Hopes for hos­pi­tal­ity group in fu­ture

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

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.

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