Clarence Boston, co-owner of Hippin’ Hops Brewery and Oyster Bar, had every intention of completing his company’s East Lake location and dishing hazy IPAs and peach cobbler sours by last summer.
But in a common refrain across Atlanta’s construction industry right now, Boston found that timelines are more estimation than concrete expectation. The City of Atlanta’s Office of Buildings finally granted the brewery space a Certificate of Occupancy in late October.
“Honestly, our biggest hurdle was the exhaust hood guy,” says Boston. “It took him 12 weeks to get our hood in and installed.”
Nonetheless, as the recent additions of interior banquette seating and white sidewalk picnic tables attest, the second location of Hippin’ Hops is in “the final stages of completion,” Boston wrote via email, not committing, understandably, to a grand opening date. “Stay tuned.”
The restaurant and brewery’s ribbon-cutting—marking the second location for Georgia’s first Black-owned brewery, following Hippin’ Hops’ East Atlanta brewery, with another forthcoming in Stone Mountain—will conclude five years of retail development at the Hosea + 2nd project.
Since The Greater Good Barbecue opened in a former auto shop in 2016 (since replaced by Lake & Oak BBQ), the project has revived existing buildings and phased in new ones to transform an intersection that had suffered from years of disinvestment and broken redevelopment dreams.
The brewery’s 2,300-square-foot space, complemented by an 800-square-foot wraparound patio, will fill a prominent hole in what’s become a foodie destination and mixed-use village on a relatively small, human scale.
The owners of Fellini’s Pizza and La Fonda restaurants, Clay Harper and Mike Nelson, alongside ReDevStudio's Nathan Bolster and Jay Martin, bought the four East Lake corners in 2015 from the Cousins Family Foundation, an organization that’s earned national attention for its work revitalizing East Lake since 1993. The following year, Hosea + 2nd won the Atlanta Urban Design Commission’s Award of Excellence for contributions to the city's urban fabric.
Beyond barbecue, its restaurant tenants include Poor Hendrix, Mix’D Up Burgers, Perc Coffee Roasters, and Japanese-Korean restaurant Salaryman.
Elsewhere is hair salon Cameo and the offices of Purpose Built Communities, a national nonprofit founded by developer Tom Cousins and chaired by former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
Atlanta homebuilder JackBilt purchased the last undeveloped Hosea + 2nd quadrant—the southwest corner—and is actively building a 20-townhome community.
Designed by TSW Architects, the four-story townhomes are called ELL Square for “East Lake Line,” a nod to the neighborhood’s nearby borders with Oakhurst and Kirkwood. At last check, those units were setting sales records for this part of Atlanta.