It’s the end of an era, as Krystle Rodriguez prepares to close Hodgepodge Coffeehouse after 12 years in East Atlanta due to a “significant rent hike” accompanying a lease renewal on the building. The last day for the beloved Moreland Avenue coffee shop is Sunday, December 31.
“While the past twelve years at the corner of Ormewood and Moreland have been truly indescribable, this corner has also become incredibly desirable, and we simply cannot afford the significant rent hike accompanied with renewing our lease,” the post from Rodriguez reads, who also mentions health issues as a contributing factor.
Rodriguez adds that continuing to raise menu prices in order to meet increases in cost of living expenses for employees, ingredients, and utilities has become untenable and contrary to the community-minded mission at Hodgepodge.
“The reality is that success in this current landscape makes exploitation almost a necessity. I know our customers are trying just as hard to survive right now,” she says. “I don’t have the power to fix that, but as a business owner, I do have a choice of whether or not to participate.”
Rodriguez is an ardent supporter of social justice causes in Atlanta, hosting numerous events at Hodgepodge Coffeehouse and raising money for various organizations and charities over the years to lift up women, minorities, and trans and queer people. The shop also played host to a free community fridge, providing unhoused and food insecure residents in East Atlanta access to donated food and household items.
Amongst coffee enthusiasts, Hodgepodge is known for its specialty drinks with ingredients such as Ghirardelli chocolate and caramel, including the cold brew concoction Slap Yo Pappy and the Mocha Caliente laced with cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Last year, Rodriguez closed both the Reynoldstown and Decatur locations of Hodgepodge Coffeehouse. At the time of the Reynoldtown closure, Rodriguez alluded to the continuing hardships stemming from the pandemic and trying to maintain the well-being of her staff, while balancing all three Atlanta coffee shops amid rising costs. The Reynoldstown location is now home to cocktail lounge and restaurant Whoopsie’s, owned by Rising Son owner and chef Hudson Rouse and longtime Atlanta barman Tim Faulkner.
720 Moreland Avenue, Atlanta. hodgepodgecoffee.com.