Apr 13, 2010

Save Smiley’s space

by Tiffany Edwards

“We made the same amount of money tonight as we do on a Friday that’s not too hot,” Smiley, the owner of the Drowsy Poet, said with a grin.

It was 10:45 on a Thursday night, just after a “Save the Drowsy Poet” music event organized by loyal Drowsy patrons and Roy Ellis, known as Smiley to his customers.

The past week has been a whirlwind of activity for the Drowsy Poet. Ellis had told some of his regular customers that if the Poet did not see an increase on business, he would have to close in less than a month. A Facebook group, “Save Smiley and the Drowsy Poet,” was created shortly afterward, and the week of April 7 has been full of events to raise money and awareness for the Drowsy Poet. The group’s “wall” is full of messages from the Drowsy Poet’s fan base, which praise everything from the owner and the atmosphere to the Poet’s signature Milton milkshakes.

“The Drowsy Poet is the only place that I feel welcome whenever I play music. If the Drowsy closes up, I will never forgive myself for letting it happen,” Liberty sophomore Joe Mielnicki said. “It’s the only place I know at the edge of campus, where all my best friends go to, and the Miltons are amazing. Smiley, please don’t close the place.”

The group has members from students at many area colleges, not just Liberty.

“That place was part of the reason I survived high school,” Virginia Tech sophomore Hailey Garbee said. “It was one of the places where my parents and my friend’s parents knew we would be safe and well taken care of. It’s how my best friend and I connected. Friday nights it was hard to find a seat. We need this place.”

Contact Tiffany Edwards
tredwards2@liberty.edu.
 


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