Shanna Mayo, a longtime veteran of Atlanta’s cocktail scene, has joined Revelator Coffee Company as its first director of alcoholic beverages. Mayo is charged with expanding the beverage program beyond caffeinated beverages at the Birmingham-based cafe chain, which recently made a major expansion by acquiring Octane Coffee.
“I had already been looking to take a similar step in my career,” Mayo tells Eater Atlanta. “I was researching larger, but still somewhat local restaurants in which to get involved.”
Mayo, in her third week with Revelator, has been spending most of her time at Octane’s Westside location (which, along with the remaining Octane cafes in Atlanta and Birmingham, will be rebranded under the Revelator name in the next 12 to 18 months). She is taking cues from Octane’s beverage program and training staff to implement her own changes, and she isn’t rushing anything: “We want to be really careful to get each location in a good place before moving on to the next,” Mayo says.
The majority of Mayo’s time behind the bar at various Revelator locations will be focused on training, as opposed to slinging drinks, but she will continue to participate in charity events. “Now, I’m with a company that has even more ability to give back,” she says. “We definitely plan on using our powers for good in the community.” Once Mayo has fully installed Revelator’s new program at an individual cafe, its booze menu will look like this:
- The beer selection will rotate often, mostly offering craft options but including one “crowd-pleasing, beer-flavored macrobrew” as well.
- The wine list will highlight smaller, environmentally focused wineries. “So you’ll see a lot of organic and biodynamic stuff, while still recognizing some tried-and-true grape varietals,” Mayo says.
- The printed cocktail menu will consist of about seven drinks, and there will be a separate “day-drinker” beverage list. “The complexity of the flavors in the cocktails will be done on the prep side, as to still get the cocktail in the guest’s hand quickly,” according to Mayo. Revelator bartenders will use local and housemade ingredients, and they’ll oblige requests to make classic cocktails that might not be on the official menu.
“Whether it be beer, wine, or cocktail, the menus will be balanced,” Mayo explains. “The hope is that there’s something for everyone. All of these offerings will be at a price point that doesn’t break the bank. Above all, we want to provide an accommodating and knowledgeable service for our guests.”
Revelator revealed plans to purchase Octane in March, and president Josh Owen confirms the company has since closed on the deal.