Gilbert’s to expand into former Outwrite space?

Gilbert’s Mediterranean Cafe plans to expand next door into the space formerly occupied by Outwrite, the landmark LGBT bookstore that closed in late January., a blog devoted to closings and openings in restaurants, retails and real estate, reported the news Saturday.

Gilbert’s Mediterranean Cafe & Bar located next door, will expand into the bookstore’s space, Keith Osborne, general manager at the restaurant, told What Now Atlanta in an interview Saturday.

“We’re still negotiating the lease,” Osborne said.

The 1,500-square-foot Gilbert’s will more than double in size after it takes over the 2,500-square-foot bookstore space, according to Osborne.

“Gilbert’s will undergo several months of permitting with the city before we begin any renovations,” he said.

Although the owners of Gilbert’s were not immediately available for comment, sources close to the project suggest the additional space will be utilized to expand its bar.

The blog described the expansion as a “gay bar” filling the old Outwrite space. As one commenter points out, Gilbert’s hasn’t been known in the community as a gay bar per se, but it is very popular with gay customers and the news drew positive reactions.

Outwrite closed and filed for bankruptcy on Jan. 26, leaving a void at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, often known as the gayest intersection in Atlanta. Outwrite moved to the building in 1995, when the corner was still somewhat rundown, and helped anchor a renaissance that made it one of the most bustling locations in Midtown.

Sean Yeremyan, operator and founder of Gilbert’s, also is the man behind HOBNOB Neighborhood Tavern, located at the corner at Piedmont and Monroe Drive, which is also very popular with gay customers.