Photo Credit: I Heart Mac and Cheese
Osteria Athena recently replaced Dolce Vita Trattoria Italiana at 323 E. Broad St. downtown. The basic structure of the menu is somewhat similar, and the previous owners remain involved: traditional Italian food, with sections for primi and secondi piatti, but lower prices (including a $5 kids menu). Carpaccio remains an option.
Butcher & Vine, a swanky butcher shop/cheese shop/wine bar, is open in Watkinsville, at 37 Greensboro Hwy., doing custom cuts until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday but open later into the evening. It has beef, pork, seafood, pickles, some vegan cheeses, local desserts, craft seltzer and soda, coffee and wine by the glass or bottle.
The Athens location of I Heart Mac and Cheese is finally really open in The Mark, near downtown, with macaroni and cheese either just by itself or incorporated into a sandwich or salad, plus chocolate chip cookies that presumably do not include same.
Another location of La Cabaña de Don Juan, currently open in Watkinsville and previously open next to Bell's on Hawthorne, is open on Highway 78, in the same shopping center as Fox's Pizza.
Eden's Cafe has opened a vegan vending machine at That Bar (251 W. Clayton St.) that allows you to pay with your phone for noodles, salad, sandwiches and dessert Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m.–2 a.m.
Buvez is adding a full bar in the new year, with celebrations Jan. 3 and 4.
The Athens location of On the Border, in the same shopping center as Barnes and Noble on Atlanta Highway, has closed and will be replaced by Hook and Reel Cajun Seafood and Bar,a New Orleans-themed franchise based out of Maryland with a similar boil-in-bag approach to Kajun Seafood.
Nedza's, which started with puffle cones, then expanded to doughnuts, and also does biscuits, will be opening a brick-and-mortar space in Watkinsville.
Jinya Ramen Bar, a franchise from California, will be opening a location at 351 E. Broad St., in what was Burgerim and, before that, East West Bistro. The folks behind Catch 22 are also interested in opening a ramen/noodle restaurant, tentatively to be named the Noody Bar, in Watkinsville.
Mellow Mushroom now has a frozen Jack & Coke machine for boozy slushies. Cinnaholic has added a pizza roll (still vegan, as it uses Daiya cheese).
All locations of Keba are officially closed unless you want to buy them and reopen them.