Smyrna’s Drunk’n Baker closes its doors

The Drunk’n Baker in Smyrna, a combination bakery and coffee shop, opened in early 2015.

SMYRNA — You won’t be able to buy Bailey’s Irish Cream cake or banana Foster cupcakes on Main Street anymore.

According to Janet Forrest, the Drunk’n Baker has closed its doors.

The combination bakery and coffee shop she co-owns with her daughter, Breanne Blair, opened in early 2015. The business occupied the ground floor of a recently renovated historic building on the west corner of Commerce Street and Main streets in the heart of downtown Smyrna.

Ms. Forrest announced the news to her customers with a Sept. 11 Facebook post and followed up with a Facebook Live video to offer assurance that gift certificates would still be honored.

Ms. Forrest also noted that although the Drunk’n Baker’s physical location was closing down, they weren’t calling it quits.

“We’ve been working to secure some commercial space so we can still service events,” she said in the video. “We don’t know what the next step is — we’ve certainly had some generous offers from other towns, but everything requires money. Don’t count us out, and stay tuned.”

Although preferring not to discuss the reason for the closing, Ms. Forrest did describe it as “sudden” and “unexpected,” but also explained that a number of factors were involved.

They had been leasing the space on 1 N. Main Street.

To accommodate individual orders or honor gift certificates, Ms. Forrest said the Drunk’n Baker Facebook page is the ideal means of contact.

What’s next?

Sad to see the business close, Rick Ferrell, business and economic development consultant for Smyrna, remains optimistic about the commercial space itself.

“That space won’t sit empty for long,” he said. “The owners told me that their phone is already ringing. It’s a great sign when potential renters come to you so you can field the opportunity.”

Because the owners renovated the building in 2015, Mr. Ferrell says that attracting a new business to occupy the high-traffic area will be fairly simple.

“It was chronically vacant before it was fully renovated, I just don’t think that’ll be the case this time around because the space is so much more marketable with all the improvements it has,” he added.

Smyrna has seen a revitalization over the past few years with a number of new businesses coming in such as Painted Stave, Blue Earl Brewing Co., Brick Works Brewing and Eats, Slate Cafe and The Yarn Maven.

Although The Inn at Duck Creek, a restaurant on the same intersection as Drunk’n Baker, also recently closed, Mr. Ferrell feels these changes represent more of a hiccup rather than a downward business trend.

Over the summer, The Lemon Leaf Cafe and JR’s Past-Time Pub moved into the building vacated by The Inn at Duck Creek, and Mr. Ferrell says they’re doing well.

Mr. Ferrell said the Maverick Texas BBQ, a barbecue restaurant and live music venue in Smyrna, was in the process of its soft opening over the weekend.

He also pointed to The Yarn Maven already needing to move further up Commerce Street to a larger location to accommodate growth as another encouraging sign.

In July, The Odd Fellows Cafe on 34 Main Street closed up as well after three years in operation. According to their Facebook page, this move was to allow for them to reopen later this year as Sheppard’s Cuisine of Culture’s Cafe inside of the (also allegedly soon to open) Cobalt Manor — a bed and breakfast on 47 East Commerce Street.

Is the game of musical chairs that Smyrna businesses seem to be playing a sign of boom or bust? The answer will only be clear once the music stops.

 

Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at igronau@newszap.com

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