Ten years ago, brothers Sean and Gilbert Yeremyan ignored the snakebitten, forever-rotating restaurant spaces around them to open Gilbert’s Cafe near the busy corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in Midtown.
The popular Mediterranean inspired eatery is now as ingrained in the neighborhood as Blake’s on the Park and The Flying Biscuit Cafe.
With Hobnob Neighborhood Tavern, a mile down Piedmont on the equally busy corner of Monroe Drive, the Yeremyans are hoping lightning strikes twice.
The comfy wood and stone-decored neighborhood hang, housed inside a former Caribou Coffee location, doesn’t open to the public until Friday but the Yeremyans gave Dish an advance peek this week.
“The size of the space was really the biggest challenge,” conceded Sean.
Indeed, Hobnob’s parking lot is just about big enough for Malibu Barbie.
If she drives the VW Beetle.
Hence, Hobnob’s complimentary valet service beginning at 5 p.m. each day.
This week, a fireplace is blazing inside but come spring, Hobnob’s garage door will rise to reveal an open-air eatery, a trick the Yeremyans borrowed from Gilbert’s.
Hobnob’s bartenders will be kept busy whipping up house-infused vodkas flavored with lemon, cucumber and ginger and a tequila-flavored with grapefruit, pouring High Gravity beer flights and hand-crafting chocolate stout milkshakes with Left Hand Stout, vanilla extract, ice cream and chocolate sauce.
While the tavern will offer $1 all-beef hot dogs at midnight to keep the drinkers happy, Hobnob chef Brett Ring is seeking to elevate classic tavern fare with entrees, including a pork shank braised in Sweetwater 420 and a pan-seared trout with candied pecan butter sauce.
Peckish, picky foodies will no doubt welcome noshes like the braised short rib tacos, Belgian endive boats with port-marinated dried figs and Poutine gravy fries laden with homemade peppered brown gravy and salted mozzarella cheese curds.
A wood stone pizza oven now stands in a minature kitchen area where cappucinos were once prepared.
“Some people would consider the kitchen small,” says Sean. “For us, it’s a luxury. The kitchen at Gilbert’s is half this size.”
Gilbert says the area helped inform them about what kind of place Hobnob should be.
“We wanted to add something new to the neighborhood,” Gilbert explains. “We wanted to give people who live here something different to experience within walking distance. There’s great potential here.”
Hobnob will open to the public for lunch, dinner and late night drinking and snacking on Friday. Sunday brunch begins weekly at 10 a.m.