0

Riverfront eyeing N'orleans feel with expansion

The owner of Riverfront BBQ has nearly completed a renovation of a new patio and outdoor space downtown that he says he hopes will bring a more lively atmosphere at night.

The owner of Riverfront BBQ has nearly completed a renovation of a new patio and outdoor space downtown that he says he hopes will bring a more lively atmosphere at night.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Standing inside the covered building at the corner of Front Street and Broad Avenue, Dale Saunders gets a little nostalgic, remembering the times when he bought tires from a former business that once occupied the space.

Fast forward a few decades and Saunders, the owner of Riverfront Bar-B-Q, is transforming the space into the a place he hopes will be unique enough to draw people downtown for food, fun and music.

"We're going to have an open patio, an oyster bar, some cornhole games ... just a fun place for people to hangout and have fun," Saunders said. "We want to do something different than anything Albany has. And we've had so many people already come in and say, 'Hey we're going to enjoy this, this is kind of like New Orleans.'"

Saunders and his workers have been working over the last few weeks to get the area transformed from a dilapidated former garage to a venue he hopes will bring people in.

Saunders believes the area will be ready for his May 17 grand opening.

"We're in the process right now of fixing it and repainting the building," Saunders said. "We've worked it out so that you can sit out under the umbrellas or you can come inside and sit and enjoy yourself. It's going to be neat."

Downtown Manager and Albany-Dougherty Inner City Authority CEO Aaron Blair said what Saunders and property owner Bob Brooks have done is the ideal when it comes to downtown reinvestment.

"It's the most important thing that we can do," Blair said. "Our primary job is to promote private development and investment as much as we can."

Blair said that ADICA has chipped in about $10,000 through its facade grant program to aid Saunders and Brooks in their efforts, but he estimates the total transformation cost that will be funded privately could approach nearly $75,000.

"They're doing a lot of good work on those buildings and we hope it's something that is popular and catches on," Blair said.

Comments

waltspecht 1 year, 3 months ago

The RiverFront opens back up and now expands all because one lone TACO truck was going to be allowed to operate in the area without paying rent? Amazing what can happen when one feels their investment is threatened.

0

erock 1 year, 3 months ago

Albany and New Orleans are alike in numerous ways. Unfortunately, none of them are good. The thing New Orleans has going for them is they know this and focus most of their security in the French Quarter.

0

Amazed2 1 year, 3 months ago

New Orleans is a good place to get robbed raped and Murdered.

0

Amazed2 1 year, 3 months ago

Why not close off Front Street to car traffic and make it a Plaza. Allow bars to open like New Orleans French Quarter, allow Sleezy Strip Joints and allow Open Containers of Alcohol. Then Albany can work from there to grow more like New Orleans. I just don't think some chairs and tables sitting in the Hot South Ga. Sun. Soon be 95 to 100 degree summer. Gee let's go downtown swat some bats exact some oysters in June July August and sit in the heat.

0

Amazed2 1 year, 3 months ago

Why not close off Front Street to car traffic and make it a Plaza. Allow bars to open like New Orleans French Quarter, allow Sleezy Strip Joints and allow Open Containers of Alcohol. Then Albany can work from there to grow more like New Orleans. I just don't think some chairs and tables sitting in the Hot South Ga. Sun. Soon be 95 to 100 degree summer. Gee let's go downtown swat some nats eat some oysters in June July August and sit in the heat.

0

Somebody 1 year, 3 months ago

So you have one group trying to transform downtown to be like Atlanta (Which it will never be) now you have another group trying to give it a New Orleans flavor. What we need now is for someone to make Albany another Los Vegas.

0

agirl_25 1 year, 3 months ago

Wow.. ADICA only chipped in $10K? How come? Kind of a piddly amount, don't you think? Oh wait, I just figured out why they only gave them $10K. Slaps myself on forehead and says.."doh".

0

Amazed2 1 year, 3 months ago

Yea ADICA gave Luja's or whatever $50,000 and she was about 2 miles out if the downtown redevelopment district. Of course she according to the record eventually had to repay it. With some help I suspect. But now they or Blair are keeping it close and small$$.

0

FryarTuk 1 year, 3 months ago

What happened with that restaurant. I knew some folks that were interested in it. Has potential if operated soundly.

0

Amazed2 1 year, 3 months ago

One problem that Luja's did not plan for and that was most all the students especially the ones living on campus in the dorms are poor young people living on government programs of some level. They get vouchers for food on campus but not at what was supposed to be a upscale black restaurant and bar. Bad business planning but ADICA invested $50 OOO .

0

dingleberry 1 year, 3 months ago

Heck, the city also invested $100,000 through a subordinated DCED loan. Later, DCED bought out Capitol City's senior $100,000 note for an amount that no one talks about. The DA says we got the facade grant back but the loans are likely gone since she has filed for bankruptcy.

0

agirl_25 1 year, 3 months ago

Aw.....bankruptcy....everyone's friend....well not everyone. My son has a friend who was on his 3rd. Don't know how he managed but he did. I thought the law changed on bankruptcy in Georgia a while back?

0

agirl_25 1 year, 3 months ago

Was that one of the old ADICA manager's projects? Well when I say "project" I mean something else. Was it Don Buie? Did he ever go to jail? Wonder if any money was ever recovered from any of his (ad)ventures.

0

Amazed2 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes Son Buie was involved giving her $50,000 but word on the street was he had the approval of someone above him. According to reports the $50,000 was eventually paid back in installments. The restaurant basically got to a point it could not pay its bills and closed. She somehow paid ADICA money back???

0

agirl_25 1 year, 3 months ago

PS.....J.D....I am not being a nitpicker but when I go to Louisiana to visit my relatives we say "Nawlins"...they live there.

0

Sign in to comment