By Mikkel Hyldebrandt
Atlanta’s famed rainbow intersection will soon have a new food destination with the introduction of Casa Almenara at the corner of 10th and Piedmont. DAVID spoke to the owner of the (former) 10th & Piedmont and G’s Midtown spaces, Gilbert Yeremian, about all the updates and initiatives that will characterize the new Tulum-style cuisine and craft bar.
Named Almenara after the Spanish word for “beacon,” Gilbert Yeremian hopes that the rebranding and relaunch of the restaurant space at one of the busiest intersections in Midtown will become a necessary oasis of good, unassuming food and craft cocktails in the heart of Atlanta. “It’s been ten years since we last rebranded, so I felt it was about time to introduce a new chapter to the restaurant,” says Gilbert, who has been in business at the attractive destination since 2000 when he and his brother opened Gilbert’s Café and Grill in the space most recently known as G’s Midtown. “Over the last few decades, a lot has changed about what guests expect from their neighborhood restaurant, and we want to reflect that change’” says Gilbert.
Casa Almenara will offer a completely updated space, including a new exterior, an updated kitchen, and all-new dining room décor that will reflect the laid-back style of the Mexican Tulum region. As Gilbert explains, “this is a floor-to-ceiling update, and nothing will be left untouched.” The menu will also be completely revamped, offering Tulum-inspired dishes and craft cocktails that are freshly prepared and beautifully presented. One of the restaurant’s focal points will still be its brunch, offering mainly Tulum cuisine with all-time favorites like shrimp and grits. The brunch service will also be expanded beyond the weekend. “We don’t want to make the menu completely different for all the people who already love us, so we will still have items like a burrito and a burger, but overall, the menu will be all Tulum,” says Yeremian about the new menu.
The Tulum inspiration came to Gilbert through talks with friends and family, where he would ask about their happy place. “I like the relaxed concept of vacation cuisine. We want to feel like we are in a happy place, right? So where do we go to find that happy place? It’s a hammock, it’s a beach, places like that evoke those good feelings,” Gilbert explains, “we are in the business of relaxation with great food, great cocktails, great environment, and I can’t think of a better place than feeling like you’re on vacation.”
The change to the corner of 10th and Piedmont with Casa Almenara comes as the whole intersection is seeing other changes with new businesses like Boy Next Door opening up. To Gilbert, the change is welcome: “It has to be more diverse beyond bar and club. I want this corner to be diverse and vibrant with a place that brings gastronomy to the mix.”
Casa Almenara will also have an entertainment schedule unique to the food destination under the term ‘Tulum Nights.’ Gilbert’s own word, ‘enter-dine-ment,’ which combines the words dining and entertainment, is all about making entertainment components a fluid part of the dining experience. “The majority of the atmosphere is created by hiring the right staff, but also with live music and DJs,” explains Gilbert,” we will have food specials, bar specials, and some mood-setting offerings every day of the week we are open.”
The benchmark for him is to create a space that he and the surrounding community can be proud of and contributes to a thriving Midtown neighborhood. “Change is hard – and very expensive – but we thought it was time to offer the community something new and exciting,” Gilbert says. His primary focus is to bring even higher levels of gastronomy back to the rainbow intersection: “it’s my passion; that’s our DNA. I want to bring back more high-quality food, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do in the Tulum way.”
Casa Almenara is slated to open its new doors on February 8, 2023. Casa Almenara will serve brunch from 11: 30 -5 pm Wednesday-Friday and 10 am-5 pm on Saturday and Sunday, and dinner from 4 pm-close, Wednesday-Sunday. The restaurant will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. The restaurant will host Tulum Nights, an entertainment series that will start during dinner service each evening.