Saturday, October 28, 2006

Club Onyxx = BOBO

I live in Fayetteville, GA. It is a small town to the south of Atlanta. Last year reports indicated that the Black people living in Fayetteville have a higher average income than do the White people. In truth there is a relatively small population of Blacks around town, though growing. The much larger and more economically spread White community has more wealthy people but the median number is brought down by the income diversity in their community. We Blacks have moved to this suburban community mostly to take advantage of the quality school system.

In 2005 I saw the building that initially housed the Shonney's Restaurant and later the "Hooters" but had been abandoned for more than a year receive a significant face lift. I saw stones being plastered on to the facade. Though the window I saw intimate lighting going in and a new bar that was stocked with wine and liquor. Finally I saw the brushed steel sign go up indicating the name of the new establishment "Onyxx"

I could read between the lines and figure that this place was the Black owned, high end dining venue that we had long dreamed of in our community that is rapidly changing.

Fayette county is bordered by both Clayton County and Fulton County to the north. The current "restaurant row" in Fayette is heavily populated with Black dinners driving down from the north which make up about 50% of their revenues. The challenge will be to get these diners to drive about 1/4 of a mile further south to keep this new restaurant afloat.

Onyxx had a delay in opening from the completion of their construction for about a year. Fayette is known for being strict with their liquor licenses. It was easy to see that this was the hold up. This is a hurdle that many new entrants can not cross because they are paying the lease on the property and any loans on the construction all the while the business is idle.

Last night took my wife and next door neighbor to the grand opening of Onyxx. It is an upscale restaurant with live jazz on Friday and Saturday. A total of 7 people sat at our table and we enjoyed the food and the music. A total of 20 guests supported the place. This was good for starters but will not be sufficient to keep all of the staff employed and the place running over the long term.

I called the owner over to talk to him. I had talked to him about 3 weeks ago after seeing signs of life at the place. He told me that his grand opening would be October 27. Last night I asked him "what does he need from us to keep this thing going". He said we needed to spread the word and tell people that this is a nice place to have an enjoyable evening within a quality atmosphere.

I enjoyed the fact that the jazz band was taking requests from the audience. I first got them to acknowledge my wife's birthday with a Reggae song. Later on they brought down the house with their rendition of "A Love Supreme" that I requested.

I am going to do my part to keep this Black Owned, Black Operated businessas a functioning concern as long as is possible.


St. James said...

This sounds like a great place. A friend of mne who lives in Washington DC actually recommended the place for me and I am going to go take a look.

Anonymous said...

I live in Fayette county and have seen this place, but rarely see cars in the lot. I am planning to visit and have recommended to friends. However, what's up with the website? I've been trying it for a year with no luck.

Anonymous said...

FYI: the owners of Onyxx Restaurant have declared bankruptcy.

Constructive Feedback said...

Did they really declare bankrupcy? I was just there the other day. I talk with the owning couple every time. They indicate that while they are still not where they want to be - there was no mention of bankrupcy or shutting down. Please detail the source of your claim.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they did declare bankruptcy. I have confirmed knowledge of this as I have seen the official letter sent to all venders (including myself) stating that the debts are being handled by the bankruptcy court.

I would love to state my source, and how I know this information, however I am too close to the owners and need not be named at this time.

Constructive Feedback said...

Your initial, unsubstantiated post seemed like spam from a "hater".

I'll have to accept your information for now, keep an eye on the restaurant and insure that I support them as much as I can. I would hate to see them go away.

The crowds on M,T,W don't seem adequate to sustain them. T,F,S is when they have live entertainment. I told the owner that they needed to focus on building a local base of supporters by advertising in the Fayette and Clayton local newspapers. Word of mouth advertising at times does not kick in until too late.


Angel Cakes said...

Well i have been living in Fayetteville for over a year now and always seen that place, but never see cars outside...until i got a message off of myspace telling me about comedy nights on wed. starting from July 18, 2007...and they leave me a contact number, so i called them up and spoke with the guy and he said they been open for a while now, and they play jazz and now they are starting this comedy thing every 2night I will be attending.

Anonymous said...

In keeping with what I had posted before, Onyxx has shut down. The site is now down. Marcus Jenkins, Cynthia's husband and owner of Onyxx is in federal jail on counts of bank fraud.

Constructive Feedback said...


I hear ya. I am saddened by the loss of this venue in the area. I pushed it to my friends, both in the city and elsewhere as a nice place to eat, have a drink and listen to some music.

I know that they spent a lot of money in first opening the place without having an established following before hand. Then they seemingly had a 1 year delay in obtaining the liquor license (from my view outside looking in). Thus they had the place built out but were not bringing in revenues. They were likely in the hole before the doors officially opened.

I went past "Ocean Flavors" up the street in Jonesboro. They too attempted an upscale eatery in a community that seemed like it would support the cause on paper. They have live music on the weekends and have scaled their operating hours from Friday to Sunday. (This is assuming that they still are open because this is what the sign on the door said).

I am sad that this brother is locked up on bank fraud charges. He seemed like a down to earth guy. I heard assorted rumors about conflict between he and his wife, the co-owner. It seems that everyone I talk to has a different piece of the story to tell.

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