Just how this area of town came to be called Cabbagetown is largely rooted in lore. The most popular story says a truckload of cabbages overturned on one of the neighborhood’s narrow, almost slit-like streets, and residents snapped up the cargo and ate it for dinner, so the entire vicinity reeked of cooking cabbage. While there’s little documentation to support that tale, what is known about Cabbagetown is that it began as a mill village that housed workers from the adjacent Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills. The factory opened in 1868 and during its peak employed about 2,000 workers who lived in frame shotgun houses and cottages nearby. A changing economy closed the business in 1978 and, 19 years later, it was redeveloped into an apartment and condo complex.
Today, the mill site and the former workers’ homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are particularly popular with artistans whose works are featured in a number of nearby galleries and spaces.
The neighborhood’s bohemian style is reflected in its three top gathering spots. At The Cabbage Pie, a favorite for lunch and brunch, diners linger over the rough wooden tables and mismatched chairs. Carroll Street Cafe, which has a full bar, draws crowds for lunch and dinner to it’s sidewalk tables. And Agave, opened in 2000 in the building that once housed the mill’s general store, still serves a loyal clientele that comes in for its Southwestern dishes.