Athens is a popular city when it comes to good music and bars, but now it seems to be the perfect avenue for burgers as well. Well established restaurants such as Clocked, The Grill and Add Drug are now competing with popular joints edging their way into the beef market.
Freddy’s Frozen Custard, specializing in steak burgers and custard deserts, is hoping to open by the end of the year, according to Jason Ingermanson, franchise manager.
“We are looking to fill in a niche market of high quality food combined with a drive to be involved in the community to help the community,” said Ingermanson.
Freddy’s is looking to bring good food to Athens and tap into the ideal job market. College students looking to earn a little extra money and gain some experience makes the city an excellent place for a new restaurant.
“We are taking young people who are working for us to help them become future leaders in the community,” Ingermanson said. “What better to place to come than a place than Athens with young college students to train and work to become leaders and to help get involved with the community relations and bring people on that are focused on having a good career and we are able to pass on some knowledge and give them a good background.”
In addition to Freddy’s coming to Athens, another Dairy Queen is arriving in town on top of competing fast food places such as Cook-Out, McDonald’s and Burger King. However, even though it may appear that the market for hamburgers is only so large, many restaurant owners pride themselves with a prime selection of meat.
Grindhouse Killer Burgers is located in the ever-growing Five Points area of Athens. Grindhouse has three other locations in Atlanta and celebrated its one-year anniversary in Athens.
“We chose Athens and Five Points because they have nice fun atmosphere and fun music and bring what we did in Atlanta out here. We also know that Five Points is a growing spot with 18 restaurants in it we wanted to be apart of the fun atmosphere” said Johnny Farrow, director of operations at The Grindhouse.
Keeping the menu simple, Grindhouse specializes in a classic burger that is affordable with an atmosphere that appeals to all ages.
“The burger game is hot right now. Everyone likes burgers and at any restaurant probably one of their better selling things are burgers,” Farrow said.
Grindhouse looks to accommodate all of its customers, with a family-friendly downstairs and a roof patio for patrons over the age of 21.
Some of the burger places in Athens have been around for quite a few years. Add Drug doubles as a pharmacy and has a lunch counter like many pharmacies used to have. Add Drug has been serving Athens since 1961.
“The new burger places do not have that big of an impact because we haven’t changed a lot in the time that we have been here, and people like us because when they come here they know what to expect. We keep things simple because people know what they like and it is the tradition of it helps up insulate from the competition,” said Kevin Florence, owner of Add Drug.
Athens is a destination town for many people who went to school here, so there is always a market for nostalgic atmospheres that conjure up memories for former college students.
“We have been around so long there is a generational bridge, and when people return to Athens they bring their kids back. What makes it different is because people just keep bringing people back because Add Drug hasn’t changed and they remember what they loved, which helps our business,” Florence said.
The burger places in Athens all have individual goals and specialties, but each serves the community in a positive way in that they provide jobs and add to the fun and vibrant atmosphere of Athens. The restaurants are here because Athens is an ever-growing town full of young people who are full of energy. This is the place to be when you are starting a new business or continuing an old one. The owners of all of these burger joints have one quality in common.
“Athens is a fun town, full of music and art, with never a dull moment in this town any business can succeed if they follow their core values in a town like this,” Farrow said.