He took a pivotal walk through downtown Macon. Now, five new spots are set to open
Entrepreneur Todd Miles said he’d been praying for guidance and direction when he took a walk through downtown Macon.
“I just came down to Macon just to walk around and clear my head,” said Miles, CEO of The Phoenix Group. “When I did, all of the sudden I started seeing all of these places that were available and went back to the Bible.
“And the Bible says that we’ll gain things that we didn’t build … and so all of the sudden all of these things started popping up and I started calling on them and they greeted us with open arms.”
Those things Miles envisioned include a new pub offering food and entertainment, a new Italian restaurant, a huge candy store, a new steakhouse and a new Louisiana-style restaurant featuring live jazz and dueling pianos.
All are under the umbrella of The Phoenix Group, which will operate them. The new pub is within days of opening.
Miles previously has owned several businesses in downtown Macon, including the former Cherry Street Scoops.
Miles, who’s from Atlanta and lives in Eatonton, expressed amazement at how much downtown Macon has changed in a short time.
Here’s a look at what’s coming under the umbrella of The Phoenix Group:
The Brickhouse Pub & Grub — This new spot is expected to open this month at 458 Second St. in the former Macon Beer Company location after an interior renovation and remodel.
Customers can expect chef-driven food, live entertainment Friday and Saturday nights on a back deck with a staging area, some adult gaming downstairs, pool tables, karaoke and trivia, Miles said.
The new spot is expected to serve wings, burgers, Philly cheese steaks, pizza and more. The pub also includes four bars, including a daiquiri bar and another that offers 50 craft beers on tap.
Tables for outside dining are expected to be set up in the front and the back.
The new venue is expected to be open from 11 a.m. to midnight daily. Food is expected to be served until closing every day, and the pub is expected to feature a Sunday brunch.
The downtown spot is a sister location to The Brickhouse Pub & Grub in Eatonton.
The Rabbits Hole — A high-end Cajun-Louisiana style restaurant is planned for the former Macon’s Dueling Piano Bar location at 570 Mulberry St. The space has undergone an interior renovation and remodel.
“Of course, we’re doing Cajun food, and we’ll offer a large variety of mixed drinks, especially cocktails,” Miles said. “And we’ll also have dueling pianos.”
The new restaurant is expected to be open Wednesday through Saturday, offering live jazz on Wednesday and Thursdays and dueling pianos on Friday and Saturday nights.
The reimagined space is expected to open in April, said Miles, who originally opened the piano bar in December of 2018, sold it in March 2022 and later took it back over. It has been closed about two to three months.
The new restaurant will be a sister location to The Rabbits Hole in Eatonton.
The Cotton Ranch — A high-end steakhouse is expected to open at 537 Cotton Ave. in the former La Bella Vita Italian Kitchen location.
“There is no live entertainment, but it’s pasture to table,” Miles said.
The food is expected to locally sourced from Georgia pastures and farms. The restaurant’s Wagyu beef is expected to come from L. Jacobs Farm, for example.
In addition to beef steak cuts, they’ll also offer lamb and some poultry. Sides will include loaded baked potatoes, sweet potatoes and fresh vegetables — all farm to table.
“That one is pretty much done,” Miles said. “It’s kind of a turnkey investment. We did replace the booths and all but it was already a beautiful place.”
He also expects to place tables outside in front of the restaurant.
The new steakhouse is expected to open in April.
Lucky Luciano — A new high-end Italian restaurant is planned for 455 Poplar St. in former Per Diem Market location.
Named after an Italian mobster, the restaurant will be located downstairs while the ground level where the entrance is located will be a large bar.
“The reason why we chose that name is because when we walked into this place, it’s got a beautiful ambiance,” Miles said. “When you walk downstairs, it gives you the whole feel of when you watched old movies when they had Italian restaurants kind of in a basement area of places and it just gives you that whole persona.”
Miles added, “When I was a kid and we used to go to Las Vegas, and in the old town, all the Italian restaurants were downstairs.”
The Italian restaurant is expected to open before the fall, he said.
“We’ve got to do a complete build up and restoration on that building,” Miles said. “That’s going to take us probably at least three months to do.”
Big Daddy Sweet Treats — A huge candy story and ice cream shop is planned for 476 Third St. in the former Kinetix location. The new spot is expected to have both a kids arcade and a party room for children downstairs.
“It will have a 200-and-something variety of bulk candy and it will also have 36 flavors of ice cream, and we’ve got the flat ice machine which actually lets us do rolled ice cream as well as mix the ice cream on the slab.
“We’ll also do all your popcorn — caramel popcorn, different flavors of popcorn. We have a caramelizer. We’ll have candy apples and a bunch of different chocolate covered treats.”
The new candy store and ice cream shop is targeted to open sometime in May.
During his pivotal walk, Miles said he experienced a bustling downtown.
“When you come down through there, it’s vibrant,” he said. “You see happiness. You see people who are just enjoying downtown Macon.”