Sabbath Brewery Sets September Opening in East Atlanta Village

After two years of legal battles, the 'nanobrewery' is finally in permitting, gearing up for its buildout.
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The East Atlanta Village (EAV), with its heavy foot traffic and Rock n’ Roll community, was the perfect place for brewer Jeffrey Oparnica to open the “first” direct-to-consumer brewery in Atlanta. He leased the space for his heavy metal-themed brewery, Sabbath Brewing, in May of 2018.

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Despite hiring a lawyer to look over his lease, Oparnica immediately ran into two legal hurdles. 

After signing the lease, Oparnica learned that you cannot operate a brewery within 300 feet of a tattoo parlor. His location was 200 feet away from a tattoo parlor. He also learned that in Atlanta, you are not allowed to have a manufacturing brewery in a commercially zoned area like the area he had planned to operate in.

So Oparnica fought to change the laws. On April 20, 2020, almost two years after signing his lease, the city council passed legislation that allows microbreweries and distilleries to operate under a special use permit. Finally legally cleared to operate, Oparnica just has to acquire the needed permits. He expects to open Sabbath’s doors by September.

“It’s actually interesting that I’m getting ready to open in the next couple of months, and the tattoo parlor in question just went out of business a month ago,” he said.

After the long wait, the EAV community will finally get to try the long-awaited ale that Sabbath Brewery offers. Described as a “nanobrewery,” Sabbath Brewery will focus on a constantly rotating selection of yeast-forward, rustic ales that have been fermented in oak barrels. 

“We are not going to have a flagship beer,” Oparnica said. “There’s no core line-up. There are six taps and every time you come in, there’s a new beer, because every beer we brew is a new recipe.”

The space itself is “occult-y. On the inside there’s church pews and the taps are old church organs. It’s kind of sacrilegious-y,” Opaernica said. 

Down the line, Opernica wants to establish an offsite production facility that can supply the EAV location, which will clear space in that location for a brewpub. Opernica says that he wants to eventually make that space one where, when people visit the Village, they come to Sabbath.

Tying the beer to its surroundings, the first beer that Sabbath is releasing is a lager called the “Villager.”

Paul Kim

Paul Kim is a senior at NYU studying Journalism and Public Policy with a minor in Food Studies. A Korean-Taiwanese American born and raised in Atlanta, Paul holds a special appreciation for the diverse food city that Atlanta has become in the last few years. Paul especially loves Korean food because they don't use cilantro in their dishes. Paul hates cilantro.

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  1. Sounds like a cool concept that should appeal to the EAV crowd!
    Always pays to do your homework (zoning– and I know from experience) before signing a lease. Particularly when it comes to alcohol sales, tattoo parlors, adult novelties/entertainment, and legit massage businesses, etc.
    Glad he got the law changed, but having a tattoo place next to a bar, or whatever, sounds really
    antiquated– particularly in a place like EAV, or L5P.
    What? They think that stumbling 300 feet is gonna beneficially impact someone’s decision. Alcohol and tattoos go hand in hand. Might be a bad mix for some, but do we really need a law about this kind of thing?
    Hopefully he didn’t have to pay the full amount of rent for the two years he was working the legalities out.

    1. That is a bonkers law. Some real bible belt stuff, right there. They should allow it within 300 feet as long as there’s a tattoo removal place within 300 feet, too.

      1. So I wonder if this is a new law, or it’s just an EAV thing.
        Looks like The Anchor Bar & Tattoo Studio opened in 2011 & closed in 2015.

        The Anchor Bar and Tattoo Studio is the ONLY combination Bar Tattoo studio in Atlanta The Anchor holds daily drink specials in the bar area, and we have DJs, Live music, stand up comedy, and even karaoke! The tattoo studio is separated by a transparent glass wall where bar patrons can view live ink sessions daily! The Anchor also has a 2,500 square foot outdoor roof covered patio fully loaded with outdoor, tables and lighting for all your late night fun! Did we mention food Our Tattoo studio features work by some of the best artists in all of ATL! With celebrities such as Rap Superstar B.o.B. Love and Hip-Hop Atlanta’s Che Mack, and Jane’s Addiction Guitarist Dave Navarro as past clients; it’s easy to see why The Anchor has become the newest hotspot in ATLs Ink and Drink scene Open Tuesday to Saturday, the Bar opens at noon, and closes at 2:30am. The Tattoo Studio is open from noon to 12 Midnight. Starting this spring The Anchor will also be open for Sunday Funday stay tuned


        Established in 2011.

        1. The Anchor had a similar legal battle before it could open although I don’t remember the details. It got a friend of mine on the front page of the daily lawyer newspaper.
          These kind of restrictions are beyond dumb.

          1. Wow, a Ween fan, and getting your friend on the front page of the daily lawyer newspaper!
            Sounds like you’ve got quite the resume :0)

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