Some local folks are hoping to breathe new life into one of Fayetteville’s longest running watering holes.
Maxine’s Tap Room, originally opened in 1950 by the late Maxine Miller, will soon be under the management of local business owners Rebekah Champagne (Terra Tots), Matt Champagne (Hammer And Chisel), and Ben Gitchel and Hannah Withers (Little Bread Co.).
The group said they hope to restore the bar to some of its 1950′s glory.
“We love this street, and we’re already invested in the neighborhood,” said Rebekah Champagne, who is also in the process of moving Terra Tots from the Mill District to a space on the west side of the Fayetteville square. “We can’t wait to help build the night life on Block Avenue.”
The group will keep the Maxine’s name. The plan, Withers said, is to honor Miller’s memory by continuing some of her traditions while building on the history already inherent in the long-time Block Avenue establishment.
“We’re going for a casual, classy place to stop in and have a drink,” Withers said. “We have lots of dive bars in town that we love, and lots of fancy fine dining bars to get dressed up for, and very few places that fall in between the two.”
Andrea Foren, Miller’s great niece who inherited the bar in 2006, said that while it’s difficult for her to let go of the space, she feels like it’s in good hands.
“Maxine’s is one of the most precious things in my life,” she said. “While the decision for me is very emotional, it is what is best for Maxine’s and I am truly very fortunate. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to give Maxine’s a chance to grow, continue, and become even more of a tradition for Fayetteville for years to come.”
The new management team signed a lease for the space on Friday.
Withers said the bar will be closed for about six weeks for interior and exterior renovations. The goal, she said, is to be back up and running by early April.