Business

New Macon bar will encourage audience participation with dueling piano show

JASON VORHEES/THE TELEGRAPH Macon, GA, 12/10/2018: Co-owners Brad Simmons, left and Todd Miles are hopeful Macon Smiles dueling piano bar will open Thursday, December 13. The bar will have a $10 cover charge and will be open 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.Thursday through Saturday.
JASON VORHEES/THE TELEGRAPH Macon, GA, 12/10/2018: Co-owners Brad Simmons, left and Todd Miles are hopeful Macon Smiles dueling piano bar will open Thursday, December 13. The bar will have a $10 cover charge and will be open 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.Thursday through Saturday. jvorhees@macon.com

Locals who haven’t been to a dueling piano bar will soon get a chance to see and hear one up close in downtown Macon.

The city’s first dueling piano bar, Macon Smiles LLC, opens Friday at 570 Mulberry St.

It’s “kind of a show,” said Macon Smiles founder and CEO Todd Miles. Customers ask the pianists to play certain songs and “at the same time they are singing, they are acting out. It’s kind of a comedy performance show along with being a musical. It’s based upon crowd participation and also it’s based upon what they want to sing.”

Sometimes a drummer accompanies the pianists.

The bar will be open 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Everyone must be 21 or older to enter, and there will be a $10 cover charge.

Miles said he got the idea for the bar while visiting a dueling piano bar in Savannah called Savannah Smiles. His business is not connected to that one.

“But we are doing it for a higher clientele than Savannah is,” he said. “With us being right behind Downtown Grill and with the new Late Nite (Macon) bar opening up and having higher-end restaurants there” Miles is hoping to attract more customers 30 and older.

The bar is expected to employ about 12 workers in the 5,000-square-foot space where TailsSpin used to be.

Miles owns several other businesses downtown, including Cherry Street Scoops. In September, he bought the former Greek Corner Deli, remodeled it, changed the menu and changed the name to The Greek. He is putting another Greek and Scoops restaurants in Eatonton.

“We are trying to make Macon stable,” Miles said. “We hate to see anything close downtown, so when someone mentions they’re closing, I’m always over there trying to figure out how to buy it, because I feel like I can make anything work.”

Linda Morris, who has won several state and national journalism awards, covers business news for The Telegraph in Macon. Prior to beginning her journalism career, she worked with a commercial real estate developer, law firms, banks, a retailer and a wholesaler.
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