Hopes for hospitality group in future
While Studio No. 7 has seen success, the venture hasn’t escaped its occasional challenges. For starters, Adams explained, a fire the day after their opening shut the business down for roughly two years. And even after the business began to thrive, Adams said he experienced a gnawing feeling that he wasn’t quite following his dream. He began thinking back to a business concept he’d come up with years before, and soon was ready to renew the idea.
“I stopped working at Studio No. 7 regularly back in October 2015 because I was ready to do something different - something that I had actually created,” he said, adding that he was also inspired by his own experiences around the city.
He pointed to a lack of diversity in LGBT-marketed spaces, where the venues look the same and the patrons often do too. Outside the community, he said, LGBT people can find themselves feeling less than welcome.
He said the issue is particularly acute in the black community.
“There are a number of black-owned spac- es, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re always as inclusive,” he said. “I want to affirm us. I want to feel like this is a place to go - I feel welcome, I feel celebrated when I’m here.”
Adams previously channeled that communal attitude into forming a nonprofit that helped prepare youth for college. His Baldwin’s venture is just the flip side of the same community service coin, he said.
“What is going to make Baldwin’s distinct is that Baldwin’s is a space that is built out of a community response,” he said.
Down the road, Adams said he hopes to have a hospitality group of posh restaurants, intimate bars and boutique hotels. He encourages other up-and-coming businesspersons to get ready for long nights, find a mentor and always have a plan B.
As for him, Adams doesn’t plan on reigning in his ambitions anytime soon. Can Atlanta handle all of his goals? Adams believes so.