This semester, there are several new downtown businesses for GC students and Milledgeville locals to enjoy. JellyBeans Frozen Yogurt, Ned Kelly’s Down Under and Tansanville Sports Bar each bring something new to the downtown environment.
JellyBeans Frozen Yogurt is downtown’s latest sweet spot. Anyone looking for a taste of delicious and customizable frozen yogurt, a bright and colorful vintage environment and friendly employees should stop by JellyBeans. Located across from Ned Kelly’s, or commonly known as Capital, JellyBeans is in perfect walking distance for students to reward themselves with sweet desserts after a long day of classes.
“It’s a very relaxed and colorful environment,” said Ron Mohammed, the owner of JellyBeans. “We have frozen yogurt, pastries and coffee. JellyBeans is catered to anyone with a fun personality.”
This frozen yogurt store opened June 2019. Locals enjoyed treats over the summer, and GC students checked out the new restaurant once classes were back in session. To keep business flowing during the winter season, Mohammed is utilizing a variety of daily promotions including a free donut Wednesday.
Jada Collins, a senior mass communications major, discovered JellyBeans on Milledgeville’s “First Friday” event in September.
“It was really good,” Collins said. “It’s a cute, bright and colorful environment with great, customizable desserts and fruit options. More people should go—not a lot of people know about it and it’s a shame!”
Mohammed encourages GC students to stop by with special, student-catered group outreach events. If a group, club or nonprofit wants to use JellyBeans for a meeting space or group bonding experience, JellyBeans will offer a 15 to 20 percent discount back.
“I’d like to encourage the student population to stop by, come and introduce yourselves and come to know our team,” Mohammed said. “We want to support the student population since they are our biggest customers. We want to make sure that while you’re at college, you have a good experience even in the community and feel welcome and a part of our business.”
After a sweet afternoon treat, students and locals can sit down at Ned Kelly’s Down Under. This is an Australian-themed bar and grill-styled restaurant with upscale pub grub food. It’s leased by Tavern, one of the previous restaurants on 119 S. Wayne St. location.
Ned Kelly’s and Reel Grill are both managed by Ben Cook. After working with Reel Grill owner Michael Crawford, the two decided that they wanted to find a location for a new restaurant. Cook and Crawford looked at 13 different places until they found the old Tavern/Chops restaurant.
“We have a lot of regular guests that come to see us and we have a lot of college students,” Cook said. “We also have a lot of the 30+ crowd that knew Chops back in the day and have returned because it’s such a beautiful space. They’ve come back and they really seem to enjoy being able to go back to their roots.”
Ned Kelly’s is one of downtown Milledgeville’s newest restaurants. It opened on January 12, but the restaurant has already gotten the attention of many students and locals. Bands and artists such as Highway 49 and DJ/producer Rafasan have played for Thursday and Saturday night crowds.
Ned Kelly’s focuses on its signature burgers, which are named after Australian celebrities. It also has daily drink specials, which Cook plans to increase as football and basketball season comes around. More business plans include expanding the restaurant’s seating and activities.
“We plan on opening up a back area for outside area,” Cook said. “We’re also looking into doing something with a private dining area, whether it’s games or pong tournaments. We’re still growing -- we just opened. We haven’t even started yet.”
Another new and popular nightlife destination is Tansanville Sports Bar -- otherwise dubbed “pool bar” by GC students. Tansanville is Milledgeville’s only pool hall and offers students and locals an alternate approach to the typical downtown experience.
Tansanville opened on DeepRoots in 2019. Bartender Cleathor McCormick started working for the pool hall several days later.
“It’s really relaxed,” McCormick said. “We have the older pool players who come in during the day time. We also get the mix of younger college kids who like to come in and play pool -- more so of a hangout spot.”
For pool players, Tansanville offers game leagues on Wednesdays and tournaments on Sundays. Other fun aspects of this vintage-styled bar include its jukebox, a ping pong table and a golf arcade game.
Its pool hall and relaxed nightlife environment are Tansanville’s main pulls, but it also offers Vietnamese-styled finger foods. Owner Salvyn Pez wants to bring part of his Vietnamese tradition to the menu.
However, one roadblock to Tansanville’s success is its location on 120 W. Greene St., which is a block away from most downtown bars and restaurants.
“I work at Bollywood, too, and we see a lot more foot traffic on the main strip since there’s a cluster of a bunch of restaurants,” McCormick said. “Then you have this place, which is the next block over. I would imagine that if Tansanville was located where Velvet Elvis was, it would be a lot busier.”
However, students appreciate their new “pool bar” spot. Parker Woods, a junior history major, enjoys coming to Tansanville with her friends.
“I think it’s a fun place to go hang out with friends and actually get to talk while playing games,” Woods said. “There isn’t another place downtown where you can hold conversations with multiple people like you can there.”