Three new businesses will soon open their doors in downtown Macon, including one in a space that’s been vacant for more than a decade.
The new additions come at the same time as an expanded downtown food scene, with new restaurants coming and popular favorites expanding.
Here’s a look at what’s coming.
Genny’s New Beginnings
Candles, picture frames, mirrors, small furniture and handmade jewelry are among items Geneva Greene plans to sell at Genny’s New Beginnings, which is set to open downtown on Second Street next month.
The new and gently used home decor, gifts and accessories will be “nothing extraordinary, nothing very expensive, but things that you don’t think to buy on a daily basis,” Geneva Greene told The Telegraph.
Greene said she worked as a nurse for 30 years and “it takes a toll,” so she started exploring plans to open a business. A realtor looked for properties in Locust Grove and McDonough, but Greene said she was not satisfied with the options.
A native of Ossining, New York, who now lives in Jackson, Greene said she had never heard of Macon until friends recently told her about it.
“When I went down there I was very happy,” Greene said of the small store space at 368 Second Street, beside Hargray Capitol Theatre. “It seemed like it was a safe area.”
If all goes as planned, Greene said the store will open mid-May. She said she expects it will be open Monday through Saturday and the merchandise will include “nothing over $50-$60.”
The grand Al Sihah Shrine Temple at Poplar and Cotton streets has sat vacant for more than a decade, but it will soon begin a second life as one of Macon’s newest event venues.
Epic Ventures, based in San Jose, California, bought the three-story building late last year. Signs on the front lawn indicate the five-star service event facility, called The Temple, is “opening soon, booking for 2019.”
Weddings, banquets, private parties, are among events expected to take place at The Temple. The building includes a nearly 9,000-square-foot ballroom that has a 27-foot ceiling and balcony, enough room to accommodate about 400 people. It also has a 55-car parking lot and a 7,000-square-foot rooftop that will also serve as venue space, according to The Temple’s website.
The Shriners built the temple about 90 years ago, across from the Government Center at 745 Poplar Street, before moving in the early 2000s to Bibb County’s south side.
Egyptian hieroglyphics an images, created by Atlanta artist Athos Menoboni, can be seen on and throughout the building. The 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamun’s Tomb was reportedly still in the news when the temple opened in 1931. William Elliot Dunwody Jr. was the original architect.
Jazz, blues, funk and more are among types of music to be performed by local and regional bands at 499 Martin Luther King Boulevard, where Mexican restaurant La Bella Morelia was located before it moved to Mulberry Street several months ago.
The venue, operated by Brandon Lawler, will have a bar consisting of limited beer, wine and liquor options. It also will be non-smoking.
Hours are expected to be Wednesday-Friday from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. and Saturday from 2 p.m.- 2 a.m., according to Lawler’s application for j.b.a. to the Macon-Bibb County Planning and Zoning Board. The interior plan for the business also must be submitted and approved by the board.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.