Local 616 has not yet reopened since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, time that owner Dwayne Mitchell
is channeling towards two passion projects: writing music and designing masks.
"I grew up playing music from the time I was 12-years-old," said Mitchell, who recently wrote two new songs, both of which can be found on SoundCloud
. "Since I opened the bar, I was so busy with the day in and day out of running the bar, it left little time for me to just be."
The extended closure of Local 616 left Mitchell with the time to reconnect with Clint Fore, a classmate of his at Summerville High School. Mitchell played the trumpet and baritone horn, Fore was the section leader of the tubas.
The two lifelong friends aren't pulling out the brass instruments just yet, but they did team up to produce Mitchell's two songs, "Tree of Life" and "Diversion." Fore plays guitar on both of the songs that were written and composed by Mitchell.
To help combat the spread of the coronavirus, Mitchell is also partnering with The Midnight Society
and the Business Company to design the Local 616 "Dwayngel" Masks, which are available for purchase on their website
. One hundred percent of the proceeds from these masks will be donated to Local 616, and for each mask sold, The Midnight Society will also give three medical-grade masks to local hospitals in Charleston.
"To be able to express yourself is very important to me," Mitchell said. "So everything that has been happening in the world today and the past few months and years has been building inside of me and I needed to release those thoughts and ideas."