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Photo Gallery | Local Republic in $20

 

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – When Ben Bailey got bored with his technology job and social commute to Midtown his only option was to quit his job and bring his fun home. Bailey teamed up with business partner, Chris Collin and they created Downtown Lawrenceville restaurant, Local Republic.

Bailey and Collin grew up in Gwinnett County; graduating from Shiloh and South Gwinnett, respectively and it was their dream to create a restaurant that focused on craft beer, wine and local food.

According to Bailey, his family “has history owning businesses in the downtown Lawrenceville square” and it was a natural “next step” for him to open a business in the area.

Local Republic is modeled after the bars and restaurants located in Downtown Decatur and Athens. The restaurant’s kitchen is under the direction of Executive Chef Scott Smith; however, most of the menu items at the restaurant were inspired by Bailey and his wife’s travels.

“Whenever my wife and I tried a new restaurant, in a different city, we would choose which menu items we wanted to put on our menu, at our restaurant, if we ever opened one”, said Bailey, a self-proclaimed foodie.  

Local Republic, which is Bailey’s first venture into the restaurant business, was designed to offer a quality meal at a good price point. The restaurant only serves local, craft beers and small batch wines; and they host beer tasting every Monday.

Although they opened only eight months ago, Bailey says “business has been better than expected” and that the “seams of the restaurant” are pushed on Friday and Saturday nights.

Every Tuesday, the Where U Live team chooses a Metro Atlanta restaurant and with the restaurant's help, shows you how you can sample the menu without spending too much.

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Bailey recommends the restaurants Pimento Cheese appetizer. This fresh Southern favorite is crafted with yellow and white cheddar cheese and pimento cheese, served on slices of toasted baguette and topped with Applewood bacon and slices of jalapeño. This recipe is similar to the one that Bailey’s grandmother used to make. The appetizer costs $6.00

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OPTION ONE: The Charleston-style Shrimp and Grits are another recommended favorite. The restaurant serves creamy grits with “tons of cream and butter” topped with a roux based Andoullie sausage cream sauce and shrimp. While similar to gumbo, the cream sauce is mildly spicy. This meal costs about $13; however, it can, comfortably, feed two people.

OPTION TWO: One of the restaurant’s signature burgers is the Mr. Jones which is named for a customer who wanted pimento cheese on his burger. The burger is an 8 ounce patty of Brasstown Beef cooked medium and topped with the pimento cheese appetizer, which consists of pimento cheese, jalapeño and Applewood bacon. The burger is served with crawfish flavored potato chips and a pickle. The burger costs about $11.

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And if you must, check out the Bacon Mac’n Cheese which is a guest favorite. The Mac’n Cheese is, obviously, a Southern classic but Local Republic adds bacon and tops it with breadcrumbs. Bailey vehemently claims that the Mac’n Cheese at LR isn’t a “Kraft product” and that it is completely homemade.

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The restaurant, also, serves Steak Tartar which is one of the meals Bailey and his wife promised to include on their supposed menu, when they would travel. The beef in this meal is locally sourced and high quality; and although the dish isn’t a “top seller” everyone who orders it, enjoys it.  

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