- Mitchell Northam The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that Brian Smawley and Nate Sanders were a part of the original team that founded the bar in 2005. That is incorrect. The duo worked at the bar as managers.
A little more than a month ago, it seemed like Battle and Brew was as dead as Greedo after a run-in with Han Solo.
The gaming bar in Sandy Springs announced it would be closing on Nov. 5, but a few days later it found an extra life, and the bar revealed it had found new owners to take over. After a short wait, the bar has reopened and is back in business.
The AJC reached out to Battle and Brew in an attempt to get in touch with the new owners, but Brian Smawley — who has returned to Battle and Brew as its full-time manager — wrote in an email that the owners wish to remain as “silent partners.”
“The new owners are four locals who were former customers, that decided to purchase the building because they believe they can grow the business where the previous ownership could not,” Smawley said. “They want customers to not be jarred by the purchase, and as if the managers and employees haven't changed at all.”
Smawley said the owners brought him and Nate Sanders back because the community trusts and them as part of the original team that founded the bar. “They believe that was a big part of the previous ownership losing sales,” he said.
Battle and Brew officially reopened on Nov. 30 and has already hosted several events for the geek community, like a Star Wars cosplay dance party. Other events ahead include a Star Wars trivia night on Dec. 20 and a “Yule Ball” on New Year’s Eve.
Battle and Brew was founded back in 2005 as the first gaming bar in metro Atlanta. Sanders and Smawley were prominent managers at the bar for some time under previous owners, and their return to the bar has also brought a revamped menu that features the Ultimate Grilled Cheese (an extra-large, extra-cheesy sandwich), the El Guapo (a smoky and spiced play on a margarita) and the Rainbow Dash (a colorful, cotton candy topped mixed drink). More menu changes can be found on the bar’s website.
Smawley is also a YouTube personality — operating under the name Chef Lu Bu — and will continue to host his cooking show in the Battle and Brew kitchen. He is also the head of social media, marketing and events for the bar. The kitchen is managed by Ted Kupferman.
Hours have changed slightly for the new Battle and Brew. The bar will open 5 p.m. and close at 2 a.m. every day, except for Sunday when it will close at midnight.
The new owners have also added six new gaming console stations to the mix in efforts to cut the wait time for those stations. Smawley said the bar will continue to support board gaming and “Magic: The Gathering” communities.
Battle and Brew is still located in Sandy Springs at 5920 Roswell Road. For more information on the bar’s upcoming promotions and events, follow it on Twitter @BattleAndBrew.