Grilled Cheeses for the Peoples

Grilled Cheeses for the Peoples

Born in Ecuador, Andy Bibliowicz has made Atlanta his home and opened the only restaurant in the neighborhood.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

Andy Bibliowicz (right) partnered with Alex Brigham and Zach Thoren to open Peoples Town Coffee Bar.
Andy Bibliowicz (right) partnered with Alex Brigham and Zach Thoren to open Peoples Town Coffee Bar.

A young man with vision and heart, Andy Bibliowicz was recently recognized for his contribution to Chabad Intown using his real estate savvy. Running his own Air BnB business is just a part of Bibliowicz’s eye toward developing parts of South Atlanta in his own “hood.”

Recently up for Bibliowicz is the opening of Peoples Town Coffee Bar (serving up much more than coffee). He recalled, “In the fall of 2021, I began looking for retail property in my neighborhood to open a bicycle shop. I wanted to find something specifically in South Atlanta/ Peoplestown/ Lakewood Heights because the current shop had closed. A new development opened up in my neighborhood with a retail space at the bottom. That same week, I met with the developer, I met my partners, Zach (Thoren) and Alex (Brigham). After a few COVID outdoor dinners and ‘hangs,’ they expressed their passion to open a coffee shop. In that moment, everything clicked, and Peoples Town Coffee Bar was born.”

From start to finish, the coffee shop took just over 18 months to open.
The main hurdles were money and permitting. Bibliowicz expressed, “Like any three normal people, with ‘normal’ people money — we spent much of the first few months trying to find a way to fund the shop. Most banks or small business associations don’t provide funding to new businesses. It was a roadblock that we took with stride and confidence. Permitting, what a mess! I can’t describe how many documents we had trouble simply finding, to then complete, and find out that it required three more documents.”

Quality coffee and teas complement the comfort food.

The coffee shop’s menu highlights begin with coffee. They dove deep when first deciding which roasters to select. With a focus on quality, shared philosophy, and goals — Portrait Coffee in Atlanta and Methodical Coffee out of Greenville were chosen. Highlights include the Espresso Tonic, a.k.a. “Spro-Tonic”- espresso, tonic water, and orange bitters. With a new menu coming in May, they are set to show off new healthy and also indulgent items. Grilled cheese stays on the menu — the favorite being “The Grant,” filled with mozzarella, provolone, and brie with apple slices and honey.

Bibliowicz embellished, “We try to keep it simple and delicious. For breakfast and brunch, we will have toast, yogurt bowls, Emerald City bagels, and pastries from HodgePodge Bakery, Monday to Sunday, with breakfast biscuits specials on the weekends.

Dig into this apple, brie, walnut and cranberry plate with fresh bread.

For lunch and an early dinner, our new menu will focus around sandwiches. We will complement that with salads, and a few shareables like a baked brie with honey, cranberries, and walnuts.” Core beverages are coffee, tea, beer, and wine chosen based on quality, philosophy, and innovation.

As of week 13, they keep a staff lean, with a seventh hire onboarding. They practice what works best for the staff, providing flexibility that also allows the founders to provide more hours than normal — the partners themselves fitting around others’ hours, each working 35-50 hours a week.

Andy Bibliowicz is hands-on in food and beverage prep.

Bibliowicz concluded, “Hardest part of this type of ownership is change. While we welcome the change in our lives, it makes finding free time between work and our second jobs, keeping a hobby, meet ups with friends, more difficult. It’s a sacrifice we knew before opening the shop and also know the value of that sacrifice seen in happy customers sipping a delicious cortado, biting into a gooey grilled cheese, and meeting their friends for a happy hour glass of wine.”

Bibliowicz moved from Ecuador to Atlanta at age 5 and considers himself “an Atlanta man.”

He said, “I was bar mitzvahed at Ahavath Achim and have invested my life and career into Atlanta and its growth. I have been short term renting for 11 years now with a focus on providing affordable rentals to large families and groups. My homes allow for up to 16 people at a price point that competes with single room hotel prices. While I have taken a break from my graduate studies at Georgia Tech, I hope to continue soon to complete a master’s in real estate development.”

Looking ahead, he said, “One day at a time. We have seen success early on because it’s to our community that we have made this commitment, and I believe our customers and community see that.”

read more: