The Local Republic, a highly popular restaurant in downtown Lawrenceville, is moving down the street. The current location will be filled with a taco bar, owners said Monday. TYLER ESTEP / TYLER.ESTEP@COXINC.COM

Open date pushed back for new and improved The Local Republic

It looks like Gwinnettians will have to wait a while longer for the opening of the new and improved version of The Local Republic — and for the taco bar slated to fill the restaurant's existing location, too. 

The Local Republic — renowned for its craft beer selection and locally-sourced burgers and entrees — has been open on the downtown Lawrenceville square for about five years. Late last year, it announced it would be leaving its W. Crogan Street location for a much bigger building a short walk away on N. Perry Street. 

Original plans were to open that new location this month or next, but that timeframe has now shifted toward September or October, owner Ben Bailey told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday.

»MORE: What restaurants have opened recently in Gwinnett — and what's coming soon?

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The delay means plans for Strange Taco Bar — the fast casual taco joint Bailey and his team will be opening in the current The Local Republic location — will also be pushed back. Strange Taco Bar is expected to open "a couple of months" after The Local Republic moves out.

In an March interview, Bailey likened the taco bar's future offerings to those at Atlanta chain Bartaco, saying meats like lamb and duck will be in play. 

"The [Lawrenceville] square has a ton of lunch business," he said. "... But there's also a lot of people that don't have an hour for lunch, and there's nothing on the square that has that fast casual."

The new The Local Republic location will be a whopping 5,200 square feet, allowing chef Scott Smith to expand his kitchen and, among other things, utilize a fryer — meaning the restaurant will have french fries for the first time.

»MORE: The 5 best places to drink in Gwinnett

»MORE: 6 great places to get a taste of Gwinnett's variety of restaurants

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