After months of delays, Grindhouse Killer Burgers’ new Piedmont Heights location seems to be in the home stretch. But the road has been anything but smooth.
Originally announced nearly a year ago, the new location on Piedmont Ave. was originally slated to open in the fall of 2010. But, as often seems to happen with many new restaurants in Atlanta, a series of permit delays and roadblocks pushed that opening date into January of this year and beyond.
To most passers-by, the construction of the new location, which dwarfs the original counter location at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, seems to have been completed for some time now, yet the doors have remained shuttered.
I recently spoke with Alex Brounstein, the founder/owner of Grindhouse, about the status of the opening and the reasons for the delays.
The delays have mostly boiled down to permitting, from months of lag time awaiting the approval of completed permit applications to where Brounstein sits today: Re-grading his parking lot and building the sidewalk to nowhere.
Formerly the home of a car wash/car repair shop, the new Grindhouse sits on the corner of Piedmont Ave. and Wimbledon Dr., a street that becomes residential – consisting of single-family homes – right after Brounstein’s new property line. Because Brounstein’s property sits on the edge of the Beltline Overlay District, he is subject to additional zoning and construction regulations. One of these mandates that he build a sidewalk from the corner of Piedmont to the end of his property…where it will promptly stop.
The “sidewalk to nowhere” – my words, not Brounstein’s – is one of the more amusing examples of the issues that have held up the process, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. With a little luck and some good weather, an opening in the second week of April is “so close, I can taste it,” he said.
The restaurant itself is ready to go, pending health and fire inspections…which can’t happen until the parking lot and sidewalk are completed.
In addition to serving up the same burgers that won over fans at their original location, Grindhouse Midtown will feature a large outdoor patio, full dinner service in the evenings, and a full bar, which will also include six different kinds of alcoholic milkshakes.
Here is to hoping that the wait is almost over.