Half Price Happy Hour 4-6pm Monday - Friday
“We wanted everything to be first class,” Mike Mills said. “We didn’t want to be like the neighborhood pub. We wanted to be a destination where people want to come.”
Robert John Knapp Jr is the proud co-owner of Chopblock Food and Spirits on the Square in Gainesville, Georgia. BK was involved in athletics as a player most of his life, and in later life became an NCAA basketball official and coach. BK enjoys watching sports with great food, spirit, family and friends. BK is well known for hard high fives and the occasional fire up for a team anthem during a game! He wants to share that fun and passion for sports with all of his friends and family at Chopblock.
When BK is away from Chopblock, he is the executive broker/owner of Your Best Interest Financial Services LLC., , BK enjoys spending time on the court and field with his son Robert John Knapp III. BK is thankful and humbled to work with such great players, coaches, and parents in sports… and strives for them to all understand they are family!!! BK wants to say a big thanks to all our new friends in Gainesville---the warm welcome from all the city officials in Gainesville… the kindness and generosity from our neighbors on the square…and the overwhelming response we’ve enjoyed from our Chopblock Food and Spirits Patron Family!
From the Falcons, the Jackets, the United, the Bulldogs…and all of our local high school teams that were part of the Chopblock Lineman of the week…BK is blown away by the passion Gainesville, Georgia proves what they have for sports in Georgia! BK is a life long Bills fan… so you can expect compassion and understanding if you become a victim of the agony of defeat at Chopblock!!!! Special thanks to Phil and Karen Schaefer (Jammy and Papa) ---for the toughness, love, and dedication it takes to stand behind myself and RJ through all the years!!!!
Thanks for all you do every day for our family!!!
More information about Kevin will be posted here shortly and you might be interested in the time he was with the Atlanta Falcons. (Coming Soon)
Check out this great video
The chatter of sports broadcasters and glow of games on giant TVs will fill the upcoming ChopBLOCK Food and Spirits when it opens on Friday, Feb. 1.
Mike Mills, the brains and past general manager behind the operation, said he hopes to bring a fresh take on sports bars in the two-story restaurant, which is located on the Gainesville Square at 110 Main St.
Robert Knapp, longtime friend of Mills and Kevin Shaffer, a former Atlanta Falcons player, teamed up with Mills to make the ultimate sports bar vision come true. Both Knapp and Shaffer own the restaurant. "We’re just sports nuts that love good food,” Mills said. He said the restaurant’s name, ChopBLOCK, is derived from the name of an illegal football block and the tool used by butchers.
Mills describes the place as a premium casual sports restaurant.
When entering ChopBLOCK, people walk over a chunk of 10-yard-line turf, which is surrounded by high-top cocktail tables. Traveling further into the restaurant, people will a long community table, bar, six booths and 14 sets of TVs from 65 to 130 inches. Mills said all of the booths will be equipped with multiple USB ports. He encourages customers to take advantage of the booths for work lunches. People will have the option to access the restaurant’s second level via the stairs or an elevator. The upstairs room will be available for private parties and coach clinics. Seating up to 100 people, Mills said he plans to support local high school and middle school teams by offering up the second level for their use.
Through connections with Shaffer, ChopBLOCK intends to provide sports celebrity signings every month. These famous people include sports broadcasters and athletes. “We want to offer something different to the community,” Mills said. “We want to be an event center for coaches and fans alike.” Working with a team of chefs, Mills created a menu inspired from stadium food around the country. Mills said he grew up as a Navy brat, and had the opportunity to try the staple foods from different sports stadiums. Some dishes that will be on the menu include a Chicago dog, New York pastrami burger, San Francisco fried squid and New Orleans seafood nachos. Other food options entail burgers, steak and wings.
Having decades worth of restaurant management experience, Mills said he is excited to become a part of the great businesses on the Gainesville Square. Out of 30 potential locations for ChopBLOCK, he said downtown Gainesville was his No. 1 choice. “We just want people to come in, relax, have good food and watch sports,” Mills said.
(article by Kelsey Podo)
Mike Mills, past general manager of chopBLOCK,. - photo by Kelsey Podo
Mike Mills sat at a booth at ChopBLOCK Food & Spirits, filling out last-minute paperwork and texting schedules to employees of the new restaurant coming to 110 Main St. SW in Gainesville. ChopBLOCK, which has been under construction for about nine months, is set to open May 1, and Mills said it came together just as he had envisioned.
“This is about what I designed,” said Mills, general manager at the restaurant. “Everything is dark on purpose, so the TVs and things would pop out, the memorabilia would stand out. There's a whole reason for the colors and lighting and things like that. We just wanted a cool place to come to and that was it, really.”
Robert Knapp, a longtime friend of Mills and Kevin Shaffer, a former Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle, approached Mills about bringing a sports bar to the square. Mills, a self-described “sports nut,” jumped at the idea and the three made it come to life. As investors in the business, both Knapp and Shaffer own the restaurant.
“We’re hoping really to be an event destination to Gainesville,” Mills said. “We wanted to generate something exciting sports-wise on the square and we just felt like this was missing.” Now that the sports bar is finally complete after months of renovation, it can begin filling that gap and start serving some of its stadium-inspired food. “I’ve always had this idea of doing a sports bar and tying it into stadium food,” Mills said. “I grew up a Navy brat, so we moved every two years. I grew up on stadium food and it was kind of fun.” Mills grew up a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He remembers the fish tacos he’d get at baseball games. They’re not on the menu yet, but will be soon.
(article by Layne Saliba)
“We have something from New Orleans to Chicago, New York to“Fried ribs are unbelievable,” Mills said. “It’s a two-day process. You cook them one day, chill them … then you slice them, lightly flour them and then deep fry them and put a little sauce on them and they are unbelievable.” He said they’re trying to stay as true to the original recipes as possible, but some places don’t give up their recipes. They’ve had to do as much taste-testing and research as they could to get it right. ChopBLOCK will be serving a dish called Hot Mess, which are basic nachos, except the chips are replaced with tater tots. Guests will also get to try burgers seared with hot sauce or topped with shaved pastrami brisket. ChopBLOCK will also serve hot dogs.
The Main Street space has been completely transformed from the retail store it was before. There are high-top tables on either side of the doors. Walking further into the restaurant, booths line one side of the wall and the bar takes over the opposite side. At the back of the restaurant is more seating, which is a little more open with tables and chairs. TVs and sports memorabilia cover the walls..
The bottom floor of the restaurant seats 88 people. The upstairs will open in the coming months and will have a large event room and a 30-seat conference room. The stairs that were installed leading to that space caused some problems, which is the reason the restaurant’s opening date kept getting pushed back. “When we went to go put the stairs up front, the ceiling was going to collapse,” Mills said. “So we had to redo the whole support system.” Every bit of ChopBLOCK was designed and brought together meticulously. The seats of each booth were made from boat-quality material. The remotes for each TV are organized and labeled in a closet behind the bar. The bathrooms are top-notch, with large, almost silent fans running at all times. The lighting is set just right, so the TVs are easily seen and memorabilia on the walls stand out. It looks as if nine months of construction has paid off.
“We wanted everything to be first class,” Mills said. “We didn’t want to be like the neighborhood pub. We wanted to be a destination where people want to come.”
Yum.... Arizona Pizza Box Nachos!!!
But one of Mills’ new favorite foods
Hello! My name is Billy Wright and I am the Local Store Marketing Manager for chopBLOCK food and spirits restaurant in Gainesville Georgia. I am very proud of our past efforts, which have been an asset and will continue to be in our Gainesville communities. We realize the value of our all-important regular customers who have been so generous with their support and loyalty to our restaurant in the past. We want to give back to our community as much as possible in any way possible. We are always looking for new ways to be a good neighbor, and your ideas would be appreciated.
I have documented all of our special events online and images of these events are posted on our new website www.chopBLOCKgainesville.com that we hope you will visit soon. We also want to stay in touch with our valuable local customers and make it easy for them to contact us with feedback, online and in person, so that we are always improving. Please friend us on Facebook Like our Facebook Page and follow us on Linked-In, we also have accounts on Instagram and You Tube. You can directly contact us via email to let us know about your visit, or just give me your suggestions on how we can even better partner with our community or serve our family of loyal customers. We look forward to your next visit to chopBLOCK food and spirits. Just who am I and where do I come from? A little info HERE and why "I Am Glad to be Alive"! Thank you Zig Ziglar!
Billy Wright (Marketing Manager)
Ready to get back on the field
WE MISS YOU! There are some signs that things may be settling down a bit with the Covid-19 crisis. For us, it cannot be over fast enough! We realize more than ever how much we enjoy the time we get to spend with our staff, our great chopBLOCK customers and visiting with our fellow business owners on the square. We hope you are all healthy and safe at home and encourage you to share your comments and stories from your quarantine here on this site!
On Good Friday, we had the opportunity to work with the Good Mission here in Gainesville! We also paid a visit to our local heroes from the Gainesville Police Department. A special thanks to our staff and all the people involved in helping get some meals to people in need. These are the heroes who are risking their well being each day to help us all carry on. This coming Monday--- chopBLOCK will be feeding the nurses at the Northeast Georgia Medical Center. We are so grateful to be able to show our appreciation for these brave men and women who are working tirelessly to save lives---and make people feel better. They are true heroes in every sense of the word!
This pandemic has allowed some down time to spend catching up and tuning in to our families. Sometimes it takes a difficult situation such as this to remind us how many things we take for granted each day. I have heard some horrific stories about people losing loved ones and not being able to say proper goodbyes. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have lost a loved one as a result of Covid-19. It has been simply devastating to hear of these losses.
On a happier note--- Kevin and I are thinking about opening the restaurant for take-out one or two days per week just to see you guys--- and cook up a few of your old favorites from chopBLOCK. If you are interested in coming to get some CB food and drink to-go, please post something on this site with requests for what we can make for you. If there is enough interest, we will post the dates and make it happen!
The construction of the Art’s Councils’ new amphitheater just across from chopBLOCK Food and Spirits is moving right along. If we can just hold out a little bit longer—the fun we are going to have with live music and sports in Gainesville, Ga. is going to be well worth the wait. This is our promise to you all!!!
HANG TOUGH --- GO BILLS --- GO FALCONS!!!
BK and Kevin
We Look Forward to chopBLOCK ReOpening