Beer Town: New Barleygarden opens at Pinewood Forest in Fayetteville

Barleygarden is the first restaurant and bar in the new mixed-use development, and the sprawling two-story space is notable for its location across from Pinewood Atlanta Studios, where many a Marvel movie has been made.

Torres opened his first Hop City in 2009 as a homebrew shop that soon morphed into a beer and wine store. Since then, he’s expanded his business to include retail, bar, and restaurant locations in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and Birmingham, Alabama.

But in a number of ways, the Pinewood Forest Barleygarden is the culmination of Torres’ beer geek journey, offering some 85 rotating taps, and full upstairs and downstairs bars with house cocktails named for lines from Marvel movies.

Plus there’s an expanded menu from executive chef Brian Carson, who’s worked at Atlanta restaurants including Gunshow, the Pig & the Pearl and Pinewood Tippling Room, and more recently took over the kitchen at Torres’ beer-driven West End restaurant, Boxcar.

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Among the offerings, look for a vegan patty melt and vegan meatloaf, a Gulf shrimp po’boy, and several new salads and burgers.

Last week, Torres took me on a tour of Barleygarden at Pinewood, where he showed off the sophisticated layout — which includes an open kitchen, several dining areas, outdoor patios, and an elevator to an open-air rooftop deck, with a soaring ceiling, a fire pit with a big-screen TV, and a glass-enclosed private event room.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

“Pinewood is the biggest studio in North America, outside of Hollywood,” Torres told me, pointing across the street, “and they’re building a bridge from there to here. The idea of the development is that it’s a community for creative folks who work in the film industry to live.”

Sitting down at the upstairs bar, sipping a Rothaus Pils, I asked Torres if when he opened his homebrew shop, he ever imagined anything like this.

He laughed and said, “Hell no, dude. I never pictured myself as more than a one-store beer nerd, who was going to eventually be that grumpy old guy behind the counter. But one store became two stores, and the second store became very on-premise-driven. The third store became even more on-premise-driven. The fourth location included food, and so here we are with number six.”

With that, though, Torres noted that each of his locations is different, “not cookie cutter,” and offers a unique experience. And that from opening day, the residents of Pinewood Forest have been enthusiastic in their support of Barleygarden as a neighborhood destination.

“We’ve found that they’ve been really hungry for something like this to be here,” he said. “Over five days of service, we’ve had people who have been here five different times. I was a little surprised to see that, but they have rolled out the red carpet and embraced the idea of the concept. And it’s really been fun to watch them get excited about beer the way I’m excited about beer.”

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