The Marianna and Wrecking Bar Brewpub in Atlanta, GA
For months and months, the mysterious, Victorian-looking rotunda complete with columns and wide, curved steps sat behind a wire fence, looking more dilapidated by the day. Every time I drove by the place near Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood, my curiosity was piqued: what was that beautiful building, and why was it being allowed to become run down? I dreamed about what I could do with the space if I had the funds — a wine bar, a huge bed and breakfast, a hostel. Luckily, someone with an even better idea came along and decided to convert the historic building into an event space on the top portion (called The Marianna) and a brewpub called The Wrecking Bar on the bottom. Perfect!
Interior glimpse into The Wrecking Bar
I finally set foot in the bar last night for the first time (it’s been open since June 19, but life gets in the way of good beer sometimes). Having visited, I can now confidently say that Wrecking Bar will be a longtime resident of Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood. Though there is a brewpub competitor just down the street (The Porter Beer Bar), the Wrecking Bar should have no problem enticing loyal customers for two main reasons. First, the space. Even though the bar is in the “basement” of the building, it feels pretty light and airy inside, and the lighting at night makes it feel more like a comfy den than a cavernous cave. I loved the exposed stone beams and the wood floors, and the lighting was soft and welcoming. And, I could actually hear my friend talking — no loud music here, which is a major plus for me. I never understand why pubs, which are supposed to be places for people to hang out and talk, insist on blasting music that prevents any meaningful conversation from taking place. Silly.
The delectable Veggie Thai Curry
Secondly, the food and drinks rock. Ironically, neither my friend nor I had a beer, even though I do love my IPA’s. Instead, we opted for a glass of Pinot and a remarkable Old Fashioned. Don’t commit to disliking whiskey until you’ve sipped on the Wrecking Bar’s version called an In Fashion – it’s very, very drinkable. As for the food, my friend and I both enjoyed what we ordered, me especially. I really loved scarfed down my Vegetable Thai Curry. It was spicy and a little sweet, and it actually tasted more like a green curry than a yellow. The veggies it came with were well-cooked, fresh and delicious. My friend enjoyed demolished her Mediterranean veggie sandwich, and I can personally attest to the fries being first-rate; I certainly stole enough from her plate!
The bar area
Wrecking Bar’s beer list is small compared to The Porter Bar, perhaps, but they appear to offer quality, well thought out selections. I look forward to trying some of those on my next visit; I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t explore the beer menu when I was at a brewpub. But, sometimes you just crave a cocktail. Like a lot of Atlantans, I’ve spent a long time waiting for The Wrecking Bar to open, and the danger in that for any restaurant or bar is the amount of expectation that builds up. So far, Wrecking Bar delivers on all fronts, and I plan to spread the word. Cheers!
The Wrecking Bar's patio area
Photos: Jenny Bengen-Albert and The Wrecking Bar Brewpub