Minecraft Commencement

A virtual rendering of Sanford Stadium created by a group of University of Georgia students in response to the cancellation of the 2020 spring commencement. (Courtesy/Ivan Campbell)

With the conclusion of the spring semester, here are The Red & Black culture desk’s top 10 stories since the beginning of 2020:

1. Restaurant closure update: Boba restaurant to replace Franklin House Cafe

The Culture desk continuously updated readers about Athens restaurant closures. This restaurant closure list highlighted that Cravings, a Tawainese sandwich shop and boba tea cafe, would replace Franklin House Cafe on Broad Street.

2. 4 restaurant closings in Athens you might have missed

Another list provided readers with closures they could have missed after the UGA winter break.

3. 5 restaurants coming to Athens in 2020

In January, Athens was still awaiting the highly-anticipated arrival of Jinya Ramen Bar. Check out the other openings and expansions on this list.

4. Athens restaurants closing or switching to delivery due to COVID-19

Many Athens restaurants had to adjust their business model due to COVID-19. The Culture desk continuously updated a list of restaurants offering to-go orders throughout the semester.

5. 6 restaurant openings and re-openings in Athens to look forward to

Although now bittersweet to reflect upon, the beginning of March brought with it the hope of new restaurant openings. On the anticipated list are southern-fare restaurant Classic City Eats and El Barrio Tacos & Tequila in Five Points.

6. UGA students organize virtual graduation ceremony on Minecraft

This one was fun: after UGA announced the cancellation of an in-person graduation ceremony, a group of UGA students organized a virtual graduation ceremony on Minecraft.

“So I thought to myself ‘what is something that can make them feel better?’ Well, we could build Sanford Stadium on Minecraft to have a ceremony,” senior biology major Nick Miller said.

7. The Falls restaurant on Macon Highway has closed

The Falls, a moderately-priced New American restaurant, closed in February. Ryker Scott, the restaurant's head chef, was the youngest executive chef in Athens.

8. Athens' marijuana-themed restaurant to finally open in fall 2020

Marijuana-themed sandwich shop Cheba Hut planned on opening two locations to the UGA area by fall 2020. Read more about the eclectic restaurant from this January article.

9. Athens restaurant owners discuss the option of reopening on April 27

Governor Brian Kemp announced that restaurants could reopen dine-in services on Monday, April 27. We talked with Athens restaurant owners to see if their restaurants would reopen.

10. 5 things you didn’t know you could order via takeout from Athens restaurants 

Athens restaurants weren’t only preparing take-out orders in March. Some sold toilet paper, grocery items and frozen casserole.

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