the homes surrounding the new Vine City restaurant vacant, and 60 percent of the children living in poverty. Springs aims to change those statistics as he becomes further involved in the community and builds his restaurant team.
A mural inside Springs’ restaurant will be a constant reminder of those heroes from the neighborhood, featuring many of the leaders of the civil rights movement and will welcome guests as soon as they walk through the door.
“I hope it will serve as a source of inspiration for our team members as well as our guests,” says Springs. “I want the children in this community to know the heritage of the neighborhood and have the pride of knowing that giants walked the same streets they play on.”
To inspire his team full- and part-time members even more, Springs plans to use the company’s scholarship initiative to help them attend college.
“The young people of the Westside don’t have to look far to find heroes. People who made a lasting impact on the world lived right next door and still have family in the neighborhood,” Springs says. “I want to help tell the story of those heroes and show these young people that they can make a difference in the world just like these great men and women did.”
Although Springs was raised in Buchanan, Va., he’s become such a part of the fabric of this community that he could easily be mistaken for a native Atlantan. Springs served in the Army for eight years, achieving the rank of Captain and receiving several awards. Speaking of his military service, one of his most notable positions was serving as a combat advisor to approximately 900 Afghan soldiers for Afghanistan’s counter narcotics initiative.
“My military service instilled in me the desire to become a leader within a community that needed leadership,” Springs says. “It’s important to me to identify and develop talent in people that they sometimes don’t even see in themselves.”