Friday, February 28, 2014

World of Beer Tapping Midtown Atlanta for Expansion

Beer franchise marks Atlanta entry with midtown location.

Tampa, Florida-based World of Beer is coming to Atlanta. The new roughly 4,000 square foot establishment will be located at 855 Peachtree, within the street level space of the Viewpoint condo building next to Sprint as you head north.

A second World of Beer will open at Madison Place on Chastain Road in Kennesaw.  Madison Place is a newish center near Kennesaw State and is already home to restaurants like Del Taco as well as Atlanta-based Marlows Tavern and Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint.  

According to the World of Beer website, the chain carries plenty of craft beers on tap in addition to cans and bottles. World of Beer reportedly offers over 500 different beers from more than 40 countries.

"World of Beer partners with thousands of craft breweries to source more than 8,000 unique beers from around the globe. At any one time, one of our World of Beer locations will have more than 500 of these beers in the cooler and 50 on tap."

Strangely, World of Beer does not always offer food.  Their website offers a vague "Tavern Fare" description:  "Our food is a celebration of the senses that enhances the flavors of our craft beers and craft spirits. The selection is bold, flavor-inspired, and guaranteed to please.  It is a contemporary interpretation of classic comfort food, bar traditions, and innovative culinary trends."  I spoke to folks at a number of locations.  Each said that they have no food on the menu and instead have restaurants that "cater" and "deliver" to World of Beer patrons.  I visited the World of Beer location in Savannah last week and sure enough, no food on the menu, just tons of beer.

I don't know definitively whether the midtown location will have any food, but in the case of their Birmingham location which opened over a year ago, food is being added to the menu in late March. 

If World of Beer midtown does serve food, expect things like chicken wings and salads, as well as sandwiches, flatbreads and rich desserts.  

Just north of World of Beer midtown is a location of Atlanta-based Taco Mac.  Taco Mac is located on the street level of the Metropolis condo building and offers similar drink options but also has a full kitchen and menu.

World of Beer opened its first location in 2007, and today has over 50 locations, as far west as Seattle, with a handful of others coming soon.  To date, the chain's only Georgia location is in Savannah.

Much of the senior leadership at World of Beer came with experience at Outback Steakhouse.  Outback Steakhouse is based in Tampa and is owned by Bloomin' Brands, formerly, OSI.

Taco Mac, by comparison, started in Atlanta in 1979, and today has 29 locations in three states, 25 of which are in Georgia.

Sources say the recent opening of Marlows Tavern at the Prado on Roswell Road has hurt the sales of neighboring Taco Mac.  I think it's safe to assume that World of Beer could have a similar effect on the midtown Taco Mac, and perhaps the nearby Hudson Grille as well.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The World of Beer in Jacksonville has been pretty bipolar about food. When they opened last year, they touted providing it but on my first visit they advertised getting "deliveries" from the center's restaurants. But on a recent visit a few weeks ago food was front and center again; so no idea what they're plan is.

As far as WOB in general, it is a nice concept for certain areas - great for the burbs but usually in-town has so many options for specialized beer selections. Especially in that location; Taco Mac is 2 blocks way and there isn't much differentiation in atmosphere/environment between there and the typical WOB (save for the fact that Taco Mac is better for food of course).

Anonymous said...

The issue is, when you go to Taco Mac, their beer lists are out of date, you have to order 5 beers before they actually have one, and do we need to even discuss the food quality? Being a Midtown Resident, I would gladly choose a foodless WOB over Taco Mac, and even Hudson Grill well before Taco Mac.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with Anonymous in that WOB is a niche product and will draw the "noob" craft beer customer. I think that you will still see the seasoned beer people gravitate toward places like The Brick Store Pub, The Wrecking Bar, The Porter Bar, etc, etc. I visited WOB in Savannah about 6 months ago and was underwhelmed. I think that WOB has a chance in places like Alpharetta or Cumming but won't last long intown. That's my $.02

Anonymous said...

The advantage WOB or Taco Mac have over Brick Store, Wrecking Bar or Porter Bar is they're actually in Midtown. Not that people necessarily go to craft beer purveyors to get drunk, but if you want to take the the DUI equation off the table generally and not have to deal with taxis, it's nice to have an option within stumbling... err... walking distance whether you're a 'noob' or a long-time hipster beer snob. ;-)

Thirsty Midtowner said...

When is it opening?

Atlantan99 said...

@Thirsty Midtowner,

Opening TBD but I'd expect it to open late this summer.

Thanks for your interest and readership.

Anonymous said...

Except, if you live in Midtown, you can just jump on the train to get to Decatur or Inman Park, thus eliminating the DUI factor.

Anonymous said...

I live in Midtown and the only time I take MARTA to Decatur is for the Decatur Beer Festival. I can walk to 100 Bars and Restaurants within a mile of my house and I welcome this addition!

Anonymous said...

World of Beer has a location in The Villages, Florida (famous "active adult" community). Visited my parents recently there, and had a chance to check WOB out. Large selection of brews, plus a full menu (granted, if you want to open an eatery at The Villages, you have to follow strict town guidelines, so WOB may have been ordered to offer a full food menu at this site).

WOB could definitely work in Midtown, especially so close to Georgia Tech and the young business crowd.