Tina Eckard

Tina Eckard, president of the Five Points Business Association, helped organize the block party. (Photo/Olyn Gee)

Restaurants in Five Points that normally compete for customers will be joining forces on Sunday, July 28 to raise funds for a local school project.

More than a dozen restaurants will provide small-bite samples for a tasting at the first annual Five Points Block Party from 2-4 p.m. The event will be hosted at el Barrio, a Five Points newcomer, and proceeds will benefit the school garden at nearby Barrow Elementary School.

Tina Eckard, president of the Five Points Business Association, spearheaded the organization of the event, which she said embraces the areas’ increase in restaurants with a diversity of price points and culinary options.

“Over the last five years, this has become more of a foodie scene,” Eckard said.

Five Points has seen a growth in its restaurant offerings, with establishments that range from the high-end French bistro-themed The Expat to former catering branch LRG Provisions. The newest additions that opened this summer are el Barrio, which offers gourmet tacos priced below $4, and Fully Loaded Pizza, with specials on slices, salads and pasta.

Other supporters of the block party fundraiser include Terrapin and Five Points Bottle Shop, which will provide beer and wine, respectively. Attendees also will be able to enjoy live music.

Sara Clarke, a teacher at Barrow Elementary, runs the garden. She hopes to use the money raised to construct several spiral gardens, which will be small and self-contained.

“Kids get a chance to water and see the vegetables right outside the cafeteria,” she said.

Clarke, a University of Georgia graduate who is in her eleventh year at Barrow Elementary, also plans to build a raised vegetable garden using galvanized steel containers.

“Kids will eat anything they grow,” Clarke said, as she described the reaction of kindergarteners this past year. “Kids begging, ‘Can we stop at the garden and have a taste of kale?’”

Not only restaurants are supporting this event. One of the boosters, Rachel Watkins, is the director of operations at Avid Bookshop, which opened its Five Points location in 2016.

“The people [of Five Points] are wonderful and so welcoming. I love that you can park, walk and do your errands easily,” Watkins said.

The cost is $40 for both adult and children’s tickets. Kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available for purchase online at Eventbrite.

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