Monday, August 3, 2015

Local Republic to Move and Expand on Lawrenceville Square

Popular Lawrenceville restaurant to relocate and expand 

Local Republic, currently located at 225 W. Crogan Street, reportedly has plans to move early next year to a two story building, also on the square in Lawrenceville.  Business partners Ben Bailey and Chris Collin first opened Local Republic in 2011.  

The new location, 139 N. Perry Street, was most recently home to Carriage House Upholstery.  The space sits to the left of the Lawrenceville location of running shop Fleet Feet Sports.  City records indicate that the property, a building which dates to the 1900s, was purchased March 31st of this year for just under $200,000.
139 North Perry Street
The space is reportedly nearly 11,000 square feet, far larger than the current restaurant, which looks to be in the 3,000 square foot neighborhood.  The current Local Republic restaurant operates out of a converted 1940s service station.    
Despite an initial cordial dialogue, I was later ignored by co-owner Ben Bailey.  Despite multiple attempts by email (his preferred method), phone and even in person, I was unable to obtain any "official" comment.  From what I was able to gather from other credible sources, plans are for the "new" Local Republic to open early next year.  This is of course in a perfect world likely made imperfect by the fact that the restaurant's location in the "Downtown Overlay District" could slow construction.   Plans reportedly include a rooftop patio similar to the one at nearby McCray's Tavern.  

Both Bailey and Collin grew up in Gwinnett County . Bailey is a graduate of Shiloh High School, Collin a graduate of South Gwinnett High School.  The duo enbody the restaurant's name by sourcing as many "local" products as possible. They reportedly do business with local bakeries and cattle farms and feature the works of local artists in the dining room. 

Bailey and Collin were previously "managing partners" at the recently shuttered "The Georgia Pine" Shoppes at Webb Gin on Scenic Highway in Snellville.    Local personal injury attorney Gary Martin Hays opened the restaurant in 2013 in place of his previous endeavor, Gary's Bistro.  Hays enlisted Bailey and Collin to run the restaurant.  It is now Hays who has been enlisted to assist, presumably financially, in the opening of the new, larger restaurant.

While I was unable to get confirmation of this from anyone, a well placed source indicates that the current Local Republic will be converted into an as-yet-unnamed taqueria once the new location opens. 

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