Atlanta Brewing Company claims corner spot as Underground Atlanta rebuilds

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 11:35 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Underground Atlanta is trying to make a comeback. And its newest tenant is one of the city’s oldest beer establishments.

On Wednesday, Atlanta Brewing Company, who considers itself Georgia’s first craft brewery, announced it’s moving from the Upper Westside neighborhood into Underground Atlanta.

“We’re extremely ecstatic and excited. We see it as a great opportunity to marry an iconic brand like ABC with just a legendary tourist spot,” said Alton Shields, President & CEO of Atlanta Brewing Company.

Shields told CBS46 it plans to open its new signature location in mid-December.

“We have similar stories. I don’t want to say faded ladies, but we’re both looking for some semblance of redemption,” said Shields.

Underground Atlanta has lost the vibrancy it enjoyed in the 90′s.

“It’s similar to a ghost town,” said Mike Long, who brough family from out-of-state on Wednesday, only to realize it’s not the same tourist spot he remembered. “Because when I grew up it was alive, I mean people were everywhere, they were underground, above ground, all over the place,” Long said.

Neighbors are excited about the direction of the former tourist hotspot.

“We’ve just been waiting for someone to do this, and it’s been a long time coming, we’re extremely excited,” said Robyn Jackson, president of the Downtown Atlanta Neighborhood Association.

Jackson credited crime, corruption of owners, and mismanagement as the primary factors that tanked Underground Atlanta.

He said the neighborhood association supports the vision of Underground Atlanta’s owner, Lalani Ventures.

Shaneel Lalani bought Underground Atlanta in 2020. Through a spokesperson, Lalani said that there are more development announcements to Underground Atlanta expected later this summer.

“This is just the tip of the biggest iceberg and we’re so happy to be right in the middle of it,” said Jackson, from his apartment rooftop, looking over the downtown skyline.

Jackson was referring to anticipated development across downtown in the next five years ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

Atlanta was named one of the tournament hosts last month.