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Monday, February 15, 2010

Little Five Points' Wrecking Bar eyed for brewpub, events space

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For years, the Victor Kriegshaber House — the beautiful yet beat-up Moreland Avenue mansion sometimes referred to as "The Wrecking Bar" — has sat in disuse. That might change.

Inman Park resident and brewmaestro Bob Sandage — whose Final Gravity homebrewing group was profiled by CL Food Editor Besha Rodell in our Jan. 2009 beer issue — has plans for the property located just south of Little Five Points.

Should everything go according to plan, Sandage would like to see the building become a brewpub and events space — a move that could add some much-needed life to the moribund strip of Moreland Avenue between L5P and Reynoldstown.

Built in 1900 for businessman and philanthropist Victor Kriegshaber, the house is one of Atlanta's few Victorian mansions — especially along a major thoroughfare — that's managed to dodge the wrecking ball. (The Atlanta Urban Design Commission has a thorough look at the house's history and architecture.) That characteristic, along with its charm, has earned the house a spot in many preservationists' hearts. Even a few Best Of Atlanta readers wanted to see good things come of the property. In April 2009, my colleague Scott Henry reported that the house was among several Atlanta landmarks left with an uncertain future after former owner Inman Park Properties defaulted on several loans.

At the Jan. 20 Inman Park Neighborhood Association meeting, Sandage presented his brewpub and events space proposal to residents. According to a meeting summary in the most recent issue of the Inman Park Advocator (PDF),the brewpub would seat as many as 80 people and feature "locally grown, healthy items, with lunch entrees ranging from $6-$10 and dinner entrees from $10-$17." It'd close at 11 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends.

Sandage, who also serves as the IPNA's public safety vice president, will have to overcome two hurdles: obtaining a liquor license and ensuring there's adequate parking.

According to the Advocator, L5P's zoning ordinance doesn't allow liquor licenses within 300 feet of a residence unless it's for a restaurant. The ordinance would have to be amended to allow for "brewpubs." The neigborhood paper also says Sandage is examining the possibility of using a "covenant in the property deed to protect the neighbors from a new business in the future getting extended hours."

And because the property can only accommodate 20 parked cars — Sandage's proposal would require 33 parking spaces — he's looking for off-site parking options.

Some of these details could very well have changed since the Jan. 20 meeting. CL contacted Sandage a few weeks ago when we first heard about his plans. He politely declined to comment at the time, saying he'd prefer to wait 30 days until he tended to some administrative hurdles. We sent him an email Sunday night and will update if we hear word. If you'd like to hear more about the proposal, the IPNA is scheduled to discuss the topic again at its next meeting on Feb. 17.

(Courtesy of City of Atlanta)

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