During a recent visit, I sampled both the Red’s and Kids dogs, along with a Unibroue La Fin du Monde Belgian-style triple, served on draft in a 16-ounce clear plastic cup. I enjoyed it all. And I enjoyed talking with the Sumpters, who told me how they’d long dreamed of opening a beer bar.
“It’s been awesome, because we’ve already sold a lot of beer,” Kristen Sumpter said. “It’s been Bud Light and Miller High Life, and then we’ve also sold a lot of really nice sours, and really nice stouts and IPAs. That’s great because we’re seeing a lot of different kinds of customers.
“And what I love is that we have a lot of nonalcoholic options, and a lot of non-beer options. The first Saturday night we were open, we were selling almost as much nonalcoholic stuff as alcoholic. Even the mead has been doing super well, maybe because you don’t find it everywhere. And the CBD water is a real crowd-pleaser.”
Asked how and why Red’s differs from other places to drink beer, she explained it was what they grew up with.
“Ed and I are from Wilmington, North Carolina,” she said. “We were both born and raised there, and we went to UNC Wilmington. When we moved here, we kept looking for places that had these self-serve coolers — because in Wilmington, which is a fairly small city, there were three places like this that we would always go to with friends and family.
“So it was our dream to do that here. But it is a different model. Draft is really big right now. We only have six beers on draft. The selection is in bottles and cans, but I think what makes it unique is that you are able to look and see what your options are. We really wanted this to be a small neighborhood place, so we went to the neighborhood meetings, and talked to people, and everybody was on board with that.”
RED’S BEER GARDEN
1328 Boulevard SE, Atlanta. 770-637-2299, redsbeergarden.com.
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