When I lived in Lawrenceville, I sometimes felt like I was in the opening number of an urban musical. Walking my dog down Butler Street, I'd see Roger and Chris working the bar at Franktuary, Emily arranging the latest styles at Mid-Atlantic Mercantile, and I always half-hoped that Dom would step out from behind the pizza oven at Piccolo Forno singing a killer aria, a la Don Giovanni. Alas.
Atlas Bottle Works, the new six-pack shop owned by developer Brian Mendelssohn, adds to Butler's mix of engaging neighborhood storefronts.
"We want this to be more than just a retail store," says general manager Theo Ackerson. "I want people to pop in and hang out for a few minutes and talk about beer." He adds that he and his staff are there to provide education and recommendations, not just simple conversation, to beer snobs and novices alike.
As part of that education, Mendelssohn says, "We'll be pretty liberal about opening up beers to let people taste them and try them out."
To further foster community, Mendelssohn says that the shop will host special events like "meet the brewer" evenings and dinners with suitable beer pairings.
The bottle shop will open with a list of about 300 beers, but Mendelssohn and Ackerson say they expect that number to grow to about 1,000 over the next few months. "We want to have the largest selection in the region," says Ackerson.
Most beers cost between $2.50 and $3, and there is a price break when you assemble a six-pack. Domestic craft beer, international selections and a nod to a few larger breweries with local roots (Iron City, Duquesne, Straub) will all be available.
And here's a bonus: You'll be able to purchase draft beer from the five-tap system, and take it next door to the attached Row House Cinema — the single-screen neighborhood theater making its own unique contribution to the pageant along Butler Street.