If you happened upon the Elliott Street Deli & Pub on the right night, you might worry that the legendary dive bar was burning to the ground. The truth, however, is much less terrifying.
Elliott Street has hosted “iron pours” for more than 15 years now. On a typical iron-pour evening, folks congregate around a dead-end street by the bar, within spitting distance of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Patrons create their own “scratch blocks,” which are sand molds bonded with resin that attendees can purchase, carve, and hand back to the metal workers. From behind a chain link fence, blacksmiths from Atlanta Metal Arts tend to a giant tub full of blazing-hot liquid iron that emits an entrancing glow and dazzling sparks. The blacksmiths then pour the iron over the scratch blocks, creating personalized souvenirs that the patrons can pick up the next day. The spectacle is often accompanied by food trucks, live music, and a crowd of giddy onlookers enlivened by the thrill of professionals handling white-hot metal.
There have been some specially-themed iron pours over the years. Once, through a partnership with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Atlanta Metal Arts, confiscated guns were transformed into works of art. But perhaps the greatest partnership is with the city’s beloved soccer team, Atlanta United. Since 2019, fans have shown up once a year to create personalized scratch blocks which are then melted down and reshaped into the team’s historic icon, the Golden Spike. It’s then marched to the game and driven into a platform at midfield while fans cheer on the spectacle.
Know Before You Go
While the iron pour has been happening for more than 10 years, it’s been held less frequently during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call ahead or visit the bar’s website for details on the next iron pour.