• Last modified 663 days ago (Aug. 21, 2019)


Beer garden offers long-term opportunity

Staff writer

When Jimmy Shipman opens The Rabbit Hole as a beer garden for Labor Day weekend, it will be with the hope of greater things.

“It’ll offer somewhere else to go, at least,” he said. “There’s no straight-up bar around.”

There is a market for The Rabbit Hole because every other bar in Marion County serves a different primary purpose, he said.

His goal is to make the bar a social destination with live music, as well as horseshoes and corn hole in an attached yard.

Florence City Council approved Shipman’s permit for Aug. 31 through Sept. 2 at Monday’s meeting.

“It’s a good thing,” councilman Ken Hoffman said. “I have nothing against a bar, and it’ll generate some tax dollars. It gives people somewhere to go.”

Before Shipman can open the business full-time, a resolution needs to be passed by the council, and he will need approval from the county and state.

Shipman has two years invested in the project, redoing countertops, bringing in new seating, and deer mounts for wall decoration.

“The building came available and we needed something in town,” he said.

Hoffman expressed confidence in knowing how long Shipman has been investing time for the project.

“They’ve put a lot of time and effort into getting it to this point,” he said. “They’ve worked for donations and I donated a water tank. You do what you can to help. I hope they manage it right, and that it grows into something bigger and better.”

Cindy Slater also said she wanted to improve the outlook in Florence, seeking approval to paint the city building’s interior.

“They do look dingy,” she said. “If I scrub them, I’ll scrub the paint off.”

The council approved up to $1,000 for supplies, and paying Cindy Slater up to $10 an hour for labor.

Slater should look into becoming a bonded employee, councilman Trayce Warner said.

“It would be protection, not only for us, but for you,” she said. “Ninety dollars is a pretty minimal investment for the amount of protection.”

Last modified Aug. 21, 2019