Restaurant business broker Harry Johnson along with Callaghan’s Irish Social Club owner John Thompson are teaming up to reopen the historic Manci’s Antique Club located in Olde Towne, Daphne.

The 3,700-square-foot building located at 1715 Main St. will undergo a basic remodeling and the kitchen will be updated.

“The goal will be to create an Eastern Shore version of Callaghan’s in the iconic Manci’s location. While the name, theme, and history will continue to reflect the Manci’s tradition, the menu and musical acts will follow the same theme as Callaghan’s,” Johnson said.

The renovation will take several months and some of the decor will be sold prior to opening as the dining area will be remodeled to better accommodate live entertainment.

Johnson has previously developed and operated several of the Eastern Shore’s more popular restaurants, including Winslow’s Café, Pelican Pointe Grill and the Bluegill Restaurant. Thompson has hosted many of the area’s up and coming musicians, including some that have gone on to national fame such as Alabama Shakes, St Paul and the Broken Bones, Will Kimbrough and the Mulligan Brothers.

Randy Niemeyer of Ashurst and Niemeyer represented the Manci family and Gulf Coast Restaurant Brokers represented the buyers.

Commercial real estate moves
Opening in early June, Corner 251, formally the Admiral’s Corner, will be opening in the Admiral Semmes Hotel, 251 Government St. An array of coffee and espresso drinks will also be offered in partnership with Serda’s Coffee Company. Complementary iPads will be available to patrons for casual reading.

Additionally in June, the first 48 fully renovated rooms at the historic hotel will be open to the public for guest reservations.

Herrington Realty recently sold a 1.6 acre and a 1.4 acre lot near the new Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market located at 5301 Overlook Road for $1,062,000 to a developer. The investor is proposing to build retail stores and restaurants on the parcels. Vallas Realty, Inc. worked for the sellers.

A new Foosackly’s will be opening in the spring at the former Wendy’s restaurant in Daphne at U.S. Highway 98 and Interstate-10. The property will be leased from R and R Holdings. Matt Cummings with Cummings and Associates handled both sides of the transaction. According to owner Will Fusaiotti, plans are in place for an extensive remodel of the property.

Bead Harbor, a jewelry store, bead supply, and bead jewelry instruction establishment, has leased 1,320-square-feet at the Publix Center/Magnolia Place Shopping Center in Daphne. Michael Wilson and Sharon Wright with White-Spunner Realty handled the transaction.

1702 CEO workshop launches successfully
Last Wednesday, 1702 launched their nascent peer network of chief executive officers and business leaders in Mobile. Bringing a “Silicon Valley entrepreneurial DNA to Mobile” was one of the themes of the evening. Named as encomium to Mobile’s historic founding date and its “original entrepreneurs,” the event’s endgame is aimed at strengthening networks and building long-term successful companies.

Fourteen board of advisor members, considered thought leaders in the community, will offer ongoing mentorship and collaboration in a classroom environment with 24 of the local area’s more dynamic companies in the technology, aerospace, consumer and manufacturing sectors.

“1702 is about building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that will help with ideas to be able to launch, scale and build world-changing companies in a business friendly community. My vision is to see a 1702 Alumni Network that will support each other,” 1702 co-chairman and serial entrepreneur Dean Parker said.   

The class will meet monthly for eight months. Renowned speakers will cover a variety of topics, such as recruiting and retaining top talent, marketing and sales strategies, and building a board of directors.

“1702 is providing a much-needed local networking forum for the community’s top entrepreneurs at various stages of their business development. Fostering entrepreneurship is an important part of our community’s economic development strategy,” Bill Sisson, 1702 board member, president and CEO of the Mobile Chamber said.

In attendance as well was Mayor Stimpson to show city government support for commencement of the high-level small business forum. The keynote speaker for 1702’s kickoff event was Michael O’Neil Jr., founder and CEO of GetWellNetwork. O’Neil is a renowned, award-winning and passionate entrepreneur who built his company from the ground up.

Austal USA holds keel laying for USS Omaha
On Wednesday, Feb. 18 Austal and the Navy held a keel-laying ceremony for the future USS Omaha (LCS 12), the fourth Independence-variant LCS class ship built at Austal USA in Mobile under the 10 ship, $3.5 billion block buy contract awarded to Austal as prime contractor by the Navy in 2010.  

The ship’s sponsor, Ms. Susan Buffett, an Omaha, Nebraska native, American philanthropist and daughter of Warren Buffett, was unable to attend the event so Capt. Tom Anderson, LCS program manager, was present to authenticate the keel.

According to the press release, a traditional keel-laying ceremony marks the first significant milestone in the construction of the ship. Due to Austal’s modular approach to vessel manufacturing, all 37 modules used to form this 127 meter (419 foot) aluminum trimaran are already being fabricated. For Austal, keel-laying marks the start of the final assembly process.

Thirty-four modules have already been moved from Austal’s Module Manufacturing Facility (MMF) and erected in the final assembly bay in their pre-launch position. The remaining three modules will follow over the coming months.

South Baldwin Chamber Business of the Month
91-year-old Saint Benedict Catholic School in Elberta has been announced as the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce Business of the Month for February.

Classes use iPads and Samsung Chromebooks along with flexible small group strategies to meet the needs of children. Students also implement internet based technology programs, allowing the experience of using Google Docs for learning. Textbooks are accessed through computers in the classrooms.

According to the news release, teachers complete ongoing professional development programs that far exceed state standards. All middle school teachers are pre-AP trained through the College Board and Rice University, and a counselor and resource teacher are also available for targeted skills to ensure timely and comprehensive student support and enrichment.