Victory Brands, the group behind popular Atlanta restaurants like LLoyd’s and Victory Sandwich Bar, is gearing up to reopen its six establishments over the next month, starting with its freshly rebranded coffee shop in Inman Park.
Dekalb Athletic Club reopens today on Dekalb Avenue as Victory Coffee and Calamity. Victory Brand’s year-old coffee shop, located next door to the group’s throwback restaurant LLoyd’s, now includes a retail pop-up selling Victory merch and local goods from companies such as motorcycle gear shop Brother Moto.
Owner Ian Jones tells Eater Atlanta the rebrand of the coffee shop was planned prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and better aligns with the group’s bar-oriented restaurant, Victory Sandwich Bar in Inman Park and Decatur.
“Doing coffee, but more in the Victory family, was a no-brainer. We should have done it a year ago,” Jones says. “This allows you to get all the great Victory feels, but in a more daytime-specific environment. Since it’s not open at night, we also have the ability (once we actually can) to use the space for events, markets, etc. in the evenings.”
Like its short-lived predecessor, the menu at Victory Coffee features coffee and coffee drinks from Avondale Estates-based Radio Roasters, grab-and-go “gas station” biscuits, and beer and wine to-go. The latter is temporarily permitted under a COVID-19-related order, which Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms just extended for restaurants through June 30.
People enter the open garage doors out front and place orders inside, then grab their food and drinks at the pick-up window outside. Orders can also be placed in advanced online.
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⚡️VCC ⚡️ Coffee + Calamity // Opening tomorrow Wed May 20th in space formerly known as @dekalbathleticclub next to @lloydsbarandlounge // Good Vibes + Coffee + Breakfast Biscuits + Safe Environment // featuring @brother_moto retail pop-up!! #vcc #coffee #newdigs #radioroasters #brothermoto #victorysandwichbar
Victory Brands temporarily closed its five restaurants and Dekalb Athletic Club in March at the start of the city and statewide shutdowns, including Little Trouble at Westside Provisions District and S.O.S Tiki Bar in Decatur. The closures saw the group lay off more than 100 employees.
Jones and his team have spent the last few weeks planning for the reopening of Victory’s restaurants, which he says takes time to do properly and safely.
Restaurants across Georgia are permitted to reopen for dine-in service, but must comply with 39 state-mandated guidelines. Among the COVID-19 safety requirements for restaurants to follow, the most notable limits dining capacity to ten patrons per 300 square feet.
“We expect most of our stores to open some time in June. Obviously, we can’t just open them all on the same day, so we’re going to phase them in over the month,” Jones tells Eater. “There is a considerable expense to reworking things in order to make the customer feel safe and sanitary.”
The group is adding more outdoor seating, remodeling the restrooms to be as contactless as possible, and installing public hand-washing stations at each restaurant.
LLoyd’s covered patio will be completely reconfigured and include more outdoor seating in front of Victory Coffee. Jones says they’re also developing a drive-in component for LLoyd’s, in addition to reworking the dining room and bar inside to adhere with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines.
He expects to begin serving a “fast food-style” lunch for takeout from LLoyd’s in the next week or two, leading up to the restaurant’s reopening in June. People place their orders in person at Victory Coffee or order food online prior to pickup.
As for Victory Sandwich Bar, the majority of the dining at the Inman Park location will now be done outdoors. In an effort to hire back the staff of S.O.S Tiki Bar until it can safely reopen, the bar’s cocktails and employees will pop up at Victory’s parking lot container bar. Reconfiguring the “less flexible” seating arrangements at Victory-Decatur includes working around a busy sidewalk and a parking lot shared with neighboring businesses.
Unlike Victory and S.O.S. Tiki Bar in Decatur, the seating at Little Trouble is proving less challenging to reconfigure. A corridor divides Little Trouble’s bar from its lounge area at Westside Provisions District. Jones says he’s working with Jamestown Properties, which manages the Howell Mill Road mixed-used complex, to provide more outdoor dining space for the bar’s patrons.
“Like everyone else, we’re figuring out how to do all of this on the fly,” Jones says of reopening the restaurants. “It isn’t remotely easy, but it does bring back a little excitement to a game we’ve been playing for the last 10 years. Feels like starting out all over again — for better or worse.”
Stay home if sick. Check the Georgia Department of Public Health website for guidance and updates on the latest number of reported COVID-19 cases. Numbers are now updated three times a day.