Macon's downtown nightclubs have filled a missing void for the urban crowd. There used to be a time where the choice was limited. Now, the range of possibilities varies from the young hip-hop audience to the old school crowd.
Recently, the Mill and Bar 41, both on Cherry Street, have catered to the young crowd on the weekends. While riding down Cherry Street on a Saturday night, you will see radio station vehicles parked outside of each entity. On-air personalities from iHeartMedia are live on-air from the Mill, and live announcers from the Macon Urban Radio Alliance broadcast on location at Bar 41.
The music at both of these venues is centered around hip-hop and rap, which gives the younger people in our community a place to party and socialize. Many of them are conditioned to house parties that have little or no security. This option gives them a safer atmosphere to enjoy themselves.
Just across from the Macon-Bibb County Convention and Visitors Bureau on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard sits Recess Bar & Lounge. It's quite an eclectic spot that reminds you of a bar out of a major metro district or in the midst of a rural college-town area.
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Quite a few hipsters and young professionals frequent it because of the diverse programming and music they spin. The vibe is very global. So, you may experience nights of original hip-hop, house, jazz, reggae and rhythm and blues, just to name a few.
Every week features a Soulful Sunday with musicians and singers, and on the second Saturday of each month, they co-host a night of Poetry & Pastries with Poetic Peace Arts.
The legendary Grant's Lounge just celebrated 45 years of being in business. Although its origins are centered around Southern rock, Grant's has evolved to keeping that legacy alive through weekly jam sessions. All other nights cater to middle-aged people who enjoy a mixture of R&B and some hip-hop.
Of course, Grant's attracts tourists who are fascinated by their Wall of Fame, which includes photos and articles of the flock of celebrities and locals who have taken part in making Macon a recording mecca during and after the run of Capricorn Records.
The next stop is Midtown Key Club on Third Street, which is a spin-off of the well-known Jazzplex that was located on Cherry Street back in the day. Midtown caters to grown and sexy folks who like the dee-jays who play retro hits. Their audience also loves to hear live funk, R&B and soul bands.
Plus, a lot of musicians and singers look forward to collaborate, show out and network during Midtown's legendary Sunday Night Jam Sessions.
The latest edition to Macon's downtown urban party scene is Posh Ultra Lounge. It was created to give the clubgoers an upscale ambiance to mingle and socialize. Most nights, the casual to business dress code is enforced. Other nights, they make a few exceptions with the dress attire. Posh also is creating buzz by bringing in famous people to host nights at the bar.
All of these businesses are locally owned. So, that's one other good reason to stop by, have a drink and shake a leg. The array of diverse bars and eateries is a key factor in attracting more people to our downtown. This is a dynamic way to engage residents of all ages and from all backgrounds. Most importantly, these businesses have an economic impact on our community, and they are definitely "placing feet on the streets."
Yolanda "Y-O" Latimore is founder of Poetic Peace Arts and director of Like Water Publicity, a media and booking agency. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.