Restaurant Talk: Bustling Carroll Street in Cabbagetown is about to get even busier now that Ria Pell, of Ria's Bluebird Cafe, has opened Village Pizza. .... Virginia-Highland's Surin Thai Bowl behind the Dark Horse Tavern has closed to make way for Pozole, a Mexican cantina and tequila bar. ... On a more somber note, 3-year-old Iris, the former auto shop-turned-destination restaurant that introduced fine dining to East Atlanta, will close next week. Dish hears the restaurant will offer a special farewell weekend menu Fri.-Sun., Oct. 14-16.
TROUBLE TALK: Preston Craig, local DJ and founder of the Decatur Social Club and the blog www.kissatlanta.com, was arrested Oct. 4 for disorderly conduct and obstruction at the North Avenue BP station near the Varsity. Craig, who is wheelchair-bound, says he was waiting for assistance to fill his tank when several cop cars pulled up, one of which parked between two handicapped spots, blocking the wheelchair ramp. Craig admits he called the policeman a "dick" and wheeled himself behind the car to take pictures before dialing the officer's supervisor. Craig says he refused to move from behind the patrol car until the supervisor arrived. After an exchange of words, the officers tried to handcuff Craig, he says. The supervisor then arrived to resolve the situation, but the officer refused to apologize to Craig in writing and instead pressed charges. Craig was ticketed though not taken to jail. He was scheduled to appear in court Oct. 12.
Benefit talk: To help Usher's New Look Foundation find homes for 1,000 Hurricane Katrina-displaced families, the R&B star gave a benefit concert at Philips Arena on Oct. 9 featuring T.I., P$C, Young Jeezy, and Dem Franchize Boyz joined by Jermaine Dupri and Da Brat. But the real draw was Usher. And he did it big -- way big. Alicia Keys joined him on "My Boo," and James Brown made an appearance, too. To donate to the cause, go to www.ushersnewlook.org.
If you've got any tantalizing tidbits, send them our way. Really, we won't tell a soul.