Recapping the most "interesting" Tuesday in Metropolis Cafe history


Tuesday was an extremely "interesting" day for Metropolis Cafe, for better and for crazier.

That morning, Florida YouTuber and first amendment auditor Jeff Gray posted his "Banned From Town Milledgeville Ga." video on Youtube, which he later changed to "Banned From Public Sidewalk Milledgeville Ga." For whatever reasons, some people who viewed the Youtube video decided that Metropolis' manager told the Milledgeville Police Department to trespass Gray from the business, even though that didn't appear to be the case.

All the while, it was Valentine's Day, always one of the busiest days of the year for Metropolis. By lunchtime, unfortunately, the phone was ringing off the hook with out-of-town phone numbers and angry Gray supporters. Instead of taking Valentine's reservations and to-go orders, restaurant employees were hearing about how they "hated veterans" and "didn't support the troops." It got to the point where the restaurant had to release an official statement on the matter.

Then, as if that wasn't enough, Tuesday was the day that the City Council was set to approve or deny Metropolis' revolving loan fund application, which the Metropolis ownership group has been planning to use towards its new locations further down North Wayne Street, next to the Masonic Lodge and most recently Auntie Bellum's Attic. 

In the end, the City Council that evening indeed approved the $235,000 loan, while the restaurant had a really big Valentine's night crowd, and the day ended better than it started for Metropolis.


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 Hall 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." 

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, and the City Council began accepting applications for a new recipient of the loan, which turned out to the be the Metropolis Cafe ownership group. 

Metropolis' ownership group is taking out larger loans, but the $235,000 loan from City Hall is definitely one piece of the financing puzzle. The $235,000, according to the City Council resolution, will 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."

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. // Image courtesy of Google Earth

Metropolis has accumulated a large and loyal following since first opening in downtown Milledgeville back in 2009, a popular place for sure. Too popular, perhaps, and the restaurant essentially has outgrown its current location at 138 North Wayne St. 

The target opening date for the new mega Metropolis is late 2023.

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