Meehan’s Sandy Springs To Change Owners And Name, But Will Keep Its Irish Pub Bonafides

Thos. O’Reilly’s Public House will open in place of Meehan's mid-February with only minor changes including interior touch-ups.
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Meehan’s Public House in Sandy Springs has a new owner and will soon be called Thos. O’Reilly’s Public House when it reopens mid-February after a brief closure for cosmetic touch-ups, beginning on February 3.

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The sale and impending transition was announced on Meehan’s Sandy Spring’s Facebook page, which will merge with Thos. O’Reilly’s Public House’s next week.

So will the entire staff.

“All of the staff and management team, every single one, are coming along, so while diners may come in and the interior may be a different color or slightly changed, the faces are still going to remain on and I’m really proud about that,” Butch Elmgren, the pub’s new owner, shared with What Now Atlanta (WNA) during a phone interview Wednesday.

“The staff and regulars have sort of accepted me into a family as we’re getting ready for this transition and it has made that transition all that much better and easier.”

The menu will also see very little change, added Elmgren.

“We’re still going to be an Irish Pub so a lot of the favorites that our regulars are used to are going to remain on the menu in one form or another. We’re going to expand that menu to include more entrees on the dinner side of things, so lamb chops, steak, and other dinner-type items. We’ll be expanding our whiskey selections, specifically the Irish whiskey selections.”

Two Meehan’s closures preceded this planned overhaul, first the Buckhead location in 2018 (replaced by Irby Tavern), followed by the Atlantic Station location last year which saw a debilitating customer decline of 70 percent while the construction took place at the development.

Meehan’s locations in downtown Atlanta and Vinings, still part of the 101 Concepts restaurant group, remain open, as will its 101 Steak in Vinings, and Restaurant Paradis down in Rosemary Beach, Fla.

“Our downtown location of Meehan’s is up year over year and our flagship in Vinings has been strong,” Steve Buero, founding partner of 101 Concepts, said during a phone interview with WNA.

According to Buero, a company-wide streamlining is in play.

On the heels of the Meehan’s closures, in early 2019, 101 Concepts closed Food 101 which had been in business for more than 19 years in the Belle Isle Square shopping center off Roswell Road.

101 Concepts also sold its Italian concept Cibo e Beve, which had a nearly 10-year run in Sandy Springs. 

Late 2019, the restaurant group shuttered its Castleberry Hill barbecue restaurant Smoke Ring.

“We’ve been in the Atlanta market for decades and we’ve owned and operated 17 restaurants here, over 100 years of restaurant experience among the three of us, so right now, we’re just sitting back, re-evaluating, streamlining and focusing on our strongest locations,” Buero said.

“We’re going to do some rebranding, tightening the screws and adding some new menu items.”

As for Meehan’s Sandy Springs, Buero said the sale to new operators was the right timing and he feels they will probably take it to the next level.

“We thought it was great that all the employees stayed and that they’re taken care of, which is exactly what we wanted,” Buero said.

“They’ll be missed. Meehan’s is named after my grandmother, and so it will always be in honor of her.”

Kamille D. Whittaker

Kamille D. Whittaker is an Atlanta-based journalist, editor and researcher.

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