Situated on Pierce Drive, in the hub of the booming development in Chamblee, Hopstix, the new Asian brewpub from award-winning homebrewer Andy Tan, combines elements of a sushi bar and a beer bar with the atmosphere and service of a chef-driven restaurant.
Tan, who grew up in Indonesia in a family that founded the first seafood company and restaurant in Medan, came to Atlanta in 1997, and later graduated from Georgia State.
While serving as Hopstix’s brewmaster, Tan also works with executive chef Dony Raymond to develop the beer-friendly menu that features Asian-fusion starters and entrees, along with robata grill and raw bar items.
Among the more unusual menu items, there’s a beer-battered and fried spicy tuna roll dubbed a sushi corn dog. And then there’s the Super Bowl, a layered sushi-meets-salad dish with sashimi cubes, spring mix, sushi rice, and a load of other ingredients and flavors.
But the menu also includes more traditional raw fish priced by the ounce, as well as nigiri and special rolls. Entrees include chicken katsu, miso ramen and king crab fried rice, plus the hefty Hopsteak, a 16-ounce bone-in rib-eye served with shiitake mushroom wasabi butter and fingerling potatoes.
“We have three bars here,” Tan said last week during a tour of Hopstix. “Of course, we have the beer bar, and then we have the robata grill bar and the raw bar, where people can sit, too. The idea of the design is to be able to look into the kitchen and the brewery.”
The freestanding building, once home to an auto parts and service business, was reconstructed to showcase a contemporary open dining room appointed with brick, rustic wood and polished concrete elements, and a sparkling exhibition kitchen lined with stainless steel. And there’s a spacious private dining room and event space that opens to the front patio.
In the back of the building, Tan and fellow Atlanta brewer Chris Collier constructed a 5-barrel brewhouse with rows of silver fermentation and serving tanks that are visible through a window between the kitchen and brewery.
“We have 20 taps, and I plan on keeping 10 for house beers and 10 for beers from local breweries and brewpubs,” Tan said. “Right now, we have beers from Cherry Street, Max Lager’s, Twain’s and Wrecking Bar.”
The first Hopstix house beers, which were brewed by Tan and Collier, are still in the fermentation tanks, but should be in the serving tanks by the official grand opening on March 4.
“My style is lighter bodied beers,” Tan said. “The first beers we brewed are a pale ale and an English-style dark mild ale. Those should be ready to serve some time next week. And we’re going to be brewing a blonde ale and an IPA next.”
Beyond the excitement of opening a new business, and brewing his own beers, Tan said he’s especially proud to be a part of the growth and development taking place all around Hopstix right now.
“It’s exciting to have this here in Chamblee,” Tan said. “I’ve been living in the area since I came to Atlanta, so opening the first brewpub here really is pretty amazing.”
3404 Pierce Drive N.E., Chamblee. 678-888-2306, hopstixbrewing.com.
More images from a First Look at Hopstix in Chamblee