Photo Credit: Flying Biscuit
Sometime this year, Athens will open a branch of Atlanta-based franchise the Flying Biscuit Café, on Prince Avenue, in the development under construction by the now-Walgreen's across the street from Piedmont Athens Regional. The building will include office and retail space. Founded in 1993 in Atlanta's Candler Park neighborhood, the restaurant began franchising some years ago and has a slew of locations. Its menu, as you might expect, is biscuit-based, with lots of gluten-free options.
Photo Credit: Independent Baking Co./Facebook
When it opened six-plus years ago, it was clear from the start that Independent Baking Co., in Five Points, was something pretty special: a bakery that milled its own wheat, that didn't give a damn about cupcakes, that cared deeply about the proper way to do things.
So, finding out that it had been sold to someone new produced some palpitations. Calm yourself. Things aren't changing much.
Hey, it's the first good news of 2020! Rashe Malcolm of Rashe's Cuisine is about to have a physical location once again. Malcolm has leased the space on Vine Street next to Broderick Flanigan's studio that was most recently Bajan Delight, and hopes to be open by February.
Malcolm owned a brick-and-mortar restaurant off Tallassee Road once upon a time, then went to catering only, then started building toward a shared commercial kitchen for small businesses (still in progress) and started a downtown market to let those vendors sell their wares.
The curse of 1660 W. Broad St., which has claimed a large number of restaurants over the past 20 years, continues, as Eden's Cafe announced that it will close Dec. 22, meaning another small, local business is shuttering right before the holidays.
Photo Credit: Café on Lumpkin via Facebook
It's been almost four years since the long-running Lumpkin Street Café closed, but something is finally brewing in the old house between Fleet Feet and the credit union. Luke Martineac, a young entrepreneur and business-type dude, found himself here in Athens while his wife pursues a doctorate in marine studies, wanted something to do and felt there was a need for a breakfast-and-lunch hangout in Five Points. Working with his brother, Peter, he's getting ready to open the Café on Lumpkin, aiming for late February.
Photo Credit: Farm Burger
Wondering what restaurant might be going in the former St. Joseph's chapel as that large development gets underway next to the Flagpole office? Well, Farm Burger is finally opening an Athens location. The popular grass-fed burger chain grew out of what was once Farm 255 in Athens, but the closest it's been until now is Decatur.
Photo Credit: Eden's Cafe/Facebook
Wondering what's up with Eden's Cafe, the vegan eatery set to move into what was most recently The Fish Shack, at Broad and Hancock? Co-owner Nick Bradfield says they'll be opening up Saturday, Aug. 3, with "plant-based grab-and-go convenience items sourced from mostly local and organic sources, as well as coffee and tea, pastries and deserts. Also of interest is the fact that we will have a 24/7 vegan vending machine outside for healthy late-night pick-me-ups!"
Photo Credit: The Carriage House/Facebook
Have you been passing the sign in the window of the space next to Max that promises Uncle Ernie's is opening soon for something like two years? Me too, but now it really is open. For really real. Ernie Batinelli has owned many a sandwich shop in Athens, and Uncle Ernie's Pub and Grub promises to be his usual overstuffed sandwiches and wraps, with lots of veggie options. This time, there's also a full bar.
Photo Credit: Square One Fish Co. via Facebook
Seafood restaurant Square One will be open in Normaltown this Friday at 5 p.m. and is not taking reservations, so you might have to wait a bit.
The last location of Mirko Pasta anywhere nearby, in downtown Watkinsville, closed a few weeks ago. Locations remain in Atlanta, Marietta, Mobile, AL and Nashville.
Off the Vine, in Winterville, where you can get breakfast biscuits and hot lunches along with the baked items and fresh produce, has added Sunday hours for groceries and ice cream.
Holy Crepe doesn't have regular hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday anymore, but still does catering and can be found many places around town.
Photo Credit: Jessica Silverman
Lickin' Chicken, a drive-through with fried chicken, fish and okra that is a small chain out of Covington, is open in the former Church's on Oak Street. The Athens location doesn't have a web presence yet, but the Covington menu is up on Facebook, should you want a preview.
Photo Credit: El Barrio/Facebook
Chuck's Fish, an upscale seafood restaurant with an original location in Tuscaloosa, AL, is open for business, softly, in the former Greyhound station on Broad Street downtown. It's owned by the same folks at Five Bar and does dinner 4–10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with the bar and sushi starting at 4 and the full kitchen opening at 5. As with Five Bar, the menu includes Japanese and Korean influences (brussels sprouts with kimchi, edamame, shishito peppers) and Gulf seafood. If you're expecting a fish shack, this is not it.
Photo Credit: Farm Cart/Facebook
Farm Cart's brick-and-mortar location on Baxter, in the space that was The Sultan until very recently, is open for business, much, much faster than anyone could reasonably have expected. Breakfast biscuits (topped with sausage, egg, cheese, organic micro-greens, pulled pork, fried chicken, gravy, ham, jam, housemade pickles and more—not all on the same biscuit) are available all day. Lunch starts at lunchtime. It's open 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and closed Monday.
Photo Credit: Baked via Facebook.
Baked might sound like the name of an entirely different sort of business, but this collective of three ladies, operating out of Newtown, is into croissants, not kush.
Faith Rocchio, RaeAnne Sturgill and Crissy Dobson all say they love to bake, but each of them has a different specialty. Sturgill says she prefers "difficult things like croissants, and I'm trying my hand at baklava; mainly flaky and buttery. Faith is all about cupcakes and fresh breads. Her lavender cookies are heavenly. Crissy is doing 4-inch and 9-inch pies that I'm betting are going to be as beautiful as they are tasty."
Photo Credit: Farm Cart/Facebook
The space that was The Sultan won't be vacant for long. Beloved local food truck Farm Cartwill be taking it over this spring, with breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Saturday. Yes, there will be biscuits. There will also be espresso and beer. Woop! The Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park, at which you can find the cart, gets going for the season this Saturday, Mar. 23 at 8 a.m.
If you've driven past The Sultan, on Baxter, in the past few days and seen its windows papered up, your worst fears are now confirmed. Long-time owner Zouheir Abouharb is retiring from his restaurant, although he will continue to be at the Athens Farmers Market with hummus et al.
Homewood Social, Matt Downes' redo of the bowling alley in Homewood Hills, is open for business and now has a website. The menu includes a bunch of tasty-looking foods that'll grease up your fingers, such as cheese curds, funnel cakes, pizza, fried cauliflower and sandwiches, plus beer, wine and cocktails.
Photo Credit: Eden's Cafe/Facebook
College Avenue's Koa Surf Bar and Restaurant (reviewed here) has closed, probably making way for another bar. Around the corner, on Broad, the downtown branch of Einstein Bros. Bagels also appears to be no longer, although you can still get the chain's wares in UGA's Main Library and Science Learning Center. Magnolia Cafe, in Crawford, has also closed.
Photo Credit: Taste of India/Facebook
After a brief hiatus—it closed downtown effective Nov. 25—Taste of India has completed its move to the Eastside, in the Ansonborough development on Gaines School Road, and is back open for dine-in for lunch (11 a.m.–2 p.m.) and dinner (5–10 p.m.) daily. Its popular lunch buffet, however, has been discontinued. The phone number is 706-850-6118 for the moment, but the restaurant hopes to get its old number back.
Photo Credit: Half-Shepherd Market/Facebook
Hey, grilled cheese fans, do you need some good news? Half-Shepherd Market and Cheese Shop, which has had brown papered windows facing Prince Avenue in Normaltown for some months now, is open for business and serving lunch Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., as well as retailing fine cheeses.
Photo Credit: Dawg Dough
As we creep ever closer to the world of Wall-E, Athens is getting its very own cookie dough café. Dawg Dough, owned by Mike and Jennifer Dollander, will open this fall at 480 N. Thomas St., across from 1000 Faces.
Jennifer Dollander visited New York with her daughter Stephanie in July, where they encountered the idea of an eatery that made it acceptable to eat raw cookie dough in public. Entrepreneurially minded folks, she and her husband thought it would be popular in Athens, especially with a Bulldog theme.
Jennifer developed the recipes, which are safe to eat raw, testing them with her five children.
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