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Five Bar on Hull Street in downtown Athens, Georgia. (Photo/Caroline Barnes)

After closing down completely for two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saucehouse BBQ on West Broad Street started offering takeout service two weeks ago. As Georgia businesses experiment with in-person reopenings, the fast casual restaurant has started to “slowly dip [its] foot in the water,” founder and owner Christopher Belk said.

Saucehouse patrons still pick up their food to-go style, but six socially distanced outdoor tables are now available to eat at. The tables are wiped down after each use, and parties are limited to six people or fewer.

“It's really hard, once you close, to open back up, because people aren't used to coming to your establishment,” Belk said.

Saucehouse is managing to break even, however. In addition to its normal offerings, the restaurant is trying to generate revenue by experimenting with new takeout items such as pre-mixed margaritas and spiked lemonade — sold by the gallon — as well as “take-and-bake” family-sized dishes such as mac and cheese.

Along with Saucehouse, here’s a list of six other Athens restaurants that are offering limited dine-in service under Georgia’s new guidelines:

Saucehouse BBQ

Days and Times Open: Pickup Thursday-Sunday 11a.m.-9p.m.

Social Distancing Measures: In-person dining offered outdoor only, six tables available, groups of six or fewer.

Menu Notes: Limited menu, also offering bulk orders.

Website: saucehouse.com

El Barrio

After being closed for the winter and then offering limited carryout, the tacos and tequila-themed spot in Five Points is open with outdoor and patio seating.

Days and Times Open: Wednesday-Saturday, 4-8 p.m.

Social Distancing Measures: Counter service only, with four tables on the lawn and five on the patio. Using single-use food containers.

Menu Notes: Offering the limited takeout menu and an “almost” full bar.

Website: elbarrioathens.com

Classic City Eats

Shortly after opening in early March, Classic City Eats moved to takeout and underwent some renovations. The Southern restaurant on Baxter Street reopened with limited first-come, first-serve dine-in service on March 19.

Days and Times Open: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. -4 p.m. Closed Mondays.

Social Distancing Measures: Limited seating in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Menu Notes: Serving a revised “classic cravings” menu.

Website: classiccityeats.com

Five Athens

Five Bar reopened its dining room on May 15, offering limited seating, while also continuing to offer delivery and contactless takeout service.

Days and Times Open: Tuesday- Saturday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.

Menu Notes: Continuing its simplified menu with five entree choices, one dessert option and three appetizer options.

Social Distancing Measures: Increased sanitization, limited seating available, call ahead to reserve a table.

Website: five-bar.com

Little Italy

While takeout and delivery is still an option, the late-night downtown pizza haunt reopened May 4 and boasts a closing time of 11 p.m.

Days and Times Open: Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Menu Notes: Full menu available

Social Distancing Measures: Limited seating, new glass counter guards installed.

Website: Facebook

The World Famous

The Hull Street bar and eatery has been offering “very limited,” one-hour reservation slots for groups of four or fewer since May 12. Call ahead or Facebook message to reserve.

Days and Times Open: Sunday-Thursday until 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m.

Menu Notes: Limited menu.

Social Distancing Measures: Using disposable serviceware, cleaning surfaces regularly, wearing masks and gloves, limited staff.

Website: facebook.com/theworldfamousathens

Pub on Main

This Watkinsville-based restaurant offers international pub fare and has reopened in-person dining, reservation- and outdoor-only. Pub on Main has also started serving pop-up “meat and three” options on Wednesdays.

Days and Times Open: Curbside pickup and counter service Thursday-Saturday, 4-8 p.m. Reservations available for 5, 6:30 or 8 p.m.

Social Distancing Measures: Five front-yard tables and five patio tables. Parties limited to six or smaller. Reservations only, email to book. Single use containers.

Menu Notes: Limited menu for pickup and counter service

Website: pubonmainwatkinsville.com

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(1) comment

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Please add Strickland's Restaurant. It often gets left off of these kinds of lists. They are located in Athens, and have been an Athens business for decades. Great southern food! Try it. (I'm not affiliated with them, but love the food and have done great catering for us).

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