Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar plans to open a business – an event venue named Peachtree on Main with an alcoholic beverages license he has applied for – at 39-A West Main Street.
The currently vacant storefront previously was half of a used furniture store called Humble Abodes.
“I’m putting a small event venue into that space,” McCollar said in a phone call last week. “It’s a space where you could have wedding receptions, maybe a small comedy show or a small band or something like that to come in and play.”
He and his wife, Adrianne McCollar, will own the business, which they hope to open around April 19 but have yet to confirm a date, he said.
Jonathan McCollar filed an application Feb. 12 for a city of Statesboro occupational tax certificate, commonly referred to as a business license. He also submitted an application showing the same date for an alcoholic beverages license, in fact for a Classes D, E and F license for beer, wine and liquor by the drink and a Sunday sales permit.
After being reviewed by police and fire department representatives and other city staff, the new alcoholic beverages license will have to be presented to City Council for approval. It was not on Tuesday’s agenda but would be slated for a later meeting.
The Statesboro Herald filed an open records request last week for the license applications and received these Monday. On the “business owner(s)” line of a the occupational tax application, McCollar’s handwritten name was followed by a backslash and a scribble where another named had apparently been marked out, and the ”partnership” and “LLC” boxes were checked underneath. A city staff member said the form was submitted this way.
“We initially were going to have a partner, but some circumstances came up and we decided to move forward with it alone,” McCollar said last week.
Both Jonathan and Adrianne McCollar are administrative Georgia Southern University employees, she at the Statesboro campus and he at the Liberty campus in Hinesville. The McCollars previously owned a business here, Jumping Jay’s Inflatables, furnishing children’s amusements for special events and storing the items in their home garage.
“And we do events all the time,” he said. “As a matter of fact, we just had our Mayoral Ball.”
The ball, on March 9 at the Home Builders Association of Statesboro building on Merchants Way, was sponsored by his campaign supporters, he said. Tickets were sold, and about 200 people attended. A similar, inaugural ball was held before McCollar took office in January 2018.
Statesboro’s Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance and state law hold license holders responsible, as far as potential loss of the license, for employees serving to underage guests and other violations.
Asked if he is concerned about becoming an alcohol licensee while mayor, McCollar said the particular type of business and the owners’ attention to it should limit the risk.
“Of course there’s always concerns as it relates to those matters, but at the end of the day, I believe that when you put the right pieces in place, it can really cut down on that, and I think the thing that really works in our favor is that whenever there’s going to be an event, it will be our people that are on the door, and it will be our people at the bar.”
The room, which measures about 2,500 square feet, could be rented for business events during the week, with larger events to be staffed and mainly on weekends, he said. Tickets will be required for any events that are open to the public, he said.
Baby showers, birthday parties, and again, wedding receptions are typical events he envisions.
“That’s what’s going to be in this venue,” he said. “It’s not going to be anything too outlandish.”
The mayor suggested that he is putting his money where his mouth is by investing in a business in downtown Statesboro.
“I want to see us have a vibrant downtown, and I can’t ask other entrepreneurs to take risks that I’m not willing to, and I believe in our city enough that I’m wanting to invest into our downtown and bring more people to that area,” McCollar said.
The fee elements checked on the alcohol license application, $1,425 each for beer, wine and liquor by the drink plus $300 for a Sunday sales permit would add up to $4,575. The occupational tax, administration and application fees shown on the business license application total $155.
However, because the location is within the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority’s incentive district, all of these fees will be automatically waived the first year, as DSDA Executive Director Allen Muldrew confirmed.
“He doesn’t specifically have to ask for a waiver because it’s automatically given in the incentive package for the district. …,” Muldrew said. “If he wants to open up a business, we like that. We want anybody as long as you’re legal, moral and supportive of downtown. We wish him the best.”
McCollar is leasing 39-A West Main. Plan C Investments LLC is the property owner, and has been since March 31, 2017, according to property tax record. Before it was subdivided and before Humble Abodes, 39 W. Main was the Statesboro Carpet and Tile store.
Next door, 39-B is now a consignment boutique. On the other side of 39-A is the Center for Performing Arts and Whitaker Black Box Theater, an Averitt Center for the Arts facility.
Herald reporter Al Hackle may be reached at (912) 489-9458.