I have something to share with you all today that I've been dying to talk about for about six months. (We sort of let the beans spill a few times already, but here's the "real" announcement.) Trey and I, along with our partners, Josh and Rogan, are going to open a bar this year!!!! Crazy, right?! I honestly can hardly believe it myself. We just closed on our building, and I've been pinching myself, because I can hardly believe it's true.
My two biggest passions in life (outside of my family and dogs, of course) are small businesses and food (followed closely by home design and decor). Years ago, back when Elsie and I first started blogging together because we had a lot of free time during the week while we worked in our local vintage store, I also ran a small cupcake side business. I stocked our local shop with treats everyday of the week and I also catered weddings on the weekends sometimes. I love that part of my day to day job still includes getting to play around in the kitchen, and I could not be more excited to expand on my passions by collaborating on our next big project: opening a bar!
Images from: Float Away Studios
Initially Elsie and I had discussed starting a bar of some kind together. But then when her plans changed to include moving to Nashville, it just didn't feel like the right time for the particular idea we had in mind. Maybe in a few years? But we already had a great relationship with Josh, one of the owners of our current favorite local bar (Scotch & Soda). So when Trey and I started looking at commercial properties in our downtown area, initially just as a real estate investment goal, we got addicted to the dream of filling that space with a bar we could call our own. So we told Josh. And he, along with Rogan, pitched a rum bar idea to us. We loved it! We collaborated to make it into a concept we were all excited about, and then the business plans started to develop. Things have been rolling along ever since, and we just closed on the property and will soon begin some renovations that will need to take place before we can open.
What will the bar be like?
We want to create a modern and open feeling atmosphere with a few nods to tiki vibes. 🙂 We want to incorporate a lot of white, wood, gold, neutrals and pineapples. There have been talks of neon signs and a photo booth…but we'll see. 🙂 Rogan is working on our logo now and it features a pineapple, so that's awesome. (!!!!)
Do you want to see the actual bar (not the building, but the bar top)? Check it out:
This is not a DIY. Well, not my DIY. Josh's grandfather actually made it from scratch, and it's even more beautiful in real life—as clearly these behind-the-scenes photos can't do it justice. We're just housing it in our workshop until it can be installed in its new home.
Do you have a name yet?
Yes. We're calling it The Golden Girl Rum Club, named for an awesome rum cocktail. I think we went through about 100 names before we landed on this one. So if you hate it, please don't tell me. 🙂
Does this mean you won't be working at A Beautiful Mess anymore?
Oh goodness, no! ABM is my main squeeze. I LOVE my job and have no plans to stop doing what I'm doing until the Internet breaks and Elsie and I are forced out. 🙂 My "day job" won't be changing. But I will be one of four owners of the bar, and so of course I will have some responsibilities there. I am really excited about working on menu development and the interior design in the coming months. Trey and I will also likely be very involved in many of the marketing aspects of the project. And I'll get to learn firsthand a whole lot about day to day operations from our partners, who certainly have more experience than me (x100). Which I am SO excited about—bring on the learning!
Bottom line: I am SUPER excited about this project and plan to be involved, but my current gig won't be changing at all. My life is just expanding to include another dream now, and I could not feel more lucky.
I can't wait to share more with you as this dream becomes a reality! Also, if there are any bar or restaurant owners reading who want to tell us about your story or share some advice, I'm all ears. XX. Emma
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman. Photography: Elsie Larson. Other images credited/linked throughout.