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.

Step into the 21st Century

When I lived in Rock Hill in the mid-'90s, I drove to Charlotte on Sundays to watch football at Bw-3s, on Woodlawn Road. During football season, beer and chicken wings are mandatory on Sunday afternoons. I would've liked to enjoy my beer and wings at a Rock Hill sportsbar, but restaurants can't serve beer and wine on Sundays.

On Nov. 7, people who live in Rock Hill can help their city step into the 21st century and approve a referendum that would allow Sunday alcohol sales. Imagine, waking up on Sunday, and meeting a few friends for brunch at a restaurant in Rock Hill. Imagine being able to watch the Panthers at a sports bar in Rock Hill instead of driving to Charlotte. Imagine being able to feel like you're not 30 years behind the rest of the world.

Rock Hill businesses support the move because they say it will mean increased revenue. Mayor Doug Echols supports the referendum as well. Predictably, some pastors are against the idea because Sunday is the Sabbath.

I'm all for honoring people's religious beliefs as long as it doesn't affect me. Allowing Sunday alcohol sales in Rock Hill means the people will have a choice: drink or not to drink.

I hope the referendum passes. I also hope we can move both states forward several light years and eventually get Sunday liquor sales at the ABC stores. That would be progress.

Post your thoughts below.