Owners Johnny Martinez and Brendan Ley, who also own Mambo Zombi above the beer bar and Joystick Gamebar across the street, announced the closure on social media, saying they plan to host private events at Georgia Beer Garden while they consider what’s next for the ground floor space.
“The truth is GBG no longer fits this street even though we do truly love Edgewood, which means this space needs to evolve and become something else,” the statement reads. “We’re lucky enough to own the building, which gives us room to play.”
The closure of Georgia Beer Garden does not effect cocktail bar Mambo Zombi or Joystick, Martinez and Ley say. Both remain open and operating as usual.
Housed in a former peanut butter factory that would later become a veterinary hospital, Georgia Beer Garden opened in 2016 offering 24 mostly Georgia beers and ciders on tap and a tight menu of bar food. It became a haven for beer lovers on Edgewood Avenue and played host to numerous private and community events over the years, including town halls, election night watch parties, and debates between political candidates. The garden patio beside the building is billed as “downtown Atlanta’s largest backyard.”
Martinez and Ley were also early adopters of the pop-up food scene in Atlanta, opening the kitchens at Joystick and Georgia Beer Garden to various chefs. Chef Justin Dixon and his sandwich pop-up Humble Mumble took up residence at Georgia Beer Garden earlier this spring. Dixon continues to regularly operate Humble Mumble from his food stall at the Collective at Coda in Midtown.
In 2022, a mysterious White Castle materialized in an empty lot next door to Joystick, part of the set for the Disney+ and Marvel Studios series “Ironheart” — an “Iron Man” spinoff starring Dominique Thorne as armor suit inventor. Filming for the TV series shut down a portion of Edgewood Avenue and saw the temporary closures of Joystick and Georgia Beer Garden.
The production company provided compensation to businesses affected by the temporary closures, allowing Martinez and Ley to give employees paid vacation time to recoup lost wages during the shutdown. Joystick was used for equipment storage during filming and Georgia Beer Garden was used as a staging area for extras on set.
Eater reached out to Martinez and Ley for further comment on the closure of Georgia Beer Garden and their future plans for the space. Check back for updates.