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Now Under New Ownership, Star Bar Reopens in Little Five Points for Cocktails

After closing last January and undergoing a change of ownership, divey live music institution Star Community Bar is back open on Moreland Avenue

Star Bar reopens in Little Five Points
Star Bar
Beth McKibben is the editor and staff reporter for Eater Atlanta and has been covering food and cocktails locally and regionally for 12 years.

Live music venue and bar Star Bar reopens in Little Five Points

After closing last January and undergoing a change of ownership, divey live music institution Star Community Bar reopened on Moreland Avenue in Little Five Points. Now owned by Christopher Jackson, Luke Lewis, Dan Meade, and Bruce McLeod, Star Bar is easing back into business on Moreland, starting with cocktails in the Little Vinyl Lounge and on the back patio downstairs from the main bar area. Limited capacity live shows begin in June. All staff and patrons are required to wear masks inside until further notice.

“We will be easing back into things this summer and are cautiously optimistic to have a full entertainment calendar by fall,” the Facebook announcement indicates. “Hopefully things continue to improve so we can all get back to normal life as soon as possible.”

Last March, Lewis told the Atlanta Business Chronicle he and his partners had no intention of changing Star Bar, which opened in Little Five Points 30 years ago. Other than a fresh coat of paint, some much-needed repairs, and a good cleaning, the bar remains the same. This should also include Star Bar’s iconic bank vault shrine to Elvis known as “Grace Vault”.

David Heany and Marty Nolan opened Star Bar in 1991 inside an old Citizens and Southern National Bank (C&S Bank). The bar quickly became known around Atlanta for hosting eclectic musical acts ranging from funk to punk, weekly comedy shows, and annual tribute festivals like Bubbapalooza and Hollyfest. Heany died in 2018 at the age of 67.

Previous owner Kahle Davis took over Star Bar in 2013 and announced its abrupt closure on December 31, 2019, citing in a now-deleted Facebook post that the bar was given its “walking papers” and the building’s owner was renting the property to another business. According to the Chronicle, an agreement had already been reached between Davis and landlord Point Center Partners to lease the property to new owners months before the closure at the end of 2019. Anna Foote, the former board chair for the Little Five Points CID (community improvement district), told Eater at the time the building’s owner was already in “active negotiations” with a new leasee who was committed to reopening Star Bar. [Facebook/EATL/ABC]

In other news...

Ford’s BBQ to open a second location in Oakhurst

A second location of Tucker-based Ford’s BBQ is set to replace Matador Mexican Cantina in Oakhurst this summer, the AJC first reported. Both restaurants are owned by James Maggard and Justin Bradford, who also own the Stratford Pub in Avondale Estates and the Local No. 7 in Tucker. The pair first opened Ford’s BBQ in December across the street from the Local No. 7 on Main Street in Tucker.

Maggard and Bradford closed Matador Mexican Cantina after 15 years in Oakhurst over the weekend, announcing on Facebook that the restaurant would be replaced by a location of Ford’s BBQ. Maggard told the AJC the decision to close one restaurant and replace it with another came down to a need to “refresh, a remodel, a re-everything,” with Matador also experiencing hiring struggles. The menu for Ford’s BBQ in Oakhurst will be similar to that of the Tucker location. [AJC/Facebook]

Tex-Mex restaurant Cantina Loca opens at Alpharetta City Center

Tex-Mex restaurant Cantina Loca is now open at Alpharetta City Center, according to a press release. Cantina Loca is owned by Will Restaurants Investment Group, which also owns Central City Tavern at the development. Expect a menu of tacos, burritos, and quesadillas and a selection of margaritas and 25 tequilas. [Official]

The Georgia Department of Public Health will come to restaurants and bars to vaccinate employees

In an attempt to make it easier for restaurant and bar industry employees to get vaccinated, the Georgia Department of Public Health will provide clinicians who will come to individual restaurants and bars to administer free COVID-19 vaccines to all employees, according to the Georgia Restaurant Association. Restaurants and bars interested in setting up an employee vaccine clinic should email for more information. [GRA]

Central City Tavern

1801 Howell Mill Rd Suit 400, Atlanta, GA 30318 (404) 351-1957 Visit Website