Yes, the time has finally come for beloved sandwich-slinging dive bar Elliott Street Deli and Pub to close its doors in Castleberry Hill.
Rumors of the closure began last weekend when local journalist Sean Keenan broke the news on Twitter that the bar had sold after being on and off the market for the last three years. While a date for the closure isn’t confirmed, Elliott Street Pub could close as soon as Saturday, October 22, according to Keenan.
The building’s new owner is NFL quarterback and Atlanta native Cam Newton, who also owns cigar bar and restaurant Fellaship and Smokey Stallion Barbecue in Castleberry Hill. Further reporting by Urbanize Atlanta indicates Newton does not intend to tear down the historic building, which he may turn into a speakeasy bar.
Brothers Mike and Pete Jakob, who were formerly general contractors, purchased the circa-1870 carriage house at 51 Elliott Street in 2004, where they planned to base their business. At the time of the purchase, the building had been vacant for two decades and was rapidly deteriorating. The roof had caved in nearly three floors, there was three feet of water in the basement, and serious damage to the building needed repairing from a previous fire.
“We purchased the building because it was out in the middle of nowhere. It was going to be our shop where we could make a lot of noise late at night,” Mike Jakob told Eater in 2019 when the initial sale was announced. “We build cars, we run saws, we’re pretty loud. It’s next to the fire station, and we figured, we can’t be louder than those guys!”
The brothers say they never thought to open a bar in the building, but after completing a contracting job at a club in Milwaukee and falling in love with the gritty neighborhood bars around the city, they opened Elliott Street Pub in a 600-square-foot space on the street level of the two-story building. To keep overhead costs low, the Jakobs serve deli-style and pressed sandwiches like the French dip and hot pastrami with dive bar standard cocktails, a handful of beers on draft, and PBR tallboys. Walls of the tiny bar are now layered in a thick coat of dollar bills placed over the years by Elliott Street’s many regulars, artists and musicians, sports fans, and conference attendees.
Elliott Street Pub currently sits in the shadow Mercedes-Benz Stadium and in the heart of major redevelopment projects throughout the neighborhood and across the Gulch from the building at Centennial Yards and historic Hotel Row on Mitchell Street. Both neighborhood residents and local preservationists feared the bar’s building would be gobbled up in the development frenzy once it sold and would be torn down, leading to the loss of one of the few structures left in Atlanta dating back to the post-Civil War years.
The Jakob brothers declined to speak further when reached for comment on the sale and impending closure of Elliott Street Pub.
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