Niko Patel is a slim, polite man of medium height whose new store in Snellville, Niko’s Corner, features “fine wine and beer, organics and tobacco”. In all honesty I never saw the tobacco, and because there was some remodeling being done when I arrived, I didn’t spend a lot of time with the wine. I did notice a refrigerator with some rounds of cheese, and the organics spoken of are beauty aids of some kind. I have to admit not knowing wines well, but I know enough about beer to hold my own in a Taco Mac.

Among the beers I saw were a number of American and Georgia based microbrews, some varieties of Sam Smith’s ale, a nice jug of Mississippi Mud’s Black and Tan, seasonal beers from Sam Adams, Kingfisher (an Indian beer), a good looking IPA or two, and Belgian ales, including Chimay. Chimay is a Trappist beer, made by monks in a Trappist monastery. It has a history with Georgia beer aficionados because for many years, Chimay could not be sold in Georgia (as a beer, at least). Georgia laws restricting the alcohol content to 6% or less blocked its sale. In 2004 this law was repealed, and these days you can get Chimay in Georgia.

The lambic beers are prized because their brewing process (using spontaneous fermentation) results in a rich complex flavor. My glance was brief, but I’m pretty sure Niko has those too. And although you can occasionally find beers like Chimay at the liquor store on the corner of Highway 29 and Indian Trail, it’s not consistent. Niko’s appears to me to be the most reliable place to get high end ales and beers short of Hinton’s Wine Store on Holcombe Bridge Road.

Two beers that Niko's Corner sells. A Coke can is provided for comparison.

Two beers that Niko's Corner sells. A Coke can is provided for comparison.

I picked up Niko’s card before I left. It says he’ll take special orders, and there are case discounts available. And even if you only want to look at a bottle of Chimay (it’s a big bottle), please drop by. Niko is a pleasant person to deal with and happy to talk about what he sells.

Niko’s Corner is located at 2050 Scenic Highway, between the Oak Road and Dogwood intersections, roughly across the street from O’Charlie’s.

In the same strip mall as Nikos is an incarnation of Jersey Mike’s subs. While not a to-die-for favorite of mine, I had a colleague, Jeremy, who just loved the place, to the point where if people went and were not coming back, he’d scavenge their visit cards so he could collect enough visits to get free subs. In my case this means I’ve been to Jersey Mike’s (the Jimmy Carter location) exactly once. I thought I would try this one. It’s not a bad sub shop, roughly in the same class and caliber as Quiznos.

Things to note: very clean and neat. The servers were well groomed, polite, efficient. I had an Italian sub, with mustard, on wheat bread. The bread was a wider cut than say, Subway, and it was fresh. Jersey Mike’s has three sizes of subs, small, regular and giant. Regular is more than big enough for me.  Would I eat here again?  Yes. I can happily recommend Jersey Mike’s.

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