Name: Cesare Mammarella
Business names: Tic Toc Room, 408 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; Dolce Vita Pizzeria & Cafe, 484 Cherry St.; Bearfoot Tavern, 401 Cherry St.; Kashmir lounge, 496 Second St.; Asylum nightclub, 543 Plum St.; and opening soon also at 496 Second St., Ginger Stir-Fry & Grill.
How long have you been in business?: Twelve years ago in April, I opened Tic Toc. Mammarella, an engineer by trade, said he decided to open his first business largely because of Macons aesthetics. I was determined to do something, he said. The architecture, the potential. ... Here we have wide streets, alleys and the architecture has been preserved. Downtown Macon reminds me of cities Ive traveled to in Europe, he added.
How do you feel about the future outlook of your businesses and downtown Macon?: While he has some concerns, Mammarella said hes mostly excited. With the pending openings of lofts in the Dannenberg building and other places downtown dramatically increasing the number of residences here, theres a lot to look forward to, he said. Theyve been talking about the Dannenberg for four or five years. Now to see it ... when you get people living down here ... you can walk from your brand new loft and be able to walk to 15 different restaurants in a four block radius. ... Thats unheard of in a city this size.
One of his concerns about the future of downtown is too many people who are from Macon dont understand what they have ... People who are not from here get it, he said. Another concern is the rampant perception that downtown Macon is crime ridden. Their perceptions are disturbing.
Mammarella said hes watching closely the mayors plan to transform the Second Street corridor. That may be the one thing to keep me in town.
-- Harold Goodridge