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Saturday, Sep 25, 2021

Downtown Macon restaurant offers outdoor hookah section, belly dancers

Macon’s newest downtown eatery, Roasted Café & Lounge, is sure to be the next local hangout for Mercer students.

The owner, Nick Rizkalla, who is originally from Los Angeles and a recent alumnus of Mercer University, opened the store three weeks ago. He came to Macon six years ago and decided to stay, believing in the potential of downtown.

The café, located at 422 Second St., sells freshly brewed coffee, lattés, milkshakes, pastries, sandwiches and a signature drink called the Date Shake, which mixes dates in a vanilla milkshake.

The lounge just received its liquor license and now offers a mixture of wines and beers. Some brands include Coors Light, Bud Light and Yuengling.

Comfortable seating and plasma televisions make it an ideal space to watch sporting events, as was done this past Saturday for the Georgia-Florida game. Students will also be enthused to hear Roasted Café & Lounge has free Wi-Fi.

Rizkalla told the Macon Telegraph that the walls would feature art from local artists. “We’re also going to do art-showing parties and keep the art on display ... for sale ... to show support for local artists. There are a lot (of local artists) here that don’t get seen,” Rizkalla said.

The most distinctive piece of the café is the incorporation of hookah, a concept that has yet to join any other restaurant or bar in downtown Macon. Hookah, an instrument used to smoke tobacco, will be made available in the evenings by the lounge using a variety of tobacco flavors.

The cafe cannot allow smoking of the hookah inside their lounge, in accordance with Georgia law, but they are providing seating outside with heating where the hookah can be smoked.

Turkish and Cuban coffee is another interesting quirk of this laid back joint. Rizkalla says to play up the Middle Eastern theme of the Turkish drink he will bring in belly dancers once a month to perform.

“We are going to have acoustic acts come through. We want to make it a low key thing,” said Rizkalla. The lounge has a stage sectioned off for artists to come in and perform. The café plans to have Mercer acoustic acts once a week.

On a larger scale, Megan Jean and the KFB will be performing Dec. 9th at the café. The band has been touring the Southeast for the past few years and will grace the Roasted Café with a sweet sound of American roots and gypsy style.

Promotions for the store can be easily accessed on their Facebook page.

A recent drink deal has been prompted by “checking in” to the café on the social media website. Among the blitz are happy hours that extend to 8 p.m. and mimosas offered up for free during specified hours.

The café will be open Mon. to Fri. at 8 a.m., and Thursday to Saturday they will close at 11 p.m. However, the café will be flexible if people are still relaxing at closing time.


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