Daniel Brown and Nephthaly Leonidas founded Gilly Brew Bar in Stone Mountain in 2018 with a goal of building community while disrupting the norm. They created a coffee shop that uses its kitchen as an incubator for up-and-coming chefs, while serving Firelight Coffee Roasters’ cold brews, cortados, macchiatos, and more. In addition to traditional drinks—and masala lattes—Gilly has grown a following for its James & James-brand elixirs.
These elixirs are what Brown calls “medicine for the soul.” They are named as chapters (Chapter 1, Chapter 3) as each is designed to tell a story and ties to the bible. “In historic times, drinks were poured out as an offering to a deity,” Brown says.
Often made with coffee or tea, in addition to herbs, bitters, and house-made simple syrups, these tinctures look like cocktails (and may or may not include alcohol). Chapter 2, for example, is comprised of coffee, Riesling, jam, and smoke, and is touted on the website as “a refined smoking experience.”
Gilly’s Stone Mountain location introduces five new elixirs each season; the Castleberry Hill spot will further emphasize these drinks, seeking inspiration from the artist community surrounding it.
Planned to open later this month, the approximately-3,500-square-foot space at 333 Peters Street Southwest will feature a 16-seat bar and a vintage, “gritty” vibe. There are brick walls, wooden floors, local artists’ work on the walls, and plenty of plants.
“We’re rough around the edges—we’re not your cookie-cutter coffee shop,” Brown says.
In addition to drinks, he’ll serve Woodstone Bakery muffins and cookies. There will be a small retail area with simple syrups, Just Add Honey teas, mugs, hoodies, and more. After the Castleberry Hill location opens, Brown says he’ll be looking to expand to other brews—namely beer and wine. He may decide to roast his own coffee beans as well, and is exploring packaging and distributing his elixirs.