From strip club to irish pub

What's in a name?


Ask the owner of Tipsey McStumbles.

You read that right. Downtown will soon see the addition of an Irish pub on Seventh Street in the former site of topless bar Baby Dolls, behind the Commerce Building.

"I just thought it was a catchy name. The name exudes a good time," said owner Mike Anglin, who also owns The Bee Hive, a stalled bar and restaurant in the 900 block of Broad Street.

Remodeling on Tipsey's has already begun, which will keep Mr. Anglin occupied while he waits for The Bee Hive project to get moving. It has sat idle for months because of setbacks getting architectural plans approved. He said he's not sure when the project will be back on track.

Mr. Anglin said Tipsey McStumbles could open as early as July 1 to catch the First Friday traffic, but is more likely to open in mid-July. He has already applied for his alcohol permit and plans to submit his building plans by next week.

Most of the 1,150-square-foot space will be gutted, including the bar, stage, heating and air system and the electrical wiring. Still, he said, he plans to preserve and frame a few artifacts from Baby Dolls, such as photos or trinkets.

"Just for a little bit of history," he said jokingly.

Though he still needs approval from Historic Augusta, he plans to let sunlight into the dark space by opening up the bricked-in windows.

"Just getting natural light in here will make a big difference," he said.

He said he also plans to change the now cotton candy pink stucco to more traditional Irish colors, such as gold, blue or green.

The ceiling - on which he will install filters to absorb cigarette smoke - will be raised about 3 to four feet to open up a small space, which should hold between 60 and 75 people.

Mr. Anglin hasn't decided whether he'll open during lunch or serve inexpensive cafe meals during the day.

Either way he plans to keep only "true" Irish beers on draft. Domestic beer will be available in bottles at the bar, which also will serve liquor.

Tipsey's, which should hire eight to 10 staffers, will have a slightly upscale decor similar to that of the Stillwater Tap Room, so that someone in flip-flops feels just as welcome as someone donning open-toed Guccis.

He said he would also like to create a small stage area for local acoustic cover song performers.

He said he's been working to buy the building for close to two months, though he wouldn't disclose the price, except to say that the investment in Tipsey's and The Bee Hive will be about $500,000.

Reach Laura Youngs at (706) 823-3227 or