‘Coffee shop with a twist’ planned for Underground Atlanta

Common Grounds Coffee Collective aims to be a central gathering space for downtown Atlanta.
Daquiriville Coming to Underground Atlanta
Photo: Official

A new coffee shop is planned for Underground Atlanta, property owner Lalani Ventures announced this week. 

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Called Common Grounds Coffee Collective, the concept is from friends CJ Northrop and Marjorie Thousand, who first met in college at Loyola University Maryland.

Northrop in a phone call on Tuesday called Common Grounds a “coffee shop with a twist.” It will take a 4,600-square-foot space along Upper Alabama Street. The hope is to open in summer 2023. 

“We are going to host live events, poetry, spoken word and open mic,” said Northrop, who also owns Black Coffee ATL in Castleberry Hill. “We’ll be doing a bunch of community-facing art events and activiations for students and professionals.”

There will also be an “elevated cocktail experience,” but the team isn’t sharing all the details yet. “We are being purposely coy,” Northrop said. 

Originally from New Jersey, Northrop shared that his first job was at a Starbucks. He moved to Atlanta in 2015 while working for Mercedes-Benz. He opened Black Coffee ATL about a year ago. 

Thousand has a background in fashion and advertising. 

According to a press release, the interior space at Common Grounds will reflect places the duo has visited throughout their 16-year friendship. It also aims to be a central gathering space where diversity is celebrated.

“Everyone needs a place to call home,” Thousand said in the press release. “Sometimes, that place is a person, but it can also be your local coffee shop.”

Common Ground will join other upcoming tenants at Underground Atlanta, including Atlanta Brewing Company, Daiquiriville, Dolo’s Pizza and more. 

“As we continue to curate a new visitor experience at Underground Atlanta, one of the most in demand categories we heard from the community was a neighborhood coffee shop,” Lalani Ventures Leasing Director Mary Turner said in the press release.

“We chose Common Grounds Coffee Collective because they will offer more than your ordinary coffee shop,” she added. “It will be a community gathering place where artists, students, government workers and visitors can sip great coffee and take part in various music and artist pop-up events. Common Grounds Coffee Collective will be the perfect place to study, hangout before a show on property or enjoy as a late-night date option.”

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk is VP of Content at What Now Media Group, Inc. Check out our publications in your city: Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Jacksonville, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Orange County, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and Tampa.

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1 Comment

  1. Restaurants and similar should be banned from describing themselves as “___ with a twist.” It is SOOO overplayed and meaningless at this point.

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