Entrepreneur Crush of the Week: Susan Bates

For many years, desolate, empty streets have accompanied our downtown area save the typical traffic resulting from the hustle & bustle of 9-5ers. A constant through the uncertainty that was the fate of Downtown Brunswick, Susan Bates has kept her arms open to locals and passersby alike, regardless of sexual orientation, race, age, background, & marital status. Evident is the vast changes that are taking place (& for that, we are all grateful) but like a light in the dark, Susan has managed to overcome Downtown Brunswick's extreme dormant phase - without a single scratch. Since March 2, 2012, Tipsy McSway's - a charming corner bar & grill with a unique & extremely genuine environment - has been a hangout spot for regulars or even a place to grab a quick bite for visitors while remaining one of the very few (if not only) venues for live music with a diverse range in genre, guest bartenders, local speakers/business owners, & members of the LGBT community. Susan's creativity & innovation, combined with her ability to remain true to herself left the community thirsting for more. But it wasn't until recently a group of visionaries began following Susan's lead.

Well respected & highly revered, Bates is a vital part of the community - a staple, even. She is quite hands-on both in her restaurant & out, hardworking (truly an understatement), & is constantly influencing other businesses, small & large. Together, she & Ed Hose created the character, Tipsy McSway while Ed brought the character to life - a character very well known throughout the Golden Isles. "I still feel like it was like capturing lightening in a bottle," Bates says. I've even seen other entrepreneurs credit her vision & clout in regards to their own business. Further, Tipsy McSway's hosts 1 Million Cups, best explained by Susan herself: "On the first Wednesday of every month, Tipsy's hosts 1,000,000 Cups of Coffee. It is an organization under the direction of Skip Mounts from the College of Coastal Georgia. The focus of the group is to highlight two entrepreneurs during the one hour meeting. The presentations are made to a room full of interested business people that offer advice & suggestions to the presenters. The meeting is incredibly dynamic & very well attended. It is open to the public."

A place to retreat, grow, influence & be influenced, Tipsy's is home to thousands (& THOUSANDS) of great memories, forever cherished by anyone who has stepped foot inside Susan Bates' restaurant. It is clear to see that anybody can open a store but timing & location is everything. & not everybody harnesses enough courage to remain a leader through even the hardest of times. Bates sees great expansion with her restaurant such as building renovations, building out her upstairs, adding another bathroom, & upgrading computers. She also wants her customers to be aware & encouraged by the new growth that is taking place as we watch additions be made such as the Richland Rum Distillery, a brand new pub, & a new restaurant from Chef Matthew Raiford.

One thing is guaranteed - Susan is here to stay & she will continue to find ways to pave the way for the rest of us. I am personally inspired by what she has accomplished in our community. Thank you Susan for EVERYTHING you do!

Go visit Susan & Tipsy McSway at 1414 Newcastle St, Brunswick, GA 31520!!!!