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Ordinances block sports bar's opening
old sunken dance floor
Work inside the club covered a sunken dance floor, among the renovations. - photo by Photo by Alena Parker.
“It’s not a dance club,” said Jodee Carlen-Adams, owner of The Coliseum.
Closed for about 10 years, the Starlight Lounge behind Jennifer’s Big Apple has gone through a lot of changes to become the Coliseum, and its owners hope it will soon be Hinesville’s newest sports bar and pool hall.
Some discrepancies between the city and the Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission over how many parking spaces are needed have put the bar’s opening on hold.
Carlen-Adams is turning the club around with her husband Tyrone Adams, better known as Ice.
“It’s not going to be the jumping, bumping music,” Adams said, explaining how the old sunken dance floor has been raised up to be used for games.
“There’s going to be music, but it’s going to be down to a respectable level.”
It took nearly a year to jump through all the hoops, according to Carlen-Adams, and city council approved the business license last Thursday.
However, the LCPC applied the stricter Class III business license requirements when The Coliseum was only applying for a Class IV license.
That would have required the bar to have 216 parking spaces, one parking space for every two people, versus the 126 parking spots now.
“The confusing thing about it is when they wrote the Class IV business license, they didn’t change the parking ordinance for the Class IV,” Ice said.
The Adams appealed the LCPC recommendation earlier this month after their work suspension from LCPC was released.
“So we filed an appeal with the city council and went before them and let them settle it,” Carlen-Adams said.
“City council agreed with us, that we had enough parking spaces,” Ice added.
To make for additional parking, the bar’s owner purchased more land behind the club.
LCPC director Sonny Timmerman contested during the May 19 meeting that county ordinance calls for the business parking to be on the same lot of the building.
“We basically have to disapprove that petition based on that ordinance,” Timmerman said, adding he wanted to make sure there was no special treatment.
“It says one parcel. It doesn’t say how you put that parcel together,” said LCPC chairman Don Hartley. “We’re getting into wordsmithing and I don’t think we want to do that.”
The bar’s entrance will be at the additional parking lot, off General Stewart Way instead of the highway. And Carlen-Adams explained there will be a walkway to connect the two parking lots to the building.
Besides sport-themed murals, the club’s interior is being completely revamped with a bistro-style eating area open for lunch and several game rooms complete with pool tables, game tables and big-screen TVs.
Adams didn’t want to say how much they put into the project, but mentioned they spent $14,000 on about 30 TVs — most 65 inches.
The Adams want the Coliseum to be a place where people can watch sports games and have a nice time without the negative atmosphere of most clubs.
“It’s going to be like nothing you’ve seen,” Tyrone said. “It’s nothing Hinesville’s seen before. It’s not your regular sports bar.”
And they want everyone to feel welcomed.
“We’re not just for one crowd. We’re trying to get the difference,” Carlen-Adams said.
The Coliseum is set to open to July 4, “as long as everything goes OK.”

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