Douglasville will see several new businesses this year.
Two popular chains will be opening their doors in a new building being constructed at the corner of Highway 5 and Douglas Boulevard. Five Guys and Starbucks will occupy two of the three retail spots.
Aaron Szarowicz is economic development manager for the city of Douglasville. Szarowicz, who responded by email, gave updates regarding progress on several projects, beginning with the new Starbucks/Five Guys stores in the three-spot mini strip mall.
“According to our Building Division, the contractors are still working on the shell of the building. No further building permits will be issued until they complete their work and pass inspection. To the best of our knowledge, there is not a third tenant at this time,” Szarowicz said.
The Irish Bred Pub at 6682 Broad St. closed abruptly in October of 2019. It originally opened in 2008 in a building that was constructed in the late 1800s and changed ownership in 2018, after a decade as a staple part of the downtown restaurant scene.
“It was originally known as the Selman Drug Co. or Selman Pharmacy,” according to Lisa Cooper, a local historian and Sentinel columnist. “Later it was Selman & Son Drug Co. Still later when Doc O’Neal was the owner it was O’Neal Drug Co.”
Szarowicz told the Sentinel in a 2020 interview that the listing agent confirmed that the new owner wanted to utilize the upstairs for “heavy entertainment space” and serve a “Tex-Mex food concept.”
“The new ownership took possession of the building and is currently working on setting up their operation and making improvements to the building’s interior,” Szarowicz noted in his email responses. “They will offer a ‘Tex-Mex’ style menu and provide a wide range of live music both in the second level of their building and on O’Neil Plaza. They’re targeting an opening around June of this year. There is a working name for the establishment, but nothing official quite yet,” he said.
Meanwhile, on the Church Street side of O’Neal Plaza, Gritz Brunch Bar plans to open in the old Robinson Building in the space formerly occupied by Sweet Southern ice cream shop.
“Ownership is finalizing the interior of the building and preparing it for them to move in. They’re targeting a spring opening, most likely early to mid-April. Their menu will be centered on an offering of brunch foods.”
Szarowicz said the restaurant operator “has solid restaurant experience,” owning two restaurants in Douglas County.
Also, on a broader spectrum, the city continues to work toward attracting businesses to the downtown area, Szarowicz said.
“The Town Green project is progressing very well and is scheduled to break ground on phase I of the project in August of 2021. There will be more exciting news on the Town Green soon. In addition, we’re exploring strategies to attract new commercial development to the Fairburn Road corridor and the New Horizons area. There will be more to come on these efforts as well,” he said.