My Parents’ Basement, a new craft beer bar, restaurant and comic book store, has officially open its doors in Avondale Estates this month. After several years of doing pop-up shops that attracted people from as far away as Florida, Alabama, and North Carolina, Lawson Wright, Tim Ensor, and Dave DeFeo, – the trio behind My Parents’ Basement, are giving craft beer and comic book lovers a new watering hole in Georgia to call home.
Like many small businesses, My Parents’ Basement started as a dream. In this case, a literal one. About three years back, Ensor, who was beer manager at Leon’s in Decatur at the time, had a dream that he was sitting in a neighborhood-bar meets comic-books-store type place. It was called My Parents’ Basement. Ensor woke up and thought to himself, “That was awesome.”
Awesome, yes, but Ensor had no intention at the time of pursuing that vision. And yet slowly, bit by bit, the dream seemed to begin fulfilling itself. Case in point: Around the time of Ensor’s dream, his friend gave him 25,000 comic books, packed in some 110 boxes, after closing down his shop. Later, his wife would give him a new Batman series for his birthday, reigniting a temporarily halted passion for reading comics that started in his youth. Ensor started going to a local comic book store off Memorial Drive, at first staying 15 minutes each trip and eventually for two hours or more. His friend and My Parents’ Basement co-founder Dave DeFeo soon began joining him. “I started noticing that the same group of guys would show up every Wednesday, and we all started talking about comics,” Ensor says. “Then beer got into the conversation.”
Fast forward a couple years, Ensor’s dream becomes full reality this month with the opening of My Parents’ Basement, a comics store and bar, in Avondale Estates. The actual space, with dark wood and a beautiful bookcase, isn’t far off from Ensor’s original vision, and he hopes the bar will become a space to continue the conversations he had with those guys in the comic book shop years ago.
“Comics aren’t a niche culture anymore—they are pop culture,” says Lawson Wright, the third co-founder of My Parents’ Basement. “The further and further we went down this path, it became crystal clear how simple the crossover between comic lovers and beer lovers is.”
The opening of My Parents’ Basement introduces a social opportunity that, for some, has been sorely missed amid the influx of new concepts in Atlanta’s food and beverage scene. “There’s an extreme side to both beer and comics,” Ensor says. “And they both share the collectability factor. You have uber beer nerds who collect the rare cask beers, and you have uber comics nerds who wait in line to trade that one-off, special comic.”
Those groups will finally have the chance to come together, and as DeFeo says, nerd out: “The level of nerdery that’s going to happen at our bar is going to be awesome.”
And already, they have a cult and loyal following. The founders recently hosted a volunteer-only day to clean the bar; the whole staff showed up. “It’s been amazing to find out how many people are still into comics,” Ensor says. “I’ve already had beer reps contacting me, saying they’re excited to talk about avid readers. And I’ve had people say they’ll do anything to work here just because they’re excited about the idea.”
Located in the old James Joyce space, My Parents’ Basement offers a menu of approachable bites and small plates along with an impeccable beer selection and craft sodas from 32 taps, free video arcade games and the latest in fan favorite comic books including classics and hard-to find-titles.