Hot on the heels of Mediterranean Grill expanding to Athens, another small Atlanta-area chain is opening a location here. Cafe Istanbul has hung out a banner for the space between Utage and Jerzees, on Clayton Street downtown.
Photo Credit: Blake Aued
Open since 2009, Square One Fish Co. will do its last day of business in its current location on Sunday. Owners Erica and Joe Cascio have sold the building to a hotel that will open next to the Classic Center, something meeting planners have desired for a long time.
Also closed are the Hawthorne Avenue location of Dickey's Barbecue Pit (the Oconee location remains open) and Always Baked on Baxter Street.
Mediterranean Grill, the small chain out of Atlanta, is open on Lumpkin, in the former YoBo Cantina space.
Lighthouse Seafood, which was running a nice little seafood market with delicious steamed to-go orders on Gaines School Road, has closed in Athens, opening a proper bar and grill at 2077 Atlanta Hwy., in Statham.
Kumquat Mae will no longer serve dinner effective Oct. 20, "due to the high demand [for] our catering services and weekend pop-up dinners," according to owner Tracey Stewart. The Mitchell Bridge Road restaurant will continue serving breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday, 7 a.m.–4 p.m. (The bar is open until 7 p.m.)
You may know Lay-Z Shopper best for its late-night world, but the convenience store on Clayton Street downtown has always made some excellent deli sandwiches. Now, its owners have taken over the former Volstead, next door, and opened R.U. Hungry, which offers an expanded range of sandwiches hot and cold, breakfast sandwiches, burgers, pizza and some sides.
Taqueria Tsunami's second Athens location, in the former Herschel's on East Clayton Street, is officially open, meaning you can give your sales tax dollars to Clarke County when you eat there. Kids eat free on Tuesdays.
Little City Diner, in Winterville, starts serving Friday-night dinners tonight, until 8:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Athens Food Truck Festival
Casa de Amistad will hold its Mojito Fest fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m. at Broad 9A, in the Chase Street Warehouses. Local bars and restaurants will compete against one another to mix the best mojito. Attendees get to judge. Tickets are $25 (if you drink mojitos) or $10 (if you don't) and can be purchased on the website dedicated to the event. DJ YaTuSabes will provide music. All proceeds go to Amistad, which provides various and much-needed resources to the Hispanic community in Athens.
The shared kitchen/market version of Jennie de la Vega's Mama Bird's Granola, in the 909 Broad building, will close Sept. 24 after operating for two years. The space is up for lease.
Although some folks made use of the shared kitchen—which was licensed by the Department of Agriculture for the production of foods to be sold at retail, but not an option for food trucks—there weren't enough of them to cover expenses. This is unfortunate, as the groceries for sale in the space included fresh produce, making it a small oasis in the fresh-food desert that is downtown Athens. The granola side of the business will continue elsewhere and seems to be in fine shape.
Is this a sad story, because it means a longtime Athens business is moving out of its original location? Or is it a happy one, because it means a locally owned place is coming downtown?
You can read it either way, but the point is that Blind Pig Tavern is taking over the downstairs of the former Dirty Birds (or Wild Wing) on West East Washington Street. The upstairs is being put to other use.
Photo Credit: Simon Doggett/Flickr
The national chain Fatburger is owned by the same folks as the national chain Buffalo's, so it makes sense that a location of the former is opening next to our location of the latter, in the Beechwood Shopping Center, later this month [Edit: make that September; exact date is not set yet].
Photo Credit: Athens Land Trust
Mannaweenta (previously covered here and here in Flagpole), which has been serving Ethiopian and Etritrean food at the West Broad Farmers' Market for a couple of years, is officially open in the shopping center at 1055 Gaines School Road, next to the Omni on the Eastside, and will hold a grand opening Friday at 6 p.m. Regular hours are 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
It's true. The barbecue restaurant we first heard about in November 2013 and that we've been watching go up in fits and starts on West Broad, across from Treehouse and Ideal Bagel, will open its doors Tuesday, Aug. 25.
Sweetie Pie by Savie (previously covered here in Flagpole) will open on Whitehall Road on Monday. Regular hours will be Tuesday through Saturday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. (after hours by appointment).
If you were at the last Saturday Athens Farmers Market, you might have noticed a familiar stand there. Journey Juice, operating at AFM and out of a retail location at Prince and Satula, shut its doors earlier this year, but it's about to open them back up.
The itty-bitty building on Whitehall Road that was most recently Rooter's has turned over a number of times in recent years, but it never sits vacant for long, despite the fact that zoning doesn't allow for sit-down service. Next up is Sweetie Pie by Savie, a custom and walk-up bakery that hasn't had its own space in Athens yet but has built a reputation for impressive work with fondant.
Photo Credit: Hillary Brown
Eddie's Calzones, which took the place of Al's Beef downtown (265 E. Clayton), is now open, very quietly, but plans to get louder by giving away free calzones on Thursday from 4–7 p.m. Regular hours are 11 a.m.–4 a.m., and it offers delivery. Eddie's has what seems to be a personal page on Facebook rather than the more standard business page, which does allow it to let you know that it "Studied Awsomeness [sic] at University of Georgia." Here's the menu for the Columbia, South Carolina, location.
With Sal Speights taking off to hike the Appalachian Trail, Heirloom Cafe is announcing Joel Penn as its new head honcho in the kitchen. Owner Jessica Rothacker says Penn, who has worked at both The National and East West Bistro, "will make his debut at the Tailored Events Ecuadorian pop up dinner here at Heirloom on Sunday evening, and will roll out his new dinner menu on Tuesday evening. His style of cooking will bring an update to Southern classics and native Georgia dishes, reflecting the international influences found in Georgia foodways, while still paying homage to the original classic techniques. We are very excited to have him with us." Tickets for the pop-up are $50 and can be purchased online here.
More news below.
BBQ giveth and BBQ taketh away. Rooter's, on Whitehall Road, which took over the building and the sauce recipes of Jot 'Em Down, will close Saturday. Sorry, folks. On the other hand, Bill's Bar-B-Que in Hull (reviewed forever and a day ago in Flagpole, before the website crashed and was rebuilt, making the old story unlinkable) seems to be returning next month, in the same location, on Fortson Store Road.
Photo Credit: Photo via Kickstarter
April is a time for food events in Athens, just as it is a time for every other kind of event. Here is some of what's coming up:
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