For over five years, a building that north Forsyth residents have called an “eyesore” has been sitting vacant, waiting for a new lease on life.
Located at the corner of Freedom Parkway and Pilgrim Mill Road, Coo Coo’s Nest was a popular restaurant and sports bar that hosted many game nights and parties before shutting its doors for good.
Now, a local businessman and brewer has decided to restore the building to its former glory as Hall & Hound Brewing Company moves in.
Patrick Hall, owner and founder of Hall & Hound, said he purchased the building and 5-acre plot of land in March of 2021. He has been working on site daily to get the place “up and running for business.”
According to Hall, since creating movement at a property that has seen no life in years, he often entertains curious residents as they poke their heads through the front doors to see just what is going on inside “the old Coo Coo’s Nest.”
While Forsyth County News was on a tour of the facility, one such resident stopped by to ask Hall, “When is this place opening up?” and, “Is this going to be Coo Coo’s Nest again?”
“That happens probably five times a day,” Hall said with a laugh.
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What is Hall & Hound?
Hall said he and his family have “always loved to entertain,” and as a former homebrewer for many years, Hall knew he wanted to establish his own brewpub someday.
Above all else, Hall said Hall & Hound’s main goal was to create a casual vibe for friends, families and others to enjoy handcrafted beer and yummy food.
Being a father of two young girls aged 9 and 11, Hall said it was important to him that children are welcome in the space and do not feel awkward.
Since the former restaurant and sports bar is a unique shape, with a kitchen upstairs, a 54-foot bar downstairs and outdoor patio seating, Hall said he hopes to create “different hangout spots” within the space for any generation of customer to enjoy.
“We want to create a very family-friendly, dog-friendly and just overall customer-friendly space,” he said.
Hall said his own children have helped with some manual labor and “like to come over here as long as Wi-Fi is working.”
“They have a lot of ideas of what they want to do, too,” Hall said. “My oldest daughter [talks about] when [she] takes over, so she’s already planning on pushing me out.”
“It’s fun to work as a family, and that’s one of the reasons why we want to be family-friendly,” he said.
As self-proclaimed “dog people,” Hall said it was important to him and his family to also use their business to work with local humane societies and animal rescue shelters.
The name Hall & Hound even comes from Hall’s surname and his family’s and his investors’ love of dogs.
“Yes, [my family does] have a bloodhound, but we [use] Hound more in general because we’re big dog people,” Hall said.
In the future, Hall said he is looking forward to welcoming guests at his business with both two legs and four.
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Out with the old, in with the new
As the owner of the building that was once Coo Coo’s Nest, Hall said he is aware of the negative stigma the former business drummed up with surrounding residents.
“We don’t want to be [Coo Coo’s Nest],” Hall said. “We’ve been trying to paint things to [modernize] the place and create a different feel in here.”
“And really,” he said, “We want to be as family-friendly as we can.”
Hall said some aspects of Coo Coo’s Nest will be coming with them into this next venture, however, but as refurbished booths, tables and chairs.
“The best part about this [building] is that it is still in great shape,” Hall said. “All we’ve had to do are some [cosmetic] changes.”
Hall said he’s been working hard with his team to create a fresher vibe by also adding murals and artwork painted by Jodi Bricely, art teacher at Daves Creek Elementary School.
Adorning a wall that will lead to a market space and gift shop area upstairs is a mural of about 10 different dogs, all painted in the likenesses of Hall’s dogs and each of his investors’ furry friends.
“People are glad to see something’s going on with the place,” Hall said. “If you live up here and you pass [the building] every single day, it’s an eyesore.”
“And really, we’re excited to create something new up here,” he said. “Something we hope can be a local gathering place and a good steward to its [surrounding] neighbors.”
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Hall explained that the building sits on about five acres of land, and he and his team are currently working to build an additional building next door to house brewing equipment.
However, Hall said the steel to build the structure has been sitting in the parking lot “for over a year” as he and his team have been waiting on permits and things like land studies to finish.
“As long as we don’t encounter any more hiccups, … the goal would be to try to open this one [building] up in November,” he said.
Hall said he does not expect there to be any more problems, but “you can never be 100 percent positive.”
As he and his team work to clear out landscape on the property that will house the brewing equipment, Hall said they would likely have a soft opening for the current building, opening it up for residents to sample some beer, eat good food and relax with friends and family.
“I’m looking forward to getting to talk to and meet new people,” Hall said. “The overall growth and demographics – Cumming is a good place to start a business, and I’m excited to create something new that [Forsyth County residents] will enjoy.”
For more information about Hall & Hound Brewing Company, visit www.hallandhoundbrewing.com. Hall & Hound is located at 1920 Freedom Parkway in Cumming.