Photo Credit: Blake Aued
The Athens-Clarke County Commission approved a waiver Thursday night for Automatic Pizza to serve beer and wine, paving the way for a mid-October opening.
The waiver was needed because the restaurant—in the former Pizza Hut at the corner of Prince and Oglethorpe—is too close to the UGA Health Sciences Campus. ACC law prohibits bars and restaurants from serving alcohol within 300 feet of school or church property or single-family homes (except downtown) without commission approval.
Two other restaurants, Mama's Boy and Heirloom Cafe, have taken advantage of the waiver process, which was instituted in 2007, although Mama's Boy no longer serves alcohol.
Under the terms of the waiver, Automatic Pizza can have up to 60 outdoor seats, and live music outdoors won't be allowed. Owner Bain Mattox said he will have about 30 seats total, including some under the former gas station canopy in front of the restaurant, and he did not plan to have live music outside.
Mattox, who also owns Normal Bar and the World Famous, said he is now applying for a beer-and-wine license and plans to open in about a month.
This post has been updated to correct the number of seats at Automatic Pizza.