Students are at odds over the arrival of downtown Athens' newest resident: General Beauregard.

But it's not just that the bar, located at 164 E. Clayton St., is named after the Civil War general, it's the Old South interior design that's causing rebellion.

Three flags hang over the bar, reflected in giant mirrors along the opposite wall: The Confederate First National Flag ("the stars and bars"), the Virginia Cavalry Jack ("the rebel flag") and the Bonnie Blue Flag, designed by Gen. Stonewall Jackson to represent the unified states.

It's a risky theme in a University community where minority enrollment is a constant challenge and in a state that recently dealt with Gov. Sonny Perdue's efforts to change the state flag.

Still, Daniel Simmons, owner of General Beauregard's, said, "It felt right."

"Athens is such a great Southern town," he said. "We're just trying to bring it back to life."

Gardner Dominick, co-owner of the bar, said they didn't give the bar's theme much thought and were just trying to provide an atmosphere Athens hadn't seen before.

And they succeeded.

The bar is half antebellum home and half Southern ballroom. It features rocking chairs, framed Cotton Planters Loan Association currency, a glittering chandelier and a painted statue of Jack Daniels that looks similar to General Beauregard himself.

The bar prefers Hank Williams Jr. to 50 Cent, and even has a signature drink: Dixieland Tea, which is Kentucky bourbon and sweet tea in a mason jar.

"I'm definitely surprised by (the theme)," said Melvin Hines, a black sophomore from Albany. "I thought that after all this time things would have changed. People don't see it actually offends other people."

Hines also said a bar like General Beauregard's does more to separate the University, and in the long run, the state as a whole.

However, separation isn't on the owner's agenda.

"We've heard nothing but positive feedback," Simmons said. "We're not trying to be racist."

Dominick added that it's not about racism, it's about giving Athens something new.

"(The bar) is really laid back and awesome," said Becca Taubel, a white sophomore from Gainesville. "The music is different, too ... you don't have to wear earplugs when you walk in the door."

And Taubel said she didn't even notice the flags.

"I believe in Georgia, especially, there's not too much that separates races other than the rebel flag ... and knowing it's here really just deepens the wound," Hines said.

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(1) comment


There are lot of bars in European countries in almost every city, these bars are of different kinds some are for just to entertain peoples and some are for special purposes. There are some write my that write about these in positive and negative sense.

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