Last Resort Patio

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Last Resort Grill in downtown Athens opened a patio in its former parking lot in July 2020. The patio offers socially distant dinner service. (Photo / Maggie Cavalenes, staff)

As Athens restaurants adjust to social distancing requirements and changing state policies during the coronavirus pandemic, their operations change frequently. Here’s this week’s supersized roundup of restaurant news. For daily updates, check out our comprehensive restaurant guide.


Last Resort Grill adds patio

Last Resort has created a patio in the space that used to be its parking lot. The outdoor area has several picnic tables and chairs, along with a full-service bar. The restaurant accepts only cashless payment and adds a 16% service charge to all tabs. To limit interaction, wait staff only visits a table when a numbered flag is put up by the guest. Patio seating starts at 5 p.m. and is available Wednesday through Sunday.

South Kitchen + Bar reopening

After undergoing construction for most of the summer, South Kitchen + Bar announced a reopening date of July 23 for dinner service. The restaurant has committed to the Athens Ready, Set, Go Safely campaign. 

Em’s Kitchen closes dining room

Due to COVID-19, Em’s Kitchen has closed its dining room indefinitely. The restaurant continues to offer curbside pickup and accept orders online or by phone at 706-206-9322. Open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. - 3 p.m and Saturday from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. 

El Azteca opens downtown

The fourth location of this Georgia-based chain has opened in downtown Athens. The restaurant is implementing social distancing practices inside its dining room. El Azteca faced delays, originally planning to open its doors on East Clayton Street in October 2019. The restaurant opened officially on July 11, and is offering free house margaritas with the purchase of food all week to celebrate.

Seabear introduces oyster delivery

On Saturday from 3-7 p.m. Seabear Oyster Bar is launching an oyster delivery service for customers within the Loop. Minimum purchase of a dozen oysters required, and you must sign up for a half-hour time slot.

Donna Chang’s fundraiser for the Teen Social Justice Club

All ice cream and sorbet sales until July 19 will benefit the Teen Social Justice Club in association with the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement. Orders can be placed online.

Saucehouse to reopen on July 16 

Following a brief closure, Saucehouse is reopening at 11 a.m. on July 16. The restaurant has added extra safety measures, including increased sanitization stations for customers and plexiglass in front of ordering areas.  

Shokitini closes

Citing health concerns, Shokitini has closed indefinitely. According to the restaurant's Facebook page, all employees will be tested for COVID-19 and reopening information will be posted when available.

Butt Hutt BBQ changes hours

Until further notice, Butt Hutt BBQ will be closed on Mondays. The Macon Highway barbecue spot is open from 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

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