Patrick Hodges sees whats on the horizon in downtown Macon.
Theyre building apartments right there and right there, he said Tuesday, pointing to two buildings near the corner of Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
He decided to open a daiquiri bar called Forty-One at 401 Cherry St., next door to Mollys Café. The business will offer a range of mixed drinks and scotches. Food will not be served.
Hodges said he was encouraged to open the bar because of the planned influx of new residents with the construction of hundreds of lofts downtown over the next few years.
I see a lot of development, he said. You can see it more and more.
Hes been working on the building for about a year, and hes planning to open by the Cherry Blossom Festival next month.
NewTown Macon and other groups efforts to increase the number of residential units downtown are starting to bear fruit, particularly spurring new business.
Main Street Macon Manager Mechel McKinley said she understands what all the buzz is about.
Everybody is really excited, she said. There is this sense of anticipation and excitement about whats about to happen.
Businesses looking to expand that were not considering Macon have a change of heart or put the city in the running after McKinley and other recruiters tell them that within two years, 200 new residents will be moving downtown.
Businesses are considering us in ways they havent before, McKinley said.
Hodges was born and raised in Macon but moved away for about 10 years while he was in the Army. He returned six years ago and saw a downtown that looked to be in a strong revitalization phase.
It even seems like Mercer is getting closer to downtown, he said. They have trolleys taking students from campus (to) downtown.
With all the extra feet on the street, Hodges is hoping theyll enjoy his adult beverages.
He started making daiquiris for friends while he was stationed overseas. Turns out he was pretty good at it.
They all liked it, he said. I developed my own daiquiri recipes.
He hopes the recipes have staying power.
Im trying to be here the next 30 years, not just two, he said.
To contact Business Editor Harold Goodridge, call 744-4382.