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: Cheba Hut via Facebook
Cheba Hut, a cannabis-themed sandwich franchise founded in Tempe, AZ, is looking to open a couple of locations in Athens. No surprise there. The South is an as-yet-untapped market for the company, which has a bunch of restaurants in Colorado, but nothing closer to us than Madison, WI.
Founder Scott Jennings said they're looking downtown for the first location, but don't have a specific one picked out yet.
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: 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: 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: 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.
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