MACON, Ga. — A new upscale lounge is set to open in downtown Macon later this month.
A Brooke Haven is located at 401 Cherry Street Suite 101 in downtown Macon and Darrin Ford, the owner, says he’s ready for opening day on Feb. 28.
“We’re excited to open it up and — fingers crossed — be successful,” Ford said. “And do what we can to be a part of the small business world here in downtown Macon, and Macon as a whole.”
An epoxy floor, a curved bar with a 'cloud' overhead that follows its curvature, eclectic light fixtures, low couches, and coffee tables with gold accents all contribute to A Brooke Haven’s chic atmosphere.
Ford says an interior designer, Nathalie Armand-Bradley of Mod Punch Designs, decorated the space.
The process took about eight months, Ford said. It was all a learning experience for him.
“It probably gave me a few extra grey hairs,” Ford said. “I’ve probably stressed my wife and my daughter out something seriously these last eight months.”
Ford and his wife, Lessette, wanted to create a space that is similar to places they enjoy frequenting – somewhere with soft music, tapas or appetizers, and great cocktails.
“A completely different unique look to Macon,” Ford said.
The lounge’s menu has specialty cocktails and appetizers that people can munch on.
“Everything from New Orleans crusted shrimp to Yellowfin tuna. We do have some hickory smoked wings. We’ll have hummus. We’ll have a shrimp cocktail,” Ford said.
Both the lounge and one of the cocktails is named after their daughter, Alicia Brooke. The lounge’s menu on its website says the ‘A Brooke Haven’ drink is made of Peach Cîroc, Southern Comfort, iced tea, lemon juice, and mint.
“I named one after my wife and myself just to kind of throw something different in there,” Ford said.
There are also two outside patio areas where people are welcome to smoke cigars that the lounge has available for purchase.
Ford started looking for bar locations in 2019. When he came across an open spot on the corner of Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, he was ready to start something new.
“We were excited to find a spot downtown,” he said. "There’s a lot of growth. A lot of changes going on downtown.”
Ford was one of the winners of the Downtown Diversity Initiative grant, a team effort between NewTown Macon, Macon-Middle Georgia Black Pages, and the Community Foundation to increase the number of minority business owners downtown, in August.
In the future, Ford hopes to expand A Brooke Haven.
“I see there are other opportunities for us to do different things downtown. As far as being more involved in the community, being a part of all the positive changes that are coming about in downtown Macon,” Ford said.
Ford currently serves on the Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission and he says A Brooke Haven is a way for him to be a part of the county's growth.
Starting at 6 p.m. on opening night, A Brooke Haven will have live jazz music, specialty drinks and more. Ford says it costs nothing to get in and the event is open to the public. He asks that people come dressed ‘snazzy,’ or at least business casual.
“I want it to be a busy as it can be here,” Ford said.
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