1. It’s a slice of spring break in Midtown. With a nine-flavor daiquiri bar, live music downstairs, a DJ upstairs, a sprawling patio with real palm trees, and deliberately tacky decor, it couldn’t be more different from posh Opera across the street.
2. It’s owned by Ace Amerson from MTV’s The Real World: Paris. Flip Flops is some-thing of a reality TV hangout. Fellow Real World-ers Chris “CT” Tamburello (Paris) and Cohutta Lee (Sydney) are regulars, and former Bachelorette DeAnna Pappas has been spotted there.
3. Amerson loved college so much he decided to stay there for seven years. He opened the first Flip Flops in Statesboro in 2000, when he was just twenty. “There was this beat-up building right beside my fraternity house. I had the greatest feeling about it—I used to break in and pretend where I wanted everything to be,” he recalls. “Finally I talked one of my fraternity brothers into it. I told him if he’d open up a club with me, girls would like him. He ended up meeting his wife there.”
4. The Midtown building, now painted a cheerful blue, dates back to the 1920s. Despite its prime location, it sat empty for two years before Amerson bought it. Upstairs is a “haunted room” where a man supposedly murdered his family, and down in the basement Amerson discovered a pair of faded black-and-white portraits hidden behind the fireplace—a token, he believes, of some long-ago illicit romance.
5. There are also Flip Flops in Carrollton, Columbus, and Valdosta. The local outpost skews a bit older—though no tamer—than its college-town counterparts. As Amerson tactfully sums up the singles scene, “It’s for young professionals, guys out of college who still haven’t met the girl they’re going to marry.” 1140 Crescent Avenue, myspace.com/flipflopsatl
Photograph by John Nowak