45 South Cafe
45 S. Peachtree St., Norcross
Open since: 2005 as Northern Star Cafe and since 2008 as 45 South Cafe
Location: 45 South is tucked into the row of shops along Peachtree Street in downtown Norcross.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to between 9 and 11 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays
Owner: 45 South Cafe is Norcross resident Keith Shewbert's first restaurant-type venture. The former Norcross city councilman worked in the IT industry before buying the Northern Star Cafe to ensure a coffeehouse would remain in the downtown area.
When he began expanding the menu beyond coffee and related offerings and opened up a full kitchen, Shewbert renamed the establishment 45 South.
Atmosphere: The downtown Norcross cafe has maintained its laid-back coffeehouse atmosphere in which customers can enjoy breakfast and lunch dishes daily and live music and entertainment in the evenings. Paintings by local artists decorate the red brick walls just inside the entrance and a raised platform accessible by two steps leads up to the order counter. Another dining/lounge area to the back leads out to a large patio area Shewbert plans to renovate before spring.
Menu: One of the most interesting breakfast items on the menu, Shewbert said, is named for Norcross Mayor Bucky Johnson. The Bucky Bowl is a helping of grits topped with cheese and strips of bacon.
The most popular breakfast item, he said, is the French toast, which is made with Hawaiian pineapple bread and served with a mildly spicy chicken sausage.
45 South also offers build-a-biscuit and build-a-breakfast options from which customers can customize their orders.
The most popular lunch items at 45 South are the paninis. The vegetarian selection is a mix of field greens, tomatoes, roasted peppers, zucchini and provolone with a spicy mustard. The chicken fajita panini is a popular choice of grilled chicken, cheddar cheese, roasted peppers, caramelized onions and salsa. Both are served with a choice of baked potato salad, dixie cole slaw, the salad of the day or chips.
The build-your-own options carry over to lunch with sandwich selections -- ham, turkey, roast beef or chicken salad with provolone, American or Swiss cheese on white, whole wheat or marbled rye bread, hoagie or tomato spinach wrap.
The cafe offers a variety of Counter Culture-brand coffee drinks to complement its menu selections as well as canned sodas, bottled juices, water, beer and wine.
Shewbert plans to add hand-dipped and novelty ice creams to the menu this spring.
Things you might not know: 45 South Cafe is the former site of the city Post Office.