Despite the objections of one City of Atlanta Planning Advisory Board member, the owners of Gilbert’s Café & Bar are pushing ahead with plans to expand their business into the former Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse space.
Gilbert’s, the gay-friendly restaurant/bar owned by brothers Gilbert and Sean Yeremian, is next door to the 2,500 square-foot Outwrite space and the Yeremians want to expand the Outwrite site for another planned restaurant/bar.
In recent weeks, they’ve meet with the Midtown Neighbors’ Association, Neighborhood Planning Unit-E and the Midtown Development Committee to outline the plans they have so far. The new eatery doesn’t have a name yet and the Yeremians haven’t announced what type of food will be served there.
But some plans have been revealed. Located at 991 Piedmont Avenue at the corner of Piedmont and 10th Street, the new restaurant will connect to Gilbert’s and feature a bar area, dining room and small lounge. It will be open for lunch and dinner as Gilbert’s currently does not serve food until the evening.
The brothers have reached an agreement to lease parking spaces from BLUE MedSpa, located nearby at 190 10th Street, and will initially offer valet service there.
The brothers wanted to offer outside patio dining, but the sidewalks along Piedmont and 10th are too narrow. Instead, along both sides of the building, they intend to install large operable windows to allow diners to enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling activity on what is arguably Midtown’s most vibrant corner. There also could be some sort of mural painted along the gray wall on the 10th St. portion of the building.
“I think we’re creating something that’s highly anticipated and we’re excited,” said Gilbert Yeremian at this month’s NPU-E meeting.
Jim Schneider, 2nd Vice President of the Atlanta Planning Advisory Board, wasn’t as enthused at the same meeting. He questioned the safety of the parking lot behind BLUE Medspa, saying the driveway was steep and that the lighting is poor at night.
But more so, he questioned if replacing the bookstore space, which previously had been home to both a drug store and real estate office, with another restaurant/bar, was the best fit for the area in the high-profile location.
“There’s plenty of bars and restaurants in the area,” Schneider said. “I just think there could be a better change of use there. It didn’t stay vacant for long.”
And if the Yeremians have their way, and it looks like they will, it won’t be empty for much longer. They plan to begin remodeling this summer in hopes of opening by October.
What do you think? Is another restaurant/bar good for the former Outwrite space, or would have something else worked better there?