Atlanta’s first non-alcoholic bottle shop opens by the end of the year in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood.
Backed by Poncey-Highland natural wine and small batch spirits store Elemental Spirits Co. and non-alcoholic online shop and distributor the Zero Proof, the Zero Co. opens in December one block north from the former next door to Highland Row Antiques. The zero-proof bottle shop is part of the redevelopment of the Highland Row retail strip and Highland Inn and Ballroom into Otto’s Apartment Hotel, cafe, and shops along North Highland Avenue.
Expect over 300 non-alcoholic spirits, wines, beer, and canned beverages on the shelves at the Zero Co., along with tastings and drink events taking place at the shop, which could include hosting zero-proof pop-up bars like the Zilch Market.
“We talked to Zilch a couple months ago and we love their pop up,” Elemental Spirits co-owner Cory Atkinson says. “They are innovators in the space with creating some truly special cocktails. It’s really not easy. We’d love to work with them to host workshops and/or help show customers on how to rethink your home bar through the non-alcoholic lens.”
In addition to on-site purchases and events, the Zero Co. plans to include an online shop and delivery options within Atlanta and the metro area.
Atkinson and wife Malory first opened Elemental Spirits in 2020, taking over the corner space beside the newly renovated Manuel’s Tavern at North Highland and North avenues. As residents of Poncey-Highland, the couple wanted to bring their passion for small batch spirits and natural wine to the neighborhood. This also included carrying a selection of high-end zero-proof wines and spirits at the shop like Seedlip Garden, Sovi wines, and Rightside Brewing and pre-mixed beverages such as Ghia spritz aperitif.
As that side of the business continued growing, Atkinson says, they reached out to the Zero Proof for guidance and help offering a wider variety of non-alcoholic products at Elemental Spirits.
“Sean Goldsmith and Trevor Wolfe and I met in the early days of their distribution company as they had just started working to import some great products in Europe to the U.S.,” Atkinson says. “We were noticing (and hearing from our customers) new brands and better made non-alc options and were happy to work with them to sell some of their imported products.”
Atkinson says they worked closely with Goldsmith, discussing how customers were using zero-proof spirits at home, what they wanted to see more of at the shop, and getting feedback on the non-alcoholic products sold there. It soon became apparent, Atkinson says, Elemental Spirits needed a dedicated space focused solely on non-alcoholic spirits and beverages.
“[Non-alcoholic spirits are] a significant portion [of the business at Elemental Spirits] in relation to how many products we carry in that category,” says Atkinson. “I can say it’s a category that has grown double digits year-over-year since we opened, and there are so many more brands and expressions to offer, we just don’t have enough space in Elemental to really serve the category in the way it deserves.”
The Zero Co. joins previously announced bakery Colette Bread from Sarah Dodge at the Otto’s retail strip on North Highland. Colette Bread will serve as home base for Dodge’s wholesale pastry and bread-making operations and offer a retail shop for on-site purchases.
626 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta. thezeroco.co.