A car-themed restaurant shop/restaurant/TV studio hybrid has received a tax break from the city and plans to open by this summer in the North End of Sandy Springs.

Bruce Piefke, a long-time resident and CEO of Sandy Springs-based company High Octane Events that stages the “Caffeine and Octane” exotic car shows at Perimeter Mall, is behind the project, called Caffeine and Octane at the Garage.

The site is in the North River shopping center at 8900 Roswell Road and was most recently a Firestone tire dealership. Piefke said he expects to start construction in February with plans to open sometime this summer.

A rendering of Caffeine and Octane at the Garage. (Special)

According to a press release, the space would replicate a “car lover’s dream garage.” It would have six roll up garage doors that will open to decks on two sides of the restaurant. The space will feature a coffee shop and a 125-seat main dining room offering a full menu, according to the release.

The Caffeine & Octane car show also has its own TV show on the NBC Sports Network, which will film segments at the new spot, the release said.

“I think it’s a natural extension of our brand,” Piefke said in the release. “On a local level, we’re investing in our community and adding a new Caffeine and Octane-themed destination in Sandy Springs. But this also will be a new TV show filming location that will provide more cool car story opportunities to share with our viewers while creating more value for our current and future sponsors.”

Piefke also plans to build large outdoor decks will provide additional seating for up to 125 patrons and will overlook the 300-space parking lot that is ideal for smaller car shows. Other features include The Backyard, which will be an outdoor games area; a merchandise shop; and a 75-seat event space designed to host meetings, club gatherings and private parties, the release said.

The City Council approved a request to waive $5,590.52 in fees and taxes for the construction of the project at a Feb. 4 meeting. The waiver includes an estimated $1,100 permit fee and the projected business occupational tax waivers for three years at $1,496.84 per year.

City staff recommended approval of the waiver through the city’s Economic Development Incentive Policy. According to a city memo, the project qualifies for a “Tier III” incentive because it is estimated at approximately $750,000, it will create at least 20 new full-time jobs and the location is within the city’s adopted priority development area, in addition to supporting the North End Redevelopment goals.

The city is now in the midst of redevelopment conceptual planning for the North End. At a Dec. 3 meeting, the council awarded a $307,260 contract to architect firm TSW for the designs of four shopping centers in the North End to push for the redevelopment of the area, one of them being the North River shopping center.

“This project is an example of opportunities available in our northern end,” Mayor Rusty Paul said in the release. “Bruce’s willingness to think creatively provides a new outlet for car enthusiasts to gather as well as brings to the northern end of our city a great new entertainment and gathering space.”

Hannah Greco

Hannah Greco is writer and media communications specialist based in Atlanta.