Churchill Grounds’ Road From The Fox To The Beacon

The Jazz club was displaced by the Midtown Theatre, faced long-term concerns from Ormewood Park neighbors, lands at new Grant Park project.

The Jazz club was displaced by the Midtown Theatre, faced long-term concerns from Ormewood Park neighbors, lands at new Grant Park project.

The Beacon Atlanta, Grant Park’s up-and-coming mixed-use, has landed the displaced Churchill Grounds Jazz Cafe, Philippe Pellerin of Pellerin Real Estate, the project’s developer, Tuesday told What Now Atlanta (WNA) in a telephone interview.

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Churchill Grounds was situated in Midtown adjacent the Fabulous Fox Theatre for nearly 20 years ahead of closing its doors July 31, 2016. The jazz club’s lease was reportedly not renewed when the Theatre wanted the Churchill Grounds space for a new V.I.P. area.

“When Churchill Grounds closed, I immediately thought the concept would be cool for The Beacon Atlanta,” Pellerin said.

Pellerin was far from striking a deal with the jazz concept because he had never been to Churchill Grounds, let alone ever meet Owner Sam Yi.

But by happenstance, Yi and Pellerin quickly became acquainted a few months ago after being introduced through mutual friends during a show put on by South Atlanta Stage.

“My wife and I ran into a bunch of people we know, were introduced to Sam, ended up having breakfast at Octane, and just hit it off. Sam is one of those guys, I was like, whatever I can do to help, I want to help you find a new home. The Beacon Atlanta or not.”

And that’s exactly what happened.

Yi and Pellerin considered relocating Churchill Grounds to Ormewood Square, the shopping center on Moreland Avenue that was recently acquired by Pellerin.

But longterm concerns from immediate Ormewood Park neighbors, where the shopping center is situated, led to a different plan.

“When we filed for a liquor license, the neighborhood had some longterm concerns, so Sam and I regrouped to see if we could make The Beacon work.”

In mid-October Yi made the decision to relocate to The Beacon.

“There were a lot of developers that wanted us to come to their development but I wanted a break. I had been doing this for 20 years,” Yi told WNA in a telephone interview Tuesday.

“I felt more strongly toward Philippe then the project itself. This is the kind of guy that I want to have a relationship with.”

Churchill Grounds later secured a lease for space B-10, a 3,614-square-foot spot at the mixed-use development.

The new location would be a “dual-concept,” a Music Room where live jazz, spirits and a small menu are served, and a full-service restaurant. Details on the restaurant will be released closer to Churchill Grounds’ grand re-opening.

“I’ve never met a restauranteur, venue-owner so committed to the craft. And his craft is the Jazz scene. He’s keeping an entire genre of music alive,” Pellerin added.

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barbara meyer
3 years ago

Please say hello to Sam Yi for me.. and tell him I will seriously miss seeing him New Year’s eve! If he will be open at his new digs NewYear’s eve, or if he is hosting a jazz event New Year’s eve in another Atlanta location.. I’d love to make a reservation!! My very best wishes to Sam and I’m delighted to hear Churchill Grounds will be reopening soon. Barbara Meyer. (Please give him my email address if he’d like to contact me.)

Frederick Farmer
3 years ago

When will Churchill grounds open at the new location

Susan Brinkley
3 years ago

I’m a Peoplestown homeowner and LOVE this news! A revered jazz club near my once-blighted ‘hood is exactly what we need.

Bill Alford
2 years ago

Sam Yi, he’s the best Jazz club owner that I’ve met since I been in Atlanta; great guy and business man, and family guy! Sam please keep me in-form on your ground breaking day!

Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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