Guac y Margys, Atlanta’s margarita bar on the Beltline, plans a second location in the spot that gay bar Amsterdam Atlanta called home for more than a decade.
Since opening its doors on the Eastside trail three years ago, Guac y Margys made a reputation for LGBTQ events, fresh margaritas, homemade guacamole and a variety of tacos.
“We couldn’t be more excited to open our second location,” co-owner David Barton said. “We feel so at home on the Beltline, so it just seems right to open our second location on the Beltline and right off Piedmont Park.”
While the original location is recognizable for its cozy confines, the new location offers more than 6,700 square feet that define a new era for the gay-owned restaurant. The building sits in Amsterdam Walk just across the Beltine from Piedmont Park.
They will tackle the massive space in pieces, including a partial opening next week, Barton told Project Q.
“Our initial focus is on getting the front space and patio open as fast as possible and we are aiming for the week of July 5,” he said.
“As for the larger back event space, we don’t have a specific plan or date for that,” Barton added. “If and when we decide to use that space, I think it would be great for hosting events like opening and closing parties for local sports leagues and even birthdays, work events and more.”
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Co-owner Troy Meyers also touted the unlimited options.
“We’re known for our fresh margaritas – no mix! – but we’ll also be able to offer draft beer at this location,” Meyers said. “The patio is the perfect place for a quick bite, after-work drinks, brunch, a long dinner or somewhere to celebrate something special.”
The working plan retains Guac y Margys’ popular menu without changes but with eyes toward expansion, Barton said.
“The menu when we open will be the exact same as our original location – fresh margaritas and guacamole, queso and creative taco selections,” he said. “We’re excited to have a little more room in the kitchen and very excited about our newly hired head chef who will be taking the reins at both locations in early August.”
Some gay establishments closed during the pandemic or to make way for new developments – Amsterdam, the Eagle saga and the Einstein’s-Joe’s double whammy, for example. The Guac y Margys guys said they are bucking that trend.
“Two of our three co-owners are gay men and long-term residents of Atlanta,” Barton said. “When the space became available, it felt like an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.”
“We look forward to opening another gay-owned bar and restaurant there,” he added.
GyM’s popular events are back at the original location in the post-pandemic era. You can already find themed Wednesday Trivia Nights and Give Back Brunches raising funds for local non-profits.
“Events have become a GyM staple,” Barton said. “And we can accommodate so many more people in our new location.”
With some payroll assistance from Congress and a lot of planning, the three owners –Meyers, Sebastian Romano and Barton – and the staff of their “lively, spirited fun” eatery got through a total shutdown for a time last year.
They are used to making things work since their 2018 opening, so they weren’t down for long.
What they really missed during the pandemic were the in-person crowds.
“We missed our events – we hosted 172 events in 2019 – and giving our regulars a big ol’ hug,” Barton continued. “But we made the best of the situation and remained optimistic about the future.”
With COVID-19 vaccines rolling out, the owners said the timing of the second location couldn’t be better.
“With the location being on the Beltline and near Piedmont Park, we expect a similar crowd to the GyM1,” Barton said. “We’re looking forward to hosting even more dog owners with our large patio and we’re really looking forward to having a larger parking lot for those driving to see us.”
Did the owners see an expansion like this coming as part of a longterm GyM master plan? Absolutely not, they said.
“We said we’d never do anything bigger than the original location, and here we are opening something much bigger,” he added, laughing. “But with Amsterdam’s history in the gay community and in our own personal lives, it was too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
Amsterdam closed in September after business suffered during the pandemic. The space opened in 2005 and hosted scores of drag shows, political fundraisers, LGBTQ sports league parties and other events over the years.
“We’re excited to show everyone what we’ve done with the beautiful space,” he added.
Visit Guac y Margys online.