TIFTON — Terminal South held a ribbon cutting on Friday, Sept. 21.
The new bar, located at 265 Brumby Way, is owned and managed by Sonny Blevins and Casey Denny, two locals who wanted to bring something good to Tifton.
“We want to be more involved in the community and become a part of downtown Tifton,” Blevins said.
Blevins said that he has been managing bars in the Valdosta area for five years, but always had the dream of having his own place. He said that he and Denny had talked for years about taking over the location if the old place ever closed and making it better.
“Then it actually happened,” Blevins said. “We were the very first people to go meet with the landlord to get into this spot.”
The location was previously the location of The Gin, and while Blevins and Denny wanted to put Terminal South in the same location, they wanted to upgrade the space before opening.
“When we got the place, we decided it wasn’t up to par for what Tifton deserves,” Denny said. “So we spent a couple of months remodeling the building and making sure that everything here was nice.”
“There’s not a square foot in here that we didn’t try to make better,” Blevins added.
Denny and Blevins stripped everything out and took the space to bare bones before building it back up, relocating features, improving the flow of the space and bringing in flooring, furniture and decor that would tie in with the theme: trains.
The name, Terminal South, references the railroad, a spur of which runs right in front of the bar.
“We wanted to touch the heart of Tifton,” Denny said. “Tifton used to be a big depot town. A lot of people in town care about maintaining Tifton’s history and they make sure old buildings like these don’t get torn down.”
Blevins said that the Terminal Railroad Museum, which is across the railroad tracks from the bar, helped with inspiring the theme.
“We’re open to anything train-related,” Blevins said. “We’ve got high ceilings. We’ll hang it.”
Their goal is to entertain a variety of age groups, from the college crowd to young professionals to older people who want to come in and watch a game.
“We want them to come here because we have the good top shelf, because it’s clean. We added a bunch of TVs to make it kind of like a sports bar,” Denny said. “We offer pool tables and dart boards along with the live music.”
He said that while Thursdays are always going to be college night, they are hoping to attract an older crown on the weekends.
“Having something to do in Tifton during the weekends and on Thursdays is going to help ABAC,” Denny said. “They’ve got to have somewhere to go and Tifton doesn’t really offer that right now.”
Blevins said that while they are going to allow 18-year-olds in to enjoy the myriad entertainments, they are committed to doing everything they can to prevent any underage drinking, citing several layers of security to prevent not only the sale of alcohol to minors but also to make sure those of legal drinking age aren’t buying drinks for underaged patrons.
“We do our best to make sure no drinks are sold (to underaged patrons),” Blevins said. “If we find someone with a drink in their hand that (shouldn’t), we take their drink and make them leave.”
The official opening was the night before the ribbon cutting and both owners said it was very successful.
“We had a good turnout,” Denny said. “It was as good as we could have hoped for.”
The capacity of the location is right at 340 and opening night saw close to those numbers, according to Blevins.
Blevins and Denny have a variety of live music lined up, ranging from bands out of Athens to country musicians
“We’re going to have a lot of country talent coming through here,” Denny said.
Blevins said that the music they have lined up includes up-and-coming artists who are about to hit it big, such as Carter Winter, the first country artist to sign with Jay-Z’s label, Roc Nation, and Jameson Rodgers, who is going on tour with Luke Combs.
“If we have a band coming and we’re making it a big deal, it’s probably because they’re going to be on your radio next year,” Blevins said.
Initially the operating hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. but they are discussing adding days and hours and being open for football games.
Visit Terminal South’s Facebook page for more information.