Atlanta Brewing Company will no longer open at Underground Atlanta

Views of  Underground Atlanta where the New Year’s Eve Peach Drop celebration will take place as seen on Thursday, December 29, 2022. (Natrice Miller/

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@

Views of Underground Atlanta where the New Year’s Eve Peach Drop celebration will take place as seen on Thursday, December 29, 2022. (Natrice Miller/

The much-anticipated reopening of Atlanta’s oldest brewery in the revamped Underground Atlanta development in downtown Atlanta is no longer happening.

Lalani Ventures, the development company behind Underground Atlanta, confirmed that Atlanta Brewing Company will not open in the former Atlanta Visitors Center on Upper Alabama Street as originally planned, Urbanize Atlanta first reported.

Mary Turner, Lalani Ventures senior vice president and head of leasing, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email that Lalani Ventures chose to terminate the lease because the brewery hadn’t started construction since first announcing it would move to Underground Atlanta more than a year ago.

“We terminated the Atlanta Brewing Company lease last week. After seeing no progress in construction from Atlanta Brewing Company since the announcement 12 months ago, we had to make the difficult decision to move on. That location is very important to the area and to Underground, and like everyone else we are all eager to see it activated again. Atlanta Brewing Company is one of the first breweries in Atlanta, so we wish him nothing but the best and hope that he can continue that legacy in the future.”

She said the development is courting other breweries to take over the visitors center space, which has been vacant for about two decades. In the meantime, a yet-to-be-named pop-up will take over the space.

Alton Shields, CEO and general manager of Atlanta Brewing Company (left) and Shaneel Lalani, CEO and founder of Lalani Ventures. (Handout

Credit: Underground Atlanta

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Credit: Underground Atlanta

Atlanta Brewing Company opened in 1993 in Midtown and moved to its most recent location on Defoor Hills Road in the Upper Westside area in 2007. The Defoor Hills taproom closed on July 3, 2022, about a month after Atlanta Brewing Company announced its plans to relocate.

The plan for the brewery at Underground Atlanta included an indoor/outdoor taproom, brewery and restaurant. The 8,600-square-foot space was to feature ping pong tables, community events like trivia nights and glass roll-up garage doors.

One part of the building was set to be dedicated to experimental brewing and canning, while the other part of the building would have been a a taproom and “phantom restaurant” with chefs rotating every two to four weeks. The taproom was set to feature 20 beers and have pour-it-yourself taps throughout the space.

“We are disruptors in our industry and we’re all about that life in Atlanta,” said Alton Shields, president, CEO and general manager of Atlanta Brewing Company in a prepared statement at the time. “We wanted to operate in a place that’s creative and embraces Atlanta culture.

Last year the brewery also announced a partnership with Atlanta’s Second Self Beer Co., which would have seen Second Self serve as a contract brewer for Atlanta Brewing Co.’s entire lineup of beers, including Hoplanta and Atlanta Amber. Second Self closed in June.

Atlanta Brewing Company was to join several other operating and soon-to-open food and beverage concepts at Underground Atlanta, which was purchased in 2020 by Lalani Ventures. The development, which spans Pryor, Central, Wall, and Alabama streets, is readying for a $150 million renovation that will also include housing.

“We have been meeting with downtown neighborhood groups and local institutions like Georgia State to incorporate their feedback into our master plan for the redevelopment,” said Shaneel Lalani, CEO of Lalani Ventures, in a prepared statement in 2022. “Our goal is to transform Underground Atlanta ahead of the 2026 World Cup.”

Concepts open at Underground include Dancing Crepes from Yandy Smith-Harris, who also owns YELLE Beauty in Underground; a brick-and-mortar location of Dolo’s Pizza; Daiquiriville, a 2,200-square-foot indoor/outdoor restaurant and bar with karaoke and other entertainment; Masquerade live music venue; Future Showbar and Restauranta 14,000-square-foot, two-story LGBTQ restaurant and bar; iScream Ice Cream ice cream parlor; and CheeseCaked dessert shop.

Nightclub MJQ is set to relocate to Underground Atlanta from its current location on Ponce de Leon Avenue by the end of the year.

Turner would not confirm the status of a previously announced 21-stall food hall.

Shields did not immediately respond to the AJC’s request for more information.

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