We’re Opening a Bar!!!!!

We bought a building!Tile outside the buildingI 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! 

Emma at the Red Velvet sweet shopRed velvet sweet shop
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? 

Bar mood boardWe 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. (!!!!) 

Collage Image Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Do you want to see the actual bar (not the building, but the bar top)? Check it out:

Our bar top! Our bar top!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.

New dream-starting a bar(What am I doing in this photo? I don't know…)

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.

  • How exciting! I love that it doesn’t like like your typical bar, dark and shady. The brightness looks so refreshing!

  • Dreams do come true after hard works of course. Congratulations and also good luck for the business.

  • So exciting! Do let us know the address so we can come visit next time we’re in the US x

  • That rocks! Sending you all good vibes. Can’t lose with a solid name like that AND pineapples.

  • How exciting! I love small businesses, and this bar looks so beautiful and the concept is divine. <3 Also, the name has such a nice ring to it!

  • That’s so amazing! You’re such an inspiration! Also, I love the name, the bar top, and the color choice! I can’t wait to see the finished place!


  • Love the name – if you hadn’t already had me with that, I’d be there for the white, wood, gold, and pineapple decor! Can’t wait to see how it shapes up!

  • Wishing you the best of luck on this new adventure!! What a fun, exciting time for you!

    <3 Haley @ www.beautyinthischaos.com

  • Thank you for sharing this, Emma! Not to sound too hokey, but I find you really inspiring. I have a few small business ideas that I would love to start, but sometimes it’s hard to see them as a reality. It’s very cool to read about your professional evolution and all the exciting opportunities you’ve created for yourself and brought into real life. It makes me feel like I could do it, too! 🙂

  • Check out Punch Bar in Chicago, along with the resto above it Dusek’s. The most amazing vibe and best cocktail menu EVER.

  • Yay Emma!!! You’re amazing. I love the name too! Most bar names seem so harsh or overly fancy, I’ve never been quite attracted to them. (In my opinion.) But y’alls name sounds so retro, easy-going, and super fun. I can picture a dozen sister styles inspired by this. (I hope y’all still keep sister style going (at least once in a while), it’s my favorite thing on the blog!!!!)

  • Thank you guys for sharing your lives and ideas and dreams with us…

    You really are such an inspiration

  • Congrats from a local Missourian! I’ll have to do a weekend stay in Springfield when you’re up and running! Your blog is so encouraging! As a dreamer of owning my own small business, I’d love to know the ends and outs of starting a small business….licensing, legal stuff, and advertising to get those happy customers! If you have something like this posted, can you direct me to the link? Good luck with this new adventure!

  • Congratulations! Looks fantastic!


  • This is so exiting and I love the inspiration, it’s such a cute idea to mix minimal with the whole tiki tropical look. Love it!

    Danika Maia

  • I don’t know why I thought of this… you should sell Cotton Candy at the bar.

  • This is so freaking cool! Soooo excited for you! What a great adventure!
    ♥Heather and Melissa

  • So exciting, congratulations! Looking forward to seeing more photos.


  • Yay to that! I’m happy to read about other 4-people partnerships! My boyfriend started a bar as well (the same month I gave birth to my babygirl! Call us crazy), with 3 college buddies! Here are some tips I could give you:
    – partners: 4 is a lot to agree on stuff, so set up roles from the start! So each of you will have the main say about decisions regarding your own area. This means letting go of things, but that’s ok.
    – Say what you have to say, don’t keep stuff inside, but have an as open communication as you can!
    – Get a good lawyer and accountant to help you out! You really don’t want to have to think about this stuff, you will have plenty to think about! 🙂
    – It will take up SO much time and energy.
    – But it will make you SO happy! I don’t think I ever heard Paolo say ‘I don’t want to go today’. Not a single time! And if it doesn’t make you happy, that means something has to change. You can’t spend all that time and energy into something that just doesn’t make you happy! (Paolo ran another bar before this one, with partners he ended up not agreeing on anything. The day he decided to leave, he became the old him again. And now everything worked out great! So don’t be afraid to walk away if things don’t work out!)
    – Treat your family that comes over like kings. Ok, that’s my personal advice! 🙂 I often go there with my babygirl Sofia, otherwise she barely sees her daddy for a couple of days. 🙂 And we love it there! It’s more a bistro than a bar, and I love to go there on Sundays with her. We are really treated like kings, and they make us feel at home. Which it should be for you guys, like a second home where you are happy to come!
    – Be kind and genuine with your clients. They just started out but their concept was very clear: “make good home-made italian food, and a great place to enjoy a glass of wine or aperitivo with your friends”. Of course they thought about how to make money, but mostly they thought about their clients and how to make them happy and have a great time. And people pick up on that! The good reviews on tripadvisor have been flying in like crazy, all 5 stars! So, think about your people first, and money will come in by itself.
    – and last: enjoy enjoy enjoy! 🙂

    For the working from home mommies: www.patternsandmilk.com

  • EMMA! Ahhh! I’m so so so happy and excited for you. High five, sweet friend! xoxo

  • So very cool!!! I will be making a trip to Springfield to visit this place! I hope there are vintage tiki inspired tshirts.

  • How exciting is this!!?

    I would absolutely love to own a bar & I’m excited to follow your journey!

  • This is so exciting! I hope to open up a small business of my own one day too! 🙂

    Monica / Mocha and Moccasins

  • Congratulations! I love seeing people’s dreams expand as they try new things and pursue multiple dreams! 🙂

  • This is so exciting! I love the name and the vibe you’re going for. It’s so light and bright – not a look you see in many bars today – sounds like it’s going to be a really amazing space. I only wish I lived there so I could check it out in person when it opens!

  • Oh, how fun!! Am really looking forward to seeing the bar take shape, that’s for sure!

  • Congratulations! This sounds so cool. I love the name (very fun!) & I feel like the pattern on the outside of the building really adds to the whole Rum bar/tiki vibe you’ll have going on! Can’t wait to see more!

  • Are you all standing outside the bar in those pics? Because the detail of the building exterior is very reminiscent of a pineapple (I think, anyway); so cool!

  • I love love love the name! Man, you and your sister are such movers and shakers! Congratulations!!

  • Congrats! I love that you put the cocktail sign on here as inspo! Also, those gold pineapples are so perfect!
    XO, Kelly

  • What a cool venture! Congratulations! (: can’t wait to see the bar done up!

  • What a cool venture! Congratulations! (: can’t wait to see the bar done up!

  • Hey Emma! I’m beyond excited for you about your new endeavor. Your post on changing dreams has meant a lot to me and to see you embrace new dreams as new doors open for you is genuinely inspiring to me. Don’t stop, get it get it! Thanks for letting us in on the exciting news!

  • This is so exciting, I can’t wait to follow your new bar story xx

  • this is so exciting!! congratulations 😀


  • Wow, big news!Congrats, this must be so exciting for you all. I wish you all the best for this project.

  • Aaah yay, that’s so exciting!! Congratulations! I’ll definitely have to roadtrip cross-country now! xx

  • This is so cool!! I LOVE the name 🙂 and since I was born in KCMO, I’ll definitely have to take a trip down to Springfield next time I’m visiting family! Hooray and congrats you guys!

  • This is SO awesome! Congratulations! Good luck following your dreams, I’m jealous 🙂

  • Congrats! That’s so exciting and I wish you the best of luck!

  • I know Aunt Gayle and I will be in. Aunt Gayle loves her Mai Tais! Congratulations! We are so proud of you!

  • My friend Meg and I kept talking about a road trip to come see the Red Velvet shop, and we were so bummed when you closed! This gives us another reason to drive through the middle of the country 🙂 Good luck! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for design and menu!

  • you guys are spoiling us with announcements today 😉
    So so happy for you and your new endeavor. I can’t wait to read all about it’s progress and success. thank you for always being a true inspiration to live out our dreams and never stop working for what we want.

  • I think that both you and Elsie are so inspiring. The things you are doing now (moving to Nashville, opening a bar) seem so unattainable to someone like me (a 20 year old wondering what to do with her life) but then I remind myself that you guys were once just a person with a dream and you’ve worked hard to turn it in to reality. I really look to you guys as real life role models, what you have achieved is amazing yet still attainable and I hope that one day I have the drive to do half as well as you both. Congratulations 🙂

  • Wow that is so incredibly exciting! And to know the property belongs to you all now and you can make it your own! I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

  • Omg well done!! Congratulations!! I’m sure it’ll be a wonderful place 🙂


    Xoxo Jessy

  • That’s so awesome! I’ve wanted to open my own bar for a while and I get so inspired and gitty whenever I hear of a new adventure like this! Can’t wait to see what it brings!

  • Congrats!! This is so awesome and I am seriously so happy for you guys. Kudos for making your dreams come true, and I will make a visit one day if I ever find myself in town 😀



  • Loving those inspiration photos! It’s going to look so cool, I can tell already! Cheers to following your passions!

  • Congrats!!! There is actually a tiki inspired rum bar that just opened up in Tulsa. It’s called “The Saturn Room”. They might be a good crew to chat with!! Can’t wait to see how this dream becomes reality for yall!!!!

  • Congratulations! How fun. I love the pineapple and tiki idea.

    Having been in the industry for 13 years, the idea of a white bar makes me cringe a bit, just because it shows everything just like black can. During a busy rush it can get looking messy very quickly so hopefully behind the bar isn’t all white.?

    Also, trends here in the PNW are a bit different but calling a place a “…rum club” can lead to assuming it’s mostly a rum place and not everyone likes rum.

  • Congratulations! 🙂 That is such a huge accomplishment. We love the inspiration. 😀 It’s going to look amazing. xox
    www. GlossyFinds.com

  • Yay congrats! Maybe we’ll be seeing some of the cocktails you’ve shared on ABM! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  • Congrats on your new venture Emma!I like the inspiration photos and can’t wait to see what it actually turns out to look like 🙂 Also, extremely random but you and Trey have the exact same smile in the first picture! Haha

  • Oh that is so exciting for you! Well done for embarking in such an adventurous new project. We are planning a trip to the states from Ireland and I hear the trip can make you quite thirsty so. . . . Alas a cocktail is rather essential.

  • Congrats and good luck! I guess it’s a very important step for you all!

  • Congratulations guys! So excited to see what you do with the place and the menú! And the name is great! <3

  • This can not be topped by anything in the blog world today! Congratulations to y’all! <3

    Love, Kristyn

  • Too much fun, ladies! What a great opportunity! Absolutely love it!


  • Very cool, congratulations!! I can’t imagine it being anything other than awesome!


  • So exciting! This is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard!
    xx Lane


    …..yeah. I’m a tad excited. This is RIGHT on the square, too, isn’t it?

  • I will definitely be making a trip to Springfield! Scotch and Soda is my current favorite bar in Springfield! Honestly, we love downtown Springfield so much more than downtown St. Louis. We wish we could plunk downtown Springfield down the street from where we live now. With your talents combined with the experience of Josh I don’t see how you can miss! Best of luck to you in this exciting opportunity! I can’t wait to visit when it opens!

  • Awesome news!! You and Elsie are total inspirational powerhouses. Always looking to grow and challenge yourselves and create bigger and more awesome things! Go girl!

  • Congratulations!!! I love it. Definitely rely on your operations guys when it comes to building out the bar because I’ve worked in many where I’ve thought, “WHY did they put xyz HERE??? Obviously whoever designed this bar has never worked in one!”

    Good luck! It will be amazing, per usual!

  • We’re actually working on a small business e-course at the moment. But if you have any specific you are welcome to email me (emma@abeautifulmess.com). I may not know the answer, but I’d be happy to help if I can.



  • Later this year. No exact date yet but I’ll share the look of the bar with you all once we’ve got it near completion. 🙂


  • That’s fun. So… like, do you have a cocktail to share with me??? Email me. 🙂


  • I know what you mean. Getting to be in older, historical spots is just so cool. Our downtown has lots of old buildings on our town square and now we OWN ONE! It’s just so insane to me.



  • That’s exactly how I feel-you nailed it. I keep thinking, “Is this real life? I actually get to be a part of this?!?!”

    Such a good feeling. I’m feeling really, really lucky lately. 🙂


  • I hope at least some readers will get to see it first hand someday. Springfield is an awesome city but being smack in (almost) the center of the country means we’re a little, uh, out of the way I guess you could say.

    Anyway, I’ll post lots of photos and fun stuff so at least everyone will get to experience a little bit of it with me. 🙂


  • Congrats, that’s so exciting!! Also, that name, ahhh-mazing!

  • I don’t know how willing you’d be to share, but I have been thinking of opening a business for a while and feel overwhelmed with the process of buying/leasing a space, getting permits & business licenses, etc.
    If you did a post about the real technical side of making this dream come true, that would be amazing, and would really make me feel like I’m not alone in this crazy world of entrepreneurship!

    Love Holly

  • My Wall Arts … Pineapples….!!


  • This bar sounds like ALL kinds of awesome!!! Based on my knowledge of tiki bars and rum cocktails (which is more than I care to admit) you guys are timing this so perfectly, on the upswing of a trend! I have such much optimism and excitement for this venture. There’s also some really good vintage tiki stuff out there, giving you the option to add one or two legit accents or elements to the bar. (You could serve a special, super traditional tiki cocktail in vintage tiki glasses! Or have one really cool art piece on the wall! I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE POSSIBILITIES!) I love LOVE that you’re bringing rum and tiki into the 21st century with wood and gold and white.

    Will it be strictly drinks? Or will you have food as well? And will there be a pupu platter, because people LOVE to say “pupu platter,” especially after a cocktail.

    So happy for and so inspired to get out there and make some dreams and chase them!!

  • This is so exciting! Major congrats and I’m loving the interior inspo! I’ll definitely stop by if I’m in the area.


  • I don’t know if you have a name planned already but I think “Coast to Coast” is a great bar name! I love that detail on the front entrance.

    I’m excited for you. It sounds like a blast.

  • This is SO rad! I wish I lived around or near your neck of the woods, I adore the theme you are going with 🙂 Can’t WAIT to see it all come together, keep us posted! Best wishes to you guys! xo



  • It’d be really fun if there was an ABM cocktail created by one of your lovely readers as a contest!

  • Yay!!!! I’m so excited for you guys. It’s going to be so amazing.

  • This is so awesome Emma! So exciting for you guys. I dream about opening a small craft shop in my downtown area just to be a part of the history. This is so great! Congrats!!!


  • This look AWESOME! Congrats to you and good luck!! I love this 🙂
    – Kaitlyn | www.TheCrownFox.com

  • congratulations. how exciting for you all! I do not know about the drink but the golden girls is my all time favorite show so, I think it is a great name. I would come just for the name. 😉

  • Amazing! I have no helpful advice to share but just wanted to say how awesome to be doing so many things you love!

  • Follow your dreams!!! Super cool and fun. I live in LA and the Wexler’s deli spot is gorgeous. The white tiles are everything.



  • Yeah, yeah. It’s in the same quadrant as Coffee Ethic but at the other end—directly across the street from the Heer’s.

  • Sending good vibes your way. So excited for y’all! Love the photo- looks like a happy group 🙂

  • WHAT! Is this real life?! This is so great! I’m so happy you have this opportunity – you are seriously going to knock it out of the park.

    And all the best for your plans and dreams.
    I like it soooo much.

    Greetings & Love

  • Congrats Emma…!!! Of course I’ll visit you when everything is ready and I hope to see you there and make my one of my wish come true…!!! xoxo..!!! Andy

  • So freaking excited! Love the name and the concept! Is that the building on the square across from Coffee Ethic? Can’t wait till it’s done! So much crazy exciting news on ABM all in one day! I almost can’t even handle it!

  • Congrats guys! I LOVE the name and I can’t wait to have some cocktails and apps there 🙂 that little space has been a couple different things recently, but I’ve always thought it would be a perfect place for a little restaurant or bar. I’m excited to see what you do with the place!

  • CONGRATS! What an exciting new endeavor! I can’t wait to read more about it, and hopefully visit someday! 🙂

  • Super rad! LOVE this! Going after your dreams is the most exciting, empowering thing! All the fist bump emojis! 😉

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