A trio of Atlanta restaurateurs are teaming up to bring the Eastside Beltline a bar and restaurant serving tacos, burritos, and margaritas, and it also features an exclusive list of beers brewed locally in Chamblee.
Fishmonger owners Nhan Le and Skip Engelbrecht, along with Hopstix brewpub owner Andy Tan, will open Dos Burros in the former Lady Ha space at the Ford Factory Lofts on Ponce at the end of November. The opening marks a return to Ponce for Le and Engelbrecht, who closed their critically acclaimed restaurant 8ARM across the street in 2022 following the sale of the property.
For Tan, who owned Lady Ha, the decision to close his Eastside Beltline Vietnamese restaurant after four years came down to recognizing that people regularly strolling the trail are looking for more grab-and-go food and drinks.
“It’s such a prime location and a beautiful space. We really enjoyed serving wonderful Vietnamese food here, but ultimately what people want on the Beltline is food that travels easily while you’re on the go. That isn’t pho,” Tan says of closing Lady Ha. “It made sense to partner with Nhan and Skip in Dos Burros, who have a long history of doing fun neighborhood spots with great food and drinks.”
Dos Burros is a deeply personal project for Le. It’s named for a concept he and his late business partner chef Angus Brown had talked about opening together. Brown died suddenly in 2017, five months after opening 8ARM with Le. That Dos Burros is located on the Beltline and so close to the former 8ARM space on Ponce isn’t lost on Le and Engelbrecht.
“When we were approached about opening in the [Ford Factory] space, we were like ‘never again on Ponce,’” Engelbrecht tells Eater. “The more we talked about it, we realized Angus always joked about opening Dos Burros, so this is a nod to that, and to him. Tacos made much more sense than another Fishmonger here.”
Domingo Galardo will lead the kitchen at Dos Burros. He’s currently the chef at Le’s East Atlanta Village Vietnamese restaurant So Ba. The Mexico native often does taco pop-ups at neighboring Octopus Bar, which Le also owns. With regulars pushing Galardo to do more with his pop-up, Le and Engelbrecht saw a prime opportunity for the chef at Dos Burros, who will serve tacos, burritos, and other Mexican street food fare.
Dos Burros is both a restaurant and a margarita bar, that just so happens to also serve its own signature beers brewed locally at Hopstix in Chamblee by Tan.
Tan, who grew up in Indonesia and holds a degree in computer science from Georgia State University, started out as a home brewer back in 2010. He first fell in love with the fermentation process and the science behind it after helping his brother set up a distillery in Indonesia. This passion for brewing beer would eventually lead to Tan to open Asian brewpub Hopstix in Chamblee six years ago, where he brews beers and serves food representing countries from around Asia. The brewpub’s motto is “inspired by cultures.”
“Rice has long been a staple in both Mexican and Asian cultures, and we love incorporating it into our beers. Our original and best-selling beer rice lager, Rice and Shine, is a Japanese-style lager brewed using house-steamed rice,” Tan explains. “As we expand to Dos Burros, we’re excited to craft special beers, including a Mexican lager brewed with Oaxacan green corn, a Vienna-style lager brewed with toasted black rice, and we’ll feature IPAs and other Mexican beer styles to perfectly complement the menu.”
Beverage director Joshua Grubb, whose brother Caleb oversees the bar programs at all three Fishmongers in Atlanta, is leading the bar at Dos Burros. Expect a selection of margaritas, along with other drinks like freshly made agua frescas. A canning machine will allow Grubb and his team to package and sell drinks at Dos Burros to go.
Engelbrecht says they want the vibe and energy at Dos Burros to be “super fast paced, loud, and really fun.” A quick refresh will see the interior of Lady Ha become more in line with the restaurant aesthetic for which Le and Engelbrecht are known for at their other restaurants. Walls will be painted deep blues, neon reds, and bright corals, stamped with abstract drawings of agave plants. The former bubble tea area at Lady Ha is being built out to add more bar space at Dos Burros. Le and Engelbrecht plan to take full advantage of the upstairs seating area, which leads out onto a large patio flanking the Beltline.
“Last week we were talking about the trials and tribulations we’ve been through over the years and we realized someone is looking out for us,” says Engelbrecht. He and Le have been taken aback by the wild success of Fishmonger since opening in 2022. With three locations in Atlanta now, and two more locations planned for Nashville, Fishmonger was recently named a Michelin bib gourmand.
“Thinking about this space [at Ford Factory], thinking about Angus, the time we’ve spent working on Ponce, and that we were going to open Ama with another brewery on the Beltline. Things didn’t work out the way we thought,” Engelbrecht adds. “Losing all of that and now getting to regain some of it back seems sort of like a victory.”
699 Ponce De Leon Avenue, Atlanta.