Metropolis Cafe plotting a really big move

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Metropolis Cafe has accumulated a large and loyal following since first opening in downtown Milledgeville back in 2009, a popular place for sure.

Too popular, perhaps.

The restaurant essentially has outgrown its current location at 138 North Wayne St, so its ownership group is eyeballing a new location that's not so far away. That "new location" is 111 North Wayne Street, most recently home to Antebellum's Attic, located between Ace Hardware and the Masonic Lodge.

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Although the ownership group hasn't closed on the new property and nothing is finalized, the Milledgeville City Council recently solved one piece of the financing puzzle, unanimously approving a $235,000 "low interest economic development loan" to the ownership group. The $235,000, according to the resolution, would be used to "demolish a non-historic section of that building and to reconstruct an outdoor dining corridor that connects to a restaurant and rental space."

Essentially, a portion of the building at 111 North Wayne, a specific portion on the Masonic lodge side as opposed to the Ace Hardware side, would be lopped off and demolished. From that point, the area would be redesigned as an open-air dining section for Metropolis.

THIS is the section of the building at 111 North Wayne Street slated to be demolished and repurposed as outdoor seating for the new Metropolis Cafe, assuming that everything goes to plan.  // Image courtesy of Google Earth


Getting back to the $235,000 loan from the City, it's referred to as the "Local Revolving Loan Fund," which is a pot of money originally given to the City government by the Department of Community Affairs. The goal of the program, according to Milledgeville MainStreet, is to "enhance downtown areas by providing below-market rate financing to fund capital projects in core historic downtown areas and adjacent historic neighborhoods."

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The first recipient of the Local Revolving Loan was Pendergast Properties for the renovation project at 117 West Hancock St., which gutted the old Grapevine Antiques and created a series of loft apartments and retail space. That retail space ultimately became The Local Yolkal and Firefly Boutique.

At some point last year, Pendergast Properties made the final loan payment, and all of the money was back in the City's coffers, which allowed City Council to choose a new recipient of the loan, which turned out to the be the Metropolis Cafe ownership group. The loan won't cover the entirety of the new Metropolis project, most notably the acquisition of the property, but it's definitely part of the financing puzzle.

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