Just in case you're worried about running out of places to score caffeine uptown, a local woman and her husband are hard at work putting a new coffee shop in the vacant South Court Street storefront that once held Baron Men's Shop.
"œThis is my encore career," explained Debby Fulks, who has worked as a dental hygienist for the Athens City/County Health Department for years, and is planning partial retirement.
After a year of negotiations, planning and setbacks, Jackie O's expansion into the space previously occupied by Skippers Bar and Grill is moving forward.
Owner Art Oestrike said that he's hoping the new section can open next month.
"œI really wanted to open in August and have a private, community opening," Oestrike said. "œI did everything in my power to open before students came back, but things are just taking longer than I expected."
Michelle Ajamian and Brandon Jaeger have received two grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program to grow plots of staple crops. They're planning to open the Shagbark Seed and Mill Co. in October to process their seeds and mill flours from the harvest, and are encouraging other staple crop entrepreneurs to start growing and milling with them.
Ajamian and Jaeger have selected some unique staple crops. Here's a look at some examples and why they were selected.
New agricultural business hopes to promote a completely local food system
In their hit song "œMr. Sluggard," the Jamaican reggae band Culture asks Mr. Sluggard, "œTell me where you get your bread?" Millfield residents Brandon Jaeger and Michelle Ajamian have adopted the phrase as their slogan, and now they are asking the residents of southeast Ohio to consider the same question.
Jaeger and Ajamian are pioneering a local food system based on a traditional idea: staple foods like grains and beans should be processed, milled and consumed in the same area in which they are grown.
Mixing comedians, pizza and pasta, Abrio's Brick Oven is one of the latest additions to East State Street's lunch and dinner offerings.
The restaurant opened Oct. 17, 2008, and created 44 local jobs. Many of its cooks are from Hocking College's culinary arts program, serving handmade pizzas as well as Italian entrees like pasta and homemade lasagna. The restaurant also features comedians from the nationally touring Comedy Caravan every other Saturday, and general manager Nicole Essman said the comedy nights usually sell out.
When NASA travels into space, Athens has got a hand in it, or at least an engine. The city of Athens is home to a world leader in engine technology and one of only a couple companies that can supply NASA with the engines it needs for missions into space.
Sunpower in Athens was incorporated in 1974 by former Ohio University professor William Beale, who invented the free-piston Stirling engine, now used for those missions and more.
The staff at Green Edge Organic Gardens, an organic farm in Amesville, consists of individuals who have an innate interest in the techniques and effects of organic farming.
Organic farming is a form of agriculture that relies on techniques that use green manure, compost and crop rotation to maintain soil productivity and control pests, with very little or no use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms.
Traditionally when it comes to energy sources, southern Ohio and the Appalachian region have been known for their contributions to coal mining. However, should the Athens Solar Initiative receive necessary "œseed money" from government sources, and then be adopted by Athens City Council, southeast Ohio will have the chance to pave the way for alternative fuel sources and to make an impact on the environment by reducing the impacts of fossil fuels.
The produce section isn't the only place to go "œgreen" at ALDI Foods these days. The grocery chain has been making a concerted effort to develop new stores that are energy efficient, as well as making some changes to older locations to do the same.
Aldi Foods has a store at 932 E. State St. in Athens, though it lacks some of the "œgreen" innovations of some of the chain's newer stores.