Wed, April 24, 2024

CSRA native launches casual restaurant, bar in familiar location

Maguire Welsh grew up in Augusta, graduated from the Academy of Richmond County, and worked as a server at local restaurants before moving away seven years ago. When Welsh moved back to town last year, he decided to open his own casual dining restaurant and bar.

In late May, Welsh opened Midtown Tavern located at 1855 Central Ave. near Buona Caffe, which was most recently occupied by Soul City Pizza. The restaurant serves a variety of meals, including smash burgers, grilled salmon, and chicken tenders, as well as beer, wine, cocktails, and sodas.

“The concept is simply done right,” he said. “We’re not trying to compete with fine dining.”

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Welsh said his prices are reasonable, and customers can expect to pay less than $20 for a hamburger and a beer. He and his staff take pride in providing quality food for their customers.

“I joke that everything is homemade, except the ketchup,” Welsh said.

Its target market is professionals, between the ages of 25 and 35.

“I try to talk to people in that demographic,” he said.

So far, the customer feedback has been positive, and business has been steady, but Welsh is looking forward to the fall, when restaurants are typically busier than they are during the summer. He wanted to be open in time for Masters Week 2023, but he’s excited about next year’s tournament.

“For being a new restaurant, it’s going really well,” Welsh said.

He also provides event space for local organizations.

Prior to buying the building on Central Avenue, Welsh looked at a few other locations, including the former Mellow Mushroom building on Broad Street in downtown Augusta.

Before he decided to open a restaurant, he worked as an insurance adjuster, a lucrative job that he never really enjoyed.

“I did the job so I could earn the capital to do what I wanted to do,” Welsh said.

In opening Midtown Tavern, his career has come full circle. He used to work at two other restaurants that were previously housed in that same location: Crum’s on Central and Southbound Smokehouse.

“I enjoy the art of service,” Welsh said. “I wanted to build something of my own.”

The restaurant is open Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. For more information, visit midtowntavernaugusta.com/.

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