SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. — Steve Mollica and the group behind a proposed Chattahoochee River brewpub at Roswell Road and Roberts Drive will participate in a community meeting Jan. 22.
A brewpub is a hybrid between a restaurant and a brewery, where beer is primarily brewed for sale inside the establishment.
Typically, breweries will produce more beer annually and will not include food services.
“We’re basically going for a brewpub, super simple,” Mollica said. “We are not going to distribute or anything, so it will all be onsite.”
When Mollica brought the brewpub rezoning proposal to a community meeting last summer, he said some 20 residents strongly opposed the effort.
Residents along Roberts Drive said at two public meetings July 28 and Sept. 20 that they did not want a brewpub in their neighborhood at two community meetings.
The Sandy Springs Council of Neighborhoods also advocated against rezoning the property in a protected neighborhood.
“We applied last year, and then they kind of pushed our application to this year because of some administrative stuff,” Mollica said. “So basically now, we are starting the process over.”
The property is on the east side of Roswell Road before the bridge crossing the Chattahoochee River into Roswell.
“The only thing that is on the waterfront in Sandy Springs is Ray’s on the River,” Mollica said. “We’re trying to do something for regular people.”
Ray’s on the River, an award-winning restaurant on the Cobb County border, requires a dress code for diners. Mollica joked that his proposed brewpub would allow hats and flip flops.
Following the success of Pontoon Brewing in Sandy Springs, Mollica said the location along the river would provide the perfect location.
William Odrey owns the 1.72-acre property at 9755 Roberts Drive. According to the Fulton County Board of Assessors, Odrey bought the property for $650,000 in August 2006.
Mollica said he has an agreement with Odrey to buy into the property, pending a rezoning. Before Mollica tried to buy the site, Odrey had been trying to get it rezoned.
Mollica said he posted a notice about the public meeting on the “ATLbeer” subreddit page Jan. 3
to bring the brewpub to the attention of Sandy Springs residents who support the rezoning that would allow commercial.
“We need people, especially those who live in Sandy Springs, and especially those who live on the north side of town to come out and support our cause,” the post said.
As of Jan. 11, the post has received seven upvotes and one comment.
While Mollica did not survey the homeowners on Roberts Drive, he said residents in the area were overwhelmingly supportive.
“We just got to find the people on our side, and they’re out there,” Mollica said.
There are a few hurdles for a brewpub along the Chattahoochee River.
Mollica said a character area change and zoning change will each take about six months to complete. If the property is rezoned for commercial use, construction of the brewpub would take another year.
While the brewpub remains up in the air, Mollica said he has a few local brewers on board. Potential operating partners are still farther down the road.
“The building has to be mostly up, for those conversations to even happen,” Mollica said.