Though the small town is not home to much, one of the most fun places in Southeast Ohio lies less than 40 minutes north of Athens in Nelsonville, Ohio.
I went to The Fun Barn, 14333 US-33, Thursday night with my best friend to watch the premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. Earlier in the day, I trained for the event by watching the first two movies, The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but didn’t have time to partake in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.
The Fun Barn is part Chuck E. Cheese’s-esque game fun and part movie theater. It is also far and away the cheapest movie going experience I have ever had. Tickets to this show were $4 and a large pizza only costs $5.
Prior to the movie, Arielle and I embraced our inner childhood by sharing the games with sticky-handed toddlers. Customers can pay $5 for a card with $4 on it and swipe it to play games. I chose to play Whack-a-Mole and a game in which I beat a piñata very rapidly. I don’t know if this says more about my inner anger issues or that I love the noise of an old mallet hitting a metal box over and over.
We were the first two people in Theater 9, but were quickly neighbored by Katniss lovers young and old looking to participate in the end of one of the most popular film series ever. The room soon filled and the lights dimmed. Quickly, Arielle and I suffered a case of the giggles for the first five minutes and I thoroughly apologize to anyone who was sitting near us.
The movie itself, like every other film in the saga, was amazing. I read the books in middle school and was all for feature film versions. There weren’t too many audience-centric moments that everyone in the theater expressed the same emotion at the same time, something that surprised me since massive series are typically are full of these moments. However, at least no one clapped at the end.
Not only do I recommend seeing the movie in general, but I do highly urge people to make an event out of it and go to Fun Barn with some friends. It’s cheap and a break from Athens, two things that every Ohio University student needs.
Brunch is an activity usually associated with New Yorkers and Sundays, but Ohio University has helped put Athens on the map for the oftentimes boozy meal.
The Cuban-themed restaurant, 33 N. Court St., is famous among Ohio University students for its Saturday brunch. The midday meal is often accompanied by bottomless mimosas, which only cost $6 when customers also purchase a food entree. Brunch is from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, though the mimosa deal is only available on Saturdays
Hanging lights welcome patrons into Sol, which is located down an alley. The traditional Spanish omelet and the Cuban French toast are two of my personal favorites, though most customers visit the eatery because of champagne and orange juice.
This restaurant proudly declares on its website that despite what the name may imply, “It’s not Chinese” food. Instead of solely serving food from that country, Purple Chopstix, 371 Richland Ave., includes a wide variety of options on its brunch menu. Sunday brunch at the restaurant, according to its website, is served buffet style and varies week to week.
The building is made out of bricks and accented with teal and orange edges, creating a welcoming atmosphere that may remind customers of a home, which goes with the history of the place. In 1989, Ed Fisher opened Purple Chopstix and now, his son Gabe helps work at the restaurant.
Village Bakery & Cafe
This Athens establishment, 268 E. State Street, is trying to do its part to help sustain the local economy by serving food from the area. According to its website, “Our menu will always reflect what’s in season in Southeast Ohio, so you will taste a connection to the farms around us no matter when you visit.”
That carries over to Sunday brunch at the restaurant, which takes place from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. each week. Local eggs are used in quiches as well as frittatas. Local syrup supplier Sticky Pete’s Maple Syrup also makes several appearances on the brunch menu.
Athens is famous for many things; Ohio University, fest season and the many bars that line Court Street to name a few.
But something that many who don’t live in the town realize, and something that people who do live take for granted, are the several inexpensive food options located in Uptown Athens. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
Bagel Street Deli, 27 S. Court St.
My favorite Athens eatery opened in 1993 and is owned by three residents. The restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 9 p.m. My personal favorite menu item is a Tom’s Turkey on sourdough, hold the mayo please, which runs customers $4.75.
Souvlaki’s Mediterranean Gardens, 9 W. State St.
One of the many ethnically-diverse places to eat in Athens is home to cheese balls, an item I’m told is very delicious. This restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 5:00 p.m. – 4 a.m. and Saturday from 12:00 p.m. – 4 a.m. My preference at this establishment is an order of the standard chicken strips and fries with a side of mustard and costs $7.45.
GoodFella’s Pizza, 35 N. Court St. and 6 W. Union St.
Two locations exist for this pizza-on-the-go locale, one on Court Street and one on Union Street.
The Facebook description for the eatery is “Preventing hangovers since 1995,” a funny yet mostly inaccurate statement. The stores are both open every day of the week. The Union Street location is open from 11:00 a.m. – 3 a.m. and the Court Street location is open from 8 p.m. – 3 a.m. My favorite food here is an easy one; one slice of pepperoni piece for $2.50 hits the spot.
O’Betty’s Red Hot!, 15 W. State St.
Three words: Very. Cheesy. Fries. A small order of these delicious potato and cheese combinations will run you just $3.50 and a large order costs $4.50. The small gem of a store is open from 12:00 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday and from 11 a.m. – 3 a.m. Monday-Saturday.
Uptown Grill, 11 W. Union St.
The home of the best chicken n’ waffles in Athens, which happens to be one of my favorite late night grubs. The walk-up window store is open from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 10:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. Saturday. This is a perfect location for people walking home from Jackie O’s Pub & Brewery or one of the few bars farther down Union Street.
Ohio University’s 2015 Homecoming, themed “Same Bricks, Different Stories,” will kick off its festivities October 5, culminating in the annual football game. This year, the Bobcats will take on the Redhawks of Miami University. The annual celebration has become a staple for current Bobcats as well as alumni who flock back to the red cobblestones of Athens for a weekend of, mostly, debauchery.
The yearly parade that takes place early Saturday morning of Homecoming Weekend usually has a route positioned somewhat on Court Street. In the past few years, the route has only followed a path down the street for a small portion of the parade.
This year, that amount was cut down even more as the parade will almost entirely bypass Court Street since it will go from Union Street to President Street.
The route was proposed by Ohio University’s Campus Involvement Center.
Members of the Athens Uptown Business Owners Association recently told “The Post” that they believe the route will have negative consequences for uptown stores.
Last year’s fire on Union Street that scorched several buildings on the street has left the half of the street blocked to through traffic.
Ohio University will take on Miami University Saturday afternoon. In 1960, The Bobcats beat the Redhawks 21-0. This was also the beginning of the Bobcat mascot appearing at football games. That season, OU was awarded the title of the NCAA National College Division Champion and went undefeated with a final record of 10-0.
The Bobcat mascot, now an integral part of pumping up the crowd in Peden Stadium during football games, has undergone many changes. The original mascot was paper mache and eventually went through several transitions to become the furry friend we know and love today.
The MARCHING 110
Ohio University’s marching band has had a history spanning nearly 100 years since its creating in 1923. A student named Homer Baird started the then new on-campus group. A new band director, Gene Thraikill, joined the band in 1966 and instated new uniforms and brought a new, energetic marching style to the group. However, he also kicked out all women from the band as well as all female majorettes.
Following heavy media scrutiny and pushback from people on campus, women were allowed back into the Marching Band in 1975.
In 2007, CollegeSports-fans.com ranked The Marching 110 the best college marching band in America. The band once again was ranked at the top of that list in 2014.
Cinema News also included the band in their 2014 list of “100 Things We Can’t Wait To See This College Football Season.”
The Marching 110 participated in the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Several videos of the band have gone viral online since the members typically cover contemporary songs during their halftime football game performances.
Our very own “Harvard on the Hocking” consistently ranks high on party school lists. Playboymagazine recently named OU as 2015’s top party school. For many years, The Princeton Review has also ranked OU a top party school…
But this year the ranking dropped. From 2011 to now we’ve gone from number 1 to number 16.
Let’s look back at Ohio University’s party school past told by The Princeton Review’s rankings:
Except in certain and obscure circumstances, no one under the age of 21 may legally show or give false information regarding their name or age to obtain alcohol, according to Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.634. A section preceding it also makes it illegal for people to obtain alcohol and give it to someone else under 21.
The legal consequences constitute a first-degree misdemeanor, according to a post by the Center for Student Legal Services at Ohio University in 2011. That charge can carry a fine of up to $1,000 or a full 12 months in jail. The real owner of the license in question also can be subject to a 12-month suspension of his or her license.
The same post said, “The usual sentence in Athens, Ohio for a student who is not able to participate in the Municipal Court’s diversion program is a fine between $150 and $250, with court costs of $104 and up to 90 days jail time, suspended on the condition that the student remains law abiding for two years and possibly completes a number of hours of community service.”