A lot of firsts are happening in the Columbus business world this year, from the city’s first microbrewery, which is set to serve craft brews any day now, to the first cat cafe, where coffee drinkers, yes, you guessed it, enjoy the company of furry feline friends along with a hot cup of joe.
Check out a roundup of those and other business updates:
Chattabrewchee microbrewery is open...technically
Columbus’ first microbrewery is technically open for business, co-owner Michael Denehy announced on Facebook this week.
He said he obtained the final permits necessary to open Chattabrewchee Southern Brewhouse on Thursday, and is just waiting for the fermentation process to conclude so he will have beverages to serve customers.
“We do need to get to the point where we’re brewing and we have enough beer,” Denehy said in a Facebook Live video. “That said, yes we are technically open. Open for customers, open for serving alcohol: not quite yet.”
Microbreweries and microdistilleries were not allowed in the city until earlier this year, when Columbus Council amended a local ordinance to allow operation of those businesses in certain zoning districts.
Denehy announced his plans to open the brewery, which he co-owns with his wife Kathy, following the vote. This is the second Chattabrewchee location in Georgia, the first still located in West Point.
The microbrewery is located at 1301 6th Avenue Suite C.
Demo work begins for uptown hotel
Demolition work has begun for the AC Hotel being constructed by Columbus-based RAM Hotels in the former Raymond Rowe building at 1235 Broadway.
Plans are for an upper-end Marriot property with 106 rooms.
Uptown Columbus President Ross Horner said the organization is excited to see progress continue in the 1200 block of Broadway with the addition of the $22 million investment.
“We have added over 10 businesses in that block in the last three years and multiple building renovations — this block has incredible energy and will be completely transformed over the next few years,” Horner said.
RAM Hotels management have not released a targeted opening date yet for the hotel.
According to their website, they manage or are developing 24 properties in Georgia and Alabama, including the Phenix City Courtyard Marriott, which is also in walking distance of the riverfront.
Cat Cafe in the works at the Landings
One of the more unique business ventures to target Columbus of late, Alley Cat Cafe Coffee House is looking at a late fall opening in The Landings shopping center.
There, guests will be able to interact with felines in a room that will house adoptable homeless shelter cats, according to co-owner Allison Lawson. The cats will live at the cafe.
Lawson said she and her husband Justin moved to the area after he retired from 23 years in the military.
“We chose this to raise awareness on cat behavior, and the growing problem of homeless pets,” Lawson said in an email. “We want to save as many cats as possible.”
Black Rifle Coffee and light pastries will be served.
The cafe will be located at 5592 Whitesville Road Suite F.
Five Below sets opening date
Columbus’ first and only Five Below Store has announced a grand opening date of September 6.
The store is set to open in the Columbus Park Crossing shopping center next to Ulta.
Five Below is a discount store where the items cost up to $5.
The address is 5550 Whittlesey Boulevard.
Torrid now open
Plus-sized women’s fashion store Torrid recently reopened in a new location in the Columbus Park Crossing shopping center on Whittlesey Boulevard.
The store first opened in Peachtree Mall on Manchester Expressway in 2012.
The new address is 5550 Whittlesey Boulevard. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12 to 6 p.m. Sundays.