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Chipotle Is Replacing the Mayflower, and More Downtown Tex-Mex News

Athens’ oldest restaurant, The Mayflower, is likely to become an outpost of fast-casual chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, according to the Athens-Clarke County Planning Department.

Current Mayflower owner Ricky Vaughn and his wife, Lisa, announced their plans to close the diner over the summer after 60 years in business. At the time, Vaughn said he was in negotiations to sell the building at 171 E. Broad St. to “a national business,” and that it was unlikely the restaurant would be open come this fall.

That national business turned out to be Chipotle, which has a plans review meeting next to discuss interior renovations.

Ricky Vaughn reiterated to the Athens Banner-Herald that The Mayflower is still open for business, and said that Chipotle has not yet signed a lease. The timeline is that it will likely close by the end of the year, Vaughn said.

Taco Mama, a franchise out of Alabama, has officially opened in the space that was previously Fuzzy’s Tacos, in the parking deck at the corner of Lumpkin and Washington streets downtown. The Athens location is open 11 a.m.–9 p.m. daily (8 p.m. Sunday).

Just down the street, in the former location of Iron Factory at 255 W. Washington St., El Paso Tacos and Tequila is about ready to open up too. In theory, it has an Instagram account, but it was empty at the time of this post. The Facebook page is up and running, promising “Athen’s first Tequila Bar + Tex-Mex restaurant” (side-eye). The owners have another location in Valdosta and more in Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida.

The Publix-anchored shopping center in Oak Grove, on Jefferson Road, is getting a bubble tea place (Shake Tea, possibly this franchise) because God knows our overlords will not be content until every home includes a bubble tea place.

Scoops, a small franchise based out of Madison with ice cream and an impressive selection of fun candy, is open at Wire Park in Watkinsville.

The Grill is not back to 24 hours a day, but it is doing late-night hours again: 5 p.m.–11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 5 p.m.–4 a.m. Thursday through Saturday (except home game days, when it opens at noon).

Piedmont Provisions has moved to 585 Barber St.

Oak House Distillery, on Macon Highway, has added charcuterie plates.

This post has been updated with comments from Ricky Vaughn.