Visitors to The Square in downtown Athens will soon have new businesses and services to explore.
Athens Executive Director Tere Richardson held a press conference on Tuesday at the AMS office in The Square. She announced three new businesses that will soon be moving downtown.
First on the list was That’s SO Art, an art studio owned by Sara Ogles from Athens. Richardson said she was opening a physical store after having had great success online.
“Sara’s passions include whimsical custom watercolors of homes, churches and corporate portraits, as well as some colorful abstract art,” said Richardson. “We are so excited and delighted to have Sara and her studio downtown.”
That’s SO Art will be located at 110 W. Market St., the former location of Dobbs Shoe Shop.
The next company announced was EXIT Realty Downhome, which will be owned by Felicia McGee. It will open at 115 S. Marion St.
“We all know how booming the housing market is in Limestone County and Athens,” said Richardson. “We are delighted that Felicia is opening the EXIT Realty Downhome downtown.”
McGee said she and her husband Jason are from Limestone County and have chosen to raise their family here because they believe “there is no better city than Athens – we l ‘love it here’.
“I chose EXIT because of their vision of creating opportunity and changing lives, both for the real estate agents we employ and the clients we represent,” said Felicia McGee. “EXIT is a local company but strong internationally. We say we are a family disguised as a real estate company. We’re going to get involved in our community in a way you’ve probably never seen before in a real estate company. “
The third company coming to The Square is Athens Alehouse and Cellar, which will offer craft beer, wine, and more at 111 W. Washington St., formerly Razor’s Edge Barber Shop.
Richardson said it was a “cool concept” that is brand new to downtown and Athens. It will be owned by Ken and Lori Hill.
“We’re going to be offering charcuterie, slushies, wine slushes, draft beer, self-serve systems and other things we’re working on,” Hill said. “We hope to bring some value to The Square. We think this will be a nice little deal.
Lori Hill reminded future patrons that the tavern will be part of the Square Arts & Entertainment District, so patrons will be able to grab alcoholic beverages from designated blue mugs around The Square.
Amy Golden, Special Projects Manager for the City of Athens, congratulated the new business owners on behalf of Mayor Ronnie Marks and the City Council, and praised their courage and entrepreneurial spirit.
“We are delighted with you and your efforts here in Athens to make us a bigger, better and stronger community,” said Golden. “The growth is phenomenal, and each of you brings something very unique to our city, and we are so grateful. “
Golden also thanked Athens Main Street for helping to make Athens a better community.
“We have a lot of great things going on downtown,” said Richardson. “Our community and our county are growing, and the downtown area is growing with them. Stay tuned, as we have more to announce in the future.