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King of Pops to get liquor license Tuesday for planned location at Colony Square

David Pendered

By David Pendered

The King of Pops bar and restaurant that’s planned to open at Colony Square is poised to take a big step forward Tuesday. Atlanta is slated to approve the license to serve alcohol and allow customers to dance to live entertainment.

King of Pops

King of Pops is slated to receive a liquor license for a future location at Colony Square, furthering the expansion of a business that started with a push cart. Credit: Kelly Jordan

Atlanta’s License Review Board is slated to approve at its virtual meeting Tuesday a consent agenda that includes the King of Pops’ application. The agenda provides scant details of the application, other than the nuts and bolts that patrons, and the owners, have been waiting to see approved:

  • “License requested to operate as an open air café with liquor beer and wine consumed on premises, customer dancing and live entertainment….”

The location is slated to open on an unspecified date this Spring, according to Colony Square.

This permit for King of Pops isn’t the company’s first that allows it to garnish cocktails with a frozen treat. But the opening of this location could be a milestone for a business that has become a local darling since its launch in 2010 with “a couple thousand bucks, a used ice cream pushcart, and a whole lot of luck,” as the company observes on a page in its website.

This location will expand the King of Pops in familiar Midtown territory with a menu that appears to be a proven success.

Meantime, more information about the challenges facing the company is provided on King of Pops’ blog. And not just the post on Feb. 17 that states: “We made it through 2020, phew!”

Details emerge in the Jan. 27 post, which describes the difficult road of the pandemic year, 2020, and the questions rising in the near term and on the horizon.

The company provides readers with a glimpse into the business strategy for a company that, to some degree, relies on impulse purchases of frozen snacks. For years the company resisted expanding beyond its comfort level, meaning beyond its ability to maintain tight control over quality of the product and the vendors who interact with the public.

King of Pops established last year a Neighborhood Partner Program that has the hallmarks of a franchise, with 25 partners signed on and the Southeast carved into 15 territories. The company outlined its business decision in a post that includes these highlights:

  • “The Food & Beverage industry is in a tough spot right now.
  • “For most business owners, one aspect of 2020’s challenges do not feel completely new. Whether you got started months or decades ago, the pandemic likely has similarities to your ‘early days.’
  • “Cash is tight, and the future is unknown….
  • “Seven years ago, we wrote a vision for what our company would look like in 2030. Over the years we’ve gotten a lot closer to turning that vision into a reality….
  • “So far this year we’ve scrapped dozens of well laid plans, closed warehouses, and been forced to say goodbye to some amazing people. But this pain is ultimately worth it because our vision lives on….”

From there, the blog describes the decision to create in 2020 a Neighborhood Partner Program. The blog continues:

  • “We’re taking on a lot of risk, because the wrong person could do a lot of damage to the good will that we’ve built over the years. We know that their execution will reflect on our brand and for that reason we are extremely selective.
    “I’m extremely excited about our first year operating this model and am proud of how we have adapted during the pandemic into what I think will be an even more successful, dynamic company in the future.”

 

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David Pendered
David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.

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