Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Goodbye Athens

The two young women sat in their booth, quietly talking. Behind them, a table full of drunk guys talked about them loudly. The girls, obviously a couple, ignored the guys, which made the drunks even more obnoxious.
One of the women couldn’t take it anymore. She grabbed her cup, walked over to the table and threw it at one of the guys. Good for you, I thought.
Stories like that are why I often went to Athens after a night of club-hopping. The food was average and so was the service, but the people were anything but average. You never knew what or who you would see at the diner, and that’s what made it so fun.
The only guarantees were a long wait for food, and that you’d go home smelling like smoke if you didn’t already.
If you missed Jeff Elder's story in Saturday’s Observer, the venerable diner closes on Sunday at 3 p.m. CPCC has plans for it. The owners hope to find a new location. I hope they do it.
The closing of Athens hasn’t received nearly the same amount of outcry as the Coffee Cup, which is unfortunate. Athens has as much character, devotion and history as the Coffee Cup. Maybe Athens isn't getting the same love because it caters to the scary people who don’t go out until midnight. I don’t know, but I do know the city is losing yet another place that adds grungy character to our shiny city.
What’s your favorite story about Athens? Post your replies below.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boy your right the food was okay, the crowd was always interesting and the waitresses had moustaches. Hate to see the place go.

Anonymous said...

I remember some guy used to always want to Armor All my tired for $2 whenever I went there. That's going way back to the late 80's.

Charlotte Man said...

Charlotte is losing its character as the city grows. Athens was a place that EVERYBODY could go & enjoy a quick (affordable) meal in a friendly environment. I will miss it.

Anonymous said...

A 16-year-old I know went to the Athens late one night with her church group -- yes, her church group.
That's the beauty of Athens, the diversity.
The trip was probably one of the most educational things the group has done.

Anonymous said...

I was never part of the late-night scene, but I can vouch that it has been a great place to bring young children for dinner. It's not the cleanest place, but babies pick up germs everywhere anyway. My son has always received an enthusiastic welcome from the waitresses, and he loves Georgia the hostess, who always gives him a lollipop and a hug. The waitresses were always good sports, even when he went through his food-throwing phase. So there is at least one two-year-old who will miss "Afens"! We will really miss Georgia, as well as Martha, Michelle, Marilyn, and the other waitresses who have been so kind to our son and us.

kistyn said...

athens is always a scene for comedy. whether it's the waitress with serious body odor or a group of rowdy boys congregating in the corner booth... the place reeks of smoke and mold. good times were had there but it is past time for an upgrade. nevertheless, the city of charlotte just doesn't appreciate tradition or history.... this is just another example to add to pile.

Bob T. Slawner said...

Any chance charlotte.com will ever put a blog about Charlotte Nightlife up anytime soon?

Reviews of Cable TV shows, fond farewells to ancient mediocre greasy dives, promoting black comedians, citing false racial demographics as related to sex and drugs, and mostly half-ass hip-hop concert reviews aren't cutting it.

Ship this old heifer to the Charlotte Post and give someone who actually knows something about Charlotte Nightlife a chance.

"Paid To Party" would be great.... If I was an overweight black dyke in my 30s with a chip on my shoulder.

What a joke.

Anonymous said...

You may not believe this but we were at Athens very late one night and a very long, black limo pulled into the parking lot as we were just walking in the door. We took our time going in to see who might be in the limo. This is the "believe it or not' part.....out piled the wildest looking group of people we had ever seen. Tall black guys with big afros and VERY colorful clothing, big hats and feather boas. Ladies that matched the guys. We quickly realized that it was the group Parliment/Funkadelik, led by none other than George Clinton. They were having more fun than normal people are allowed and at that time, the early to mid 70's (sorry, but if you lived thru that time at the age I was then you will understand why I can't remember exactly when it was), you NEVER saw the likes of them out and about in Charlotte. I wish I had gotten some pictures and autographs but at the time we were just impressed speechless to see them that close up.
Anyone else there that night??

Anonymous said...

many late nights, getting sober enough to realize the guy I met at the bar was not the hottest guy on the plan...thank god for the gyros and ham & cheese omeletes...to sober me up!

a good friend of mine, Lynn, her boyfriend and I were all there one night, 1am, on a tuesday, and laughed our asses off.

always a good time...

Anonymous said...

well I must say that sucks. I miss Jeff's story. :(

My only memory of Athens was the day of the great snow storm of 04. Friend and I drove over the city trying to find something to do. Bowling - closed. All other restaurants - closed. Athens shone like a beacon in the snow open while the rest of the city was shut down.

I always wanted to go there after our outings at Tonic but never made it. God Speed Athens.