New Hotel and Nightclub scheduled to Open on Railroad Avenue and Gaines Street


Written by: Mariah Depass

November 19, 2017

Railroad Avenue has been the home of major redevelopment projects here in Tallahassee. The most recent has been The Hampton Inn & Suites and GVO nightclub.

According,; the real estate development company; The Hampton Inn & Suites will open by 2018. The hotel will consist of 124 rooms and nearly 80,000 square feet of space as well as an outdoor pool and a 24/7 fitness center. The new hotel on Railroad Avenue, is only 5 miles away from Tallahassee Regional Airport and just walking distance from FAMU and the Donald Tucker Civic Center. Though still under construction, Hampton Inn & Suites is currently accepting reservations for March 18, 2018 and beyond.

Khalid Mahmood, owner of the Sunoco gas station at the intersection of Railroad Avenue and Gaines Street, said about the Hampton Inn construction, “it’s more commercialized but personally it’s better because I’m gaining more customers.”

He said, “they’re building a beer garden across the street. For my business, that will be really good.”

The building across the street from Sunoco has opened, closed, and reopened many times over the years. If you were there just a few years ago, you might’ve enjoyed the ambiance of The Crepevine, or even had a kick back or two at the Sidebar Theatre. Recently, Florida State University alumnus, Eric Kemp, has transformed the space yet again. Kemp, CEO of GVO (Good Vibes Only), said that the space will be opening up soon.
Attached to Scratch House, a boutique nightclub that opened in September, GVO’s outside lounge features a beer garden with oversized games such as Jenga, Connect 4, Twister and an adult seesaw. The outside of the building is covered in murals.

Kemp said, “the art garden is intended to be a relaxing atmosphere where you can lounge in a hammocks and enjoy the carefree aura.”

GVO plans to incorporate live music into the nightclub since the part of the building where Scratch House will be was previously the Sidebar Theatre.

GVO/Scratch House will also be the first venue in Tallahassee with a designated Uber/Lyft lane. The age restriction is 18+ for girls and 21+ for guys. GVO and the beer garden will be open on Saturday nights and for happy hour specials on Fridays. Scratch House will be open on Saturday nights and also on Friday nights before home football games.

With the new hotel and nightclub opening on the same street, Tallahassee can expect a boost in revenue and tourist activity especially around graduation season. This comes right at the cusp of the completion of the FAMU Way project which will drastically change traffic on the south side by adding roundabouts from Pinellas Street to Gamble Street. Some residents believe this is gentrification at it finest while some are excited about the changes. All in all, only time will tell what the south side of Tallahassee will become.

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