Donnie and Dianne Giles know a lot about nightlife in Middle Georgia.
They helped shape it.
Weve been in the nightclub business for 35 years, Donnie Giles, 71, said Monday sitting in his office at Yesterdays Antiques Market on Sheraton Drive in Macon.
The market was formerly Rock-a-Billys, a nightclub the couple opened in 1998.
The Gileses opened their first nightclub in Macon in 1977, calling it Yesterdays. They sold it a year later and opened another club called Whiskey River. After about four and a half years, they sold it.
The Gileses then headed south to Warner Robins and opened yet another nightclub called Chevys. A few years later, they changed the name of it to McGillicuttys.
After closing that business, the couple came back to Macon and opened a club called Lucy Coopers. They closed it in 1998 and opened Rock-a-Billys.
The disco ball stopped turning there June 2.
They decided not to open another club.
I said, Lets do something more age-appropriate, said Dianne Giles, 61.
New business a natural fit
After a complete renovation of the nightclub building, the Gileses opened Yesterdays Antiques Market last week. With Donnies construction ability and Diannes passion and skills in home decor, the building now looks completely different from its previous life.
This is our first venture into retail, Donnie Giles said. Were not in the antiques business, we rent spaces.
Of the more than 100 spaces for sellers to rent and sell their antiques, nearly all of the spots were rented last week.
The people who are here have a passion for this, Donnie Giles said.
Going from the nightclub business to retail seemed like a natural fit for the couple. Dianne Giles sold home furnishings and accessories at Henrys in Bolingbroke for several years and was one of the top sellers at that business.
People ask me why retail and why now? Dianne Giles said. We have to start somewhere. Its a great space, great location. Were in a retail hub (across from The Shoppes at River Crossing) right off the interstate.
The Gileses are prepared for the slower pace now.
The biggest transition is mindset, said Donnie Giles.
When asked if hes going to miss the nightclub business, he replied, I will not. ... Its tough on people with families and the hours. We always handled it like a business and never got caught up in the hoopla that goes along with it.
Like anything, you know when its time to get out, he said.
To contact Business Editor Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.