Commentary Motorcycles 1

Published on May 18th, 2015 |

5

Let’s not let Buckhead become a Waco biker shootout scene

The news reports from Waco, Texas, of at least nine people being killed and 18 injured after a massive shootout erupted between rival biker gangs and police brought to mind the fears shared over the years by many who live around Fellini’s restaurant in Buckhead.

A typical Thursday night scene in front of Fellini's restaurant on Peach tree Road just a year ago.

A typical Thursday night scene in front of Fellini’s restaurant on Peachtree Road just a year ago.

(Click here for a link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution story on the Waco shootout.)

For decades, Thursday nights have been biker nights at Fellini’s, starting at around 9:30 with the first wave and followed at 11 or later by a larger wave of motorcycles. In the past, the story was that the bikers came to Fellini’s after a night of drag racing on Ellsworth Industrial Drive west of I-75.

Whether that’s the case today or not, Buckhead still attracts bikers on Thursday nights.

Neighbors who visited Fellini’s when the bikers were there expressed concern that an unsettling number of bikers were wearing pistols in holsters on their hips. La Fonda (next door to Fellini’s) actually posted a sign banning guns.

I don’t know that the motorcyclists that visited Fellini’s are members of gangs—and certainly not “criminal” gangs as the police in Waco referred to the bikers there. And we have had no problems with shootings to the best of my knowledge. The main problems are noise and speeding up and down Peachtree Road…oh, and bikers doing wheelies. The danger their antics post to pedestrians and drivers is painfully obvious.

The Tin Peaks Bar & Restaurant  at 3365 Piedmont Road in Buckhead, where the motorcyclists reportedly now frequent.

The Tin Peaks Bar & Restaurant at 3365 Piedmont Road in Buckhead, where the motorcyclists reportedly now frequent.

Last year, nearby condo residents took a more activist approach to the problem, placing their cars in all of the parking spaces. And many regularly place calls to Atlanta Police regarding this problem.

Although a warm Thursday evening still brings a large number of bikers to Fellini’s, the word on the street is that many of them have moved on to Twin Peaks Bar & Restaurant in the Tower Place Marketplace at 3365 Piedmont Road.

Ironically, it was a Twin Peaks Bar & Restaurant in Waco, Texas, where the shootout occurred on Sunday afternoon. I wonder if the Twin Peaks in Buckhead allows bikers to carry guns inside. After all, in Waco, the fight started in the Twin Peaks’ restroom, moved into the main part of the restaurant and finally out into the parking lot.

We can only hope that our Atlanta Police Zone 2 officers are keeping a close watch in Buckhead and that the bikers who visit Buckhead are more responsible.

John Schaffner, editor
BuckheadView online news and commentary service

 

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    5 Responses to Let’s not let Buckhead become a Waco biker shootout scene

    1. Dan Thompson says:

      Wow. What a completely uninformed opinion.

    2. Matt says:

      ^ Not really, the author isn’t accusing them of anything specifically. If there is any large gathering of people dressing alike, carrying weapons and claiming allegiance to some exclusionary society, I want police to keep an eye on them, at least be aware of their presence in case some stuff goes down. I don’t care if they’re bikers, Tea Partiers, Latinos, African-American protesters, Occupiers, students, Soccer Moms or anyone in between.

      All you need is one person acting tough and foolish to start some stuff, and then the whole “gang” backs them up and all Hell breaks loose. Even if the vast majority are sensible people, when those kind of affiliations are involved, things can go bad fast.

    3. Yves Berthelot says:

      The Thursdays at Fellini’s are incredibly loud for a residential and family neighborhood. beer, guns, loud noise, and pizza? I could certainly see how a testy situation could degenerate in a tragedy.

    4. Peaches30305 says:

      This is a nuisance to the neighborhood and neighbors surrounding the area. I cant understand why Fillini’s allows this type of gathering to take place. Most of the black bikers don’t even patronize the pizza restaurant but loiter in front by the bikes. Go back to Atlantic station with all that noise.

    5. Lee says:

      There’s no need to write such an alarmist piece. The Thursday night (and Sunday night in other parts of Atlanta) motorcycle riders are not gangs. Many of them are off-duty law enforcement officers. They used to hang out at Dugan’s on Ponce de Leon Avenue, too. The biggest problems in Buckhead are untenable traffic and uninspired architecture.

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