The owner of the hit “Caffeine and Octane” car shows touted his plan to bring a car-themed restaurant and shop to town at the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards luncheon on March 10.

“We’re going to make it into the coolest garage that anyone’s ever been inside of,” said Bruce Piefke about his plans for the business, called Caffeine and Octane at the Garage. “It’s just going to be a fun place.”

“Caffeine and Octane” founder Bruce Piefke speaks at the March 10 Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon at City Springs. (Special)

In the awards part of the luncheon, held at City Springs, Proud Smiles Dental was the recipient of the small business of the year award. Cibo e Beve won the restaurant of the year award. Don Nelson was named community volunteer.

Piefke, a longtime Sandy Springs resident, is CEO of High Octane Events, which stages car shows at Perimeter Mall and sometimes at the City Springs civic center in Sandy Springs, among other locations. They are among the largest car shows in the world, and have led to a TV show on NBC Sports.

Dr. Brenda Paulen of Proud Smiles Dental, left, accepts the Business of the Year award from Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce board chair Fred Jewell at the March 10 luncheon. (Special)

Piefke said that the car show concept “wasn’t as much about the cars, as it was about the community and the camaraderie and how it bought people together and the friendships that they made. So, I knew there was something more to it than just an event.”

That led to his plans for The Garage, which he plans to open in the North River shopping center at 8900 Roswell Road around the end of summer. He said it will offer a lot of options, including wings, vegan food, coffee and drinks, so everyone in the community can enjoy the space and what it has to offer. The space will include a backyard where patrons can hang out and do things like play cornhole, according to Piefke, and it brings an expansion to the opportunities to film the TV show there.

“I’m excited about that, and [about] bringing it to my hometown,” Piefke said.

A rendering of Caffeine and Octane at the Garage. (Special)

For the city, the new business ties into plans to redevelop parts of the city’s North End. A contractor is working on conceptual plans for four shopping centers, including North River, in a process that includes a local advisory committee.

The City Council previously approved a request to waive just under $6,000 of taxes and fees for the construction of the restaurant. The city said the business qualified because it could create at least 20 full-time jobs and support the North End Redevelopment goals.

“This project is an example of opportunities available in our northern end,” Mayor Rusty Paul previously said in a press release. “Bruce’s willingness to think creatively provides a new outlet for car enthusiasts to gather as well as brings to the northern end of our city a great new entertainment and gathering space.”

–Naomi Thomas

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