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Is another restaurant/bar good for Outwrite space?

Gilbert's owners outline plans for new eatery located at what is arguably Midtown’s most vibrant corner

Despite the objections of one City of Atlanta Planning Advisory Board member, the owners of are pushing ahead with plans to expand their business into the former 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?

Teyeger May 21, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Calm down people. Schneider is a volunteer who lives in the neighborhood and expresses his opinion. He probably said one sentence in the meeting and Hunt had to make a story about it. APAB is advisory, has no power, and being president of APAB is even less glamorous and powerful than being NPU president (LOL). But if you want to get rid of him, you can always memorize the SPI-16 code, attend meetings a few times a month for a year or so, and then take his place. I'm sure he wouldnt cry too hard about losing his APAB spot.
Hunt Archbold May 22, 2012 at 01:20 AM
At the four NPU-E meetings I have been to, Mr. Schneider appears very knowledgeable of his area of expertise and it would appear the board respects his opinion. On this subject matter, he spoke at length about the Outwrite space and was very opposed to the idea of the Yeremians using the BLUE Medspa parking lot. He recommended to the board that they put a time limit to see how the parking situation worked out, but the board rejected this suggestion.
Rick D. Day July 20, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Patrick, if you know the principles involved personally, you should provide a disclaimer. Bias is OK as long as it is transparent. Be well.
Rick D. Day July 20, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Schneider is a long time zoning activist. Every time I come before the council or council committee hearing, he is there to express his concerns, whatever they may be. I had my issues with his position on the initial expansion of our business, but in the end, just like this instance, one man's opinion is not going to stop that expansion. Rather than run him off with a hissy hiss, why not sit with him sometime and pick his brain about how our neighborhood has changed over the past 50 years. Instead of kicking experience to the curb because you don't like his opinion, try cooling your little *snapsnap* diva attitudes and learn something about freedom of expression. This is not a restaurant like 5 Napkin or Flying Biscuit. It's a public entertainment eating and drinking establishment with a restaurant license and decent food. Let's be real here. Pretending Gilbert's is 'just a restaurant' is being a bit too cute with the word.
Rick D. Day July 20, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Jim always forgets that applications are cut and dried. Either they are approved, or they are rejected by the mayor (the brass ring being the Liquor License). When I sat on the MNA board or went to NPU, there was always discussions about putting 'conditions' on applicants. These boards can 'recommend' that either they 'oppose' or 'not oppose'. Of course, any attached conditions have no legal standing, unless dictated by a SAP or a SUP ruling. And those pretty much follow some cut and dried lines.

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