Athens’ favorite bakery

 

Village Bakery and Cafe

Nestled back on the corner of Alexander and West State Street,  with only a few parking spots, The Village Bakery and Cafe can be easy to miss if you’re not looking, but locals and students alike know this place very well.

While I think most places in Athens are unique, the Village Bakery and Cafe, is unlike any other place in our community, making it so loved and known to the community. Upon walking into the cafe, you’re greeted with an overwhelming smell of fresh bread, bright colors, and swarms of people that equal out to be much larger than the amount of parking. That’s how I know this is a favorite place-when you can barely find place to sit down. I’ve spent a lot of time here before, but when visiting to write this piece, I tried extra hard to soak up everything the bakery has to offer.

Bulletin boards fill the wall with local events, slogans, photos and local advertisements. One catches my eye that just says, “Socialism”, next to one from a student looking for work walking dogs. That’s what makes this place what it is: the mix of the unique community together in one place.

I come here for the food, like many others. With a limited amount of quick vegetarian and vegan options on Court Street, I come here for quick veggie frittatas, salads and pastries that I know will be fresh. To be as accurate and honest as possible for this article, I made sure I ordered a fair spread of food on this particular trip. I order the Karma, made with in-house bread, pesto and then topped with veggies. I also ordered their daily soup special, Tofu Curry and just to be safe, a raw, vegan Coconut and Blueberry ball, along with a cup of coffee, that’s also roasted locally in Athens.

Raw Coconut Blueberry balls
Tofu Curry soup
The Karma

The Village Bakery pride’s itself on creating their unique food by using local products and vendors, as well as growing their own food. Right now they are using products from over 15 vendors across the state of Ohio, and bring in new vendors each year to continue to grow. They also have their vendors locations’ painted on their walls.

Local, Christina Matzin says that not only is the food here good, but the “organization is run on some pretty respectable values”, making this one of her favorite spots in town.

Solar, wind, and geothermal are a few types sustainable energy sources that work behind the scenes to keep this bakery running. To accompany the bright, mismatching dishes, the walls are filled with hand painted slogans. “GeoThermal” is one that sits high above the pastry case, painted right on the air duct; representing the bakery’s efforts and pride in creating a place that’s not only welcoming, but also kind to the environment.

 

 

The Village Bakery’s tie to the community doesn’t stop at pastries and clean energy though. Their local grocery and fair trade gift section is another way they help to pull the community together, and help the local economy. Here, you can find a selection of wines from local vineyards, a small freezer of local grocery items and handmade gifts, jellies, syrups and more scattered around the bakery.

 

Owners, Christine and Bob took their passion for community and their success at the Village Bakery and opened up a second cafe on the other side of town. Just down the road from Larry’s Dawg House on Union St., the Catalyst Cafe, is a short bike ride from campus, and overlooks the Hocking River. The cafe opened less than 10 years ago to continue to bring delicious local products to the Athens community.

The two-story cafe offers a view of Athens like you can’t find anywhere else. Here you can find a few of the breakfast pastries offered at the Village Bakery, but at Catalyst. the main focus is on their locally roasted coffee, Italian Sodas, and smoothies. 

I opted for an Italian Creme Soda made with vanilla and almond, and a chocolate meringue cookie on my first trip to the Catalyst Cafe.

 

Student Phil Burdyn says he comes to the cafe to study, but his favorite part about the set of cafe’s “is their contribution to the local economy and the environment.”

Bonnaroo: “A really good time.”

Picture via Wikimedia Commons

Outdoor concert festivals are popping up all over the country. No matter what your musical preference is, there is somewhere and somehow you can get your music festival fix. Bonnaroo, one of the biggest names in musical festivals, has been around since 2002 and draws thousands of people to the farmland of Tennessee each summer to give fans the best music experience around.

With over 150 bands spanning over 10 different stages on the Farm of Bonnaroo, it would be tough to not find someone you love after you leave the festival. If you’re a newbie like me, finding your niche, and preparing as much as possible will be the easiest way to get the most out of your Bonnaroo experience.

However, Bonnaroo is not just an expensive music festival, Bonnaroo with it’s rich history is also an arts festival, a comedy stop and a lover of all things local.

A really good time”: The history.

The word Bonnaroo literally means “a really good time”, and the founders of Bonnaroo have built a brand, and a loving fan base on that very mantra. Although Bonnaroo continues to grow each year, bringing in even bigger headliners each time, the 16 years of history Bonnaroo brings is rich and important. Started by the production company Superfly Productions, or four college-debt ridden students in 2002, the festival itself has grown from small local names to one of the biggest festivals in the country.

The Experience

If you’re like me, concerts are a huge part of your summer, but music festivals like Bonnaroo feel a bit intimidating. The drive, the camping, the parking- but luckily Bonaroo understands this, and wants their fans to find a home at their beloved festival. With an entire page on their website dedicated to newbies to the festival, Bonnaroo works to prepare every newcomer for their time at Bonnaroo.

 

 

The artists

Headlining this year’s show includes U2, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper , along with many more, and chances are, if you’re shelling out the 300+ bucks to attend this 4-day concert, you’re already a fan of quite a few of the artists. Fortunately, with over 150 bands to listen to at the festival, you get to experience new sounds and artists. Bonnaroo has teamed up with Spotify and created a “Bonnaroo 2017” playlist for you to discover and get accustomed to some of the artists that will be attending the show.

If you like the sound of a new artist so much, Consequence of Sound has also compiled a list of any other shows the artists of Bonnaroo are playing around the country this year, giving you another opportunity for a road trip this summer.

Let’s get crafty

Not only is Bonnaroo a musical festival, Bonnaroo is secondly an arts and crafts festival. Bonnaroo, with their own historic “landmarks”, like the “wall”, for the visitors to tag and express their creativity, they also host local vendors, artisans and cooks, and even feature their own on-site magazine,  in their attempt to reach all realms of local music and arts, bringing all aspects together in one giant festival.

Get a laugh in

In true fashion, a lover-of-all-arts festival like Bonnaroo, couldn’t forget about the comedy world. So if you’re a lover of stand-up, Bonnaroo is also your place to sneak in a few laughs in between shows. With 13 different comedians taking the stage at Bonnaroo’s Comedy Tent, you really can experience as much as possible during your time at festival. With names like 2 Dope Queens and Hannibal Buress, catching a stand-up show one evening is just one of the endless things you can do on your long weekend at The Farm.

Six times Barack and Joe were totally you and your friends on Court Street

The era of a Barack Obama and Joe Biden administration may be over, but memes of the duo are far from ending. It’s almost a sure thing that you can find a photo of the duo to perfectly describe any situation. Here are six times the former “BROTUS” and his best friend are totally you and your bestie on Court Street.

  1. The Green Cab

OK, you got a little crazy and splurged on a Green Cab ride to Court Street: there’s no way this 20 degree weather is killing your night. Now you and your pals have to act like you didn’t just pregame to Bad and Boujee on a loop nine times.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

2. Only going to Red Brick for Brick Break

Leaving Red Brick literally the second that Brick Break ends. (Thank God you’re not a freshman anymore)

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

 

3. When that one door guy finally recognizes you

Is it a good thing or a bad thing that the door guy sees you so often he doesn’t even need to card you? Either way, you didn’t have to fumble for your ID in the dark, so it’s a win.

Pic via Wikimedia Commons

 

4. Thanking your best friend from pulling you away from oncoming traffic.

We’ve all done it: thinking you’re stealthy enough to beat the oncoming car in your dash across Court Street, but your best friend knows your not. We all know that moment of gratitude we feel knowing that your friend would save your life like that.

Photo via Flickr/ Joeff Davis

 

5. Finally ordering food at 3 am

Whether your late night food preference is O’Betty’s, Wing’s Over, Souvlaki’s, Big Mamma’s or one of the other local eateries, we all know the pure joy of finally grasping our perfectly crafted order in our hands after a night on the bricks.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

6. Watching your Snapchat stories the next day.

It’s one of everyone’s favorite things to do the next day: watch everything you may or may not remember posting to your Snapchat. It’s also kind of comforting knowing that in less than 24 hours, no one will really remember what happened anyways.

Photo via Flickr

Hangin’ at The Over Hang

63 N. Court St. Athens, Oh: The Over Hang. My stomping grounds, the place I work, the most under-rated bar in Athens, (in my opinion), and my favorite place in Athens.

At least once a week you can find me in the very back booth of the Over Hang, surrounded by some of my favorite people on Earth. When you live in a place like Athens, with a hidden gem and something new to discover and explore on every corner, it’s hard to pick which place is truly your favorite. While I have done the best I can exploring all the places I can: kayaking in Strouds Run, biking as far as I can on the bike path and stopping for a hot dog at Larry’s Dog House for a refresher on the way home, and listening to the history of the Ridges, I still find myself at the Over Hang the most.

A Tuesday night at the Over Hang
The infamous Over Hang back booth

Part of being a Bobcat is getting to experience the bar culture here that famously gives Ohio University the “party school” nickname, something that a lot of people know about, but not a lot of people get to experience. But I don’t just love the Over Hang for it’s cheap drinks, fast service, friendly door guys and throwback 90’s music. I love the Over Hang because the people I love go there. Whether it’s with my mom, sharing stories and catching up over a Remedy  (a Bloody Mary) and a basket of fries, when she visits, or with my best friends on a Saturday night as we unwind together after an exhausting 6 hours of serving at Ruby Tuesday together, we all endure the walk up Jeff Hill and all the way down Court just to get together in the very back booth of the Over Hang to enjoy each other’s company.

It’s in the very back booth that I shared one last drink with a good friend before his unfortunate passing, leaving me with a beautiful memory to remember, and it is here in the back booth that holds stories told from the most embarrassing times in our lives and the saddest. But it is also here that I’m certain that if I ever someday have a child, the stories I will tell them before they graduate college, will be ones that either ended at the Over Hang, or started at the Over Hang.

I love it here so much, and it loves me so much that I will have even more stories to tell someday from the other side of the Over Hang: behind the bar. I’m hoping to have even more stories to tell after my time as a bartender here ends, and maybe make just a portion of the money back that I have spent.