A second location of Stone Mountain-based Gilly Brew Bar, part of Gilly Brewing Co., opens inside Castleberry Hill gallery and event space Peters Street Station later this year. And owner Daniel Brown tells Eater Atlanta the Stone Mountain Village coffee shop opens a new kitchen this summer, and will eventually feature a bar serving beer, wine, and mimosas.
Gilly Brew Bar is known for its innovative cocktail-like coffee and tea drinks, referred to as “elixirs” on the menu. Think fat-washed cold brew with bitters, balsamic, and lemon-fig marmalade or hibiscus tea comprising lemon and honey, egg white, bitters, and an aromatic mist.
Brown opened Gilly Brew Bar in 2018, after purchasing the oldest house in Stone Mountain Village five years ago. Built by slaves around 1834, the house was home to the first mayor of Stone Mountain, Andrew Johnson, served as a hospital during the Civil War, was a hotel, and a Southern restaurant.
“This house has had a lot of identities over the years,” Brown says. “Now it’s serving the community in yet another way, and we are about to expand Gilly here.”
Once open, the new kitchen at Gilly Brew Bar will serve as an incubator with a rotating lineup of Atlanta-area private chefs. Brown hopes the chefs and his kitchen will help bring more culinary diversity to Stone Mountain Village, something he says the village currently lacks.
With Gilly Brew Bar’s new kitchen undergoing its final health inspections and his first chef lined up, Brown says he’s ready to move forward with opening a second location of the coffee bar.
“While we prepared to open the kitchen and bar, Gilly became a brand of its own. I was given multiple options to open another location, but put that aside for a while because I wanted to make sure I was a good steward to this property,” Brown tells Eater.
The Castleberry Hill opportunity presented itself when the granddaughter of Atlanta entrepreneur and philanthropist Herman J. Russell reached out to Peters Street Station owner Miya Bailey about Brown and his coffee bar. Bailey had been looking for a coffee shop to come on board at the studio space and gallery on Peters Street, and Gilly Brew Bar fit the bill.
Gilly Brew Bar will be located in the front portion of Peters Street Station, with a few tables and seating for up to 16 people at the bar. As Brown has done with the custom drinks at his Stone Mountain coffee shop, he plans to customize the flavors and messaging for drinks on the menu at the Peters Street location in order to connect with the Castleberry Hill and Atlanta University Center communities.
Brown will host a series of popups at Peters Street Station over the next few months to continue introducing Gilly Brew Bar to the community before the Castleberry Hill shop officially opens. The first popup kicks off Friday, June 19, from 3 p.m to 9 p.m.
2ND LOCATION ANNOUNCEMENT!!— Gilly Brewing Co. (@gillybrewbar) June 17, 2020
COME celebrate JUNETEENTH THIS FRIDAY, 3P - 9P! ! RETWEET THIS, TAG A FRIEND & MEET US @peterstreetstation
1st 50 to show up get a FREE drink from the gilly gang & a pastry from @applebutterbakery, ALL sponsored by @oatly! #SupportBlackBusiness pic.twitter.com/3X5PNtc5s9
The event includes live music, some of Gilly’s more popular coffee and tea drinks as well as a couple of new drinks, and pastries from Apple-Butter Bakery, which Brown owns with his wife, Shellane Brown. The couple are opening a second Apple-Butter Bakery location this fall at the sprawling Pinewood Forest development, 28 miles south of Atlanta.
The first 50 people in line at Friday’s event will receive a free drink and a pastry.
“This popup was sort of a spur of the moment thing. But with Juneteenth this Friday, it just felt like the right moment to have a celebration, especially with the protests and everything going on in the nation,” Brown says of his expansion plans. “I want people to continue to be encouraged and to feel hope again. Despite the state of our nation, I want people to know there’s still hope for the future.”
5329 Mimosa Drive, Stone Mountain; 333 Peters Street, Atlanta. gillybrewbar.com.