Boutique hotel, on-site Italian eatery Osteria Olio, and holistic spa welcome guests in the historic Southern Mill development of beloved Southern town

ATHENS, GA (June 7, 2024) —James and Jessica Whitley and The Indigo Road Hospitality Group are excited to announce Rivet House, a boutique hotel in Athens, GA’s historic Southern Mill development, opens its doors today. Envisioned and developed by the husband-and-wife duo and managed by the award-winning hospitality group, Rivet House artfully blends chic accommodations and bespoke design with the spirit and beloved culture of the Classic City.
“James and I feel lucky to call Athens home and have always loved welcoming friends here and introducing them to such a special place,” says Jessica Whitley, Rivet House Co-Founder and Creative Director. “Rivet House gives us the opportunity to extend that same hospitality to visitors in a more impactful way, while still offering something exciting to our local community through Osteria Olio and The Spa. Our hope is that everyone who walks through the doors immediately feels welcomed, inspired, and at home.” 
Bringing a refined approach to the century-old, adaptive reuse building, the design-centric hotel features 50 guest rooms and suites, alongside Osteria Olio, a neighborhood dining destination serving regionally inspired, modern Italian cuisine; and The Spa at Rivet House, offering an urban oasis through personalized treatments and holistic offerings. Each component strikes the perfect balance of past and present to pay homage to the vibrancy of the town and the space’s storied history.
“Athens has the most incredible energy—from the UGA campus to its thriving arts and music community—and our hope with Rivet House to mirror that same spirit while also bringing a new, boutique destination to the town,” says Steve Palmer, Founder and Chief Vision Officer of the 
Indigo Road Hospitality Group. “James and Jessica Whitley had an amazing vision for this space, and we’re thankful to be bringing the hospitality element to match their ambitious goals for what Rivet House will be.”

Denim Turned Design

Designed by Jessica Whitley, Rivet House weaves form and function to tell a seamless design story, embracing the industrial bones of the former denim mill through a tapestry of textural finishes, earth tones, and curated accents. The nearly 30-thousand-square-foot space blends new with old through innovative uses of wood including oversized beams, reclaimed from the hotel’s previous factory life, and Shou Sugi Ban walls that line the lobby. Striking uses of stone used throughout the property include hand-laid marble, exotic Michelangelo and Tortuga quartzites, and natural travertine.
The 50 guest rooms, consisting of standard king, standard queen, premier king, and king suites, feature soaring ceilings, large, light-filled windows, and exposed restored brick, striking a balance of rich and bold, yet welcoming and warm. Thoughtful finishes throughout the rooms include fluted white oak vanities, custom furniture and mill work, and cream faux-denim drapery as a nod to the fabric once produced within its walls. 
Part of the Southern Mill Development just minutes from downtown Athens and The University of Georgia campus, the four-building complex was originally founded as Southern Manufacturing Company in 1902. A catalyst for early economic development in the area, the facility was home to several different forms of manufacturing over the century, most notably one the nation’s largest manufacturers of women’s jeans wear. In 2018, the 160,000-square-feet property was reimagined as the Southern Mill Development, becoming one of Athens’ first adaptive reuse projects, which is now home to retail, office, and residential spaces.

Around an Italian Table

Osterio Olio, Rivet House’s onsite restaurant from the culinary team behind some of the Southeast’s most awarded concepts including O-Ku, Indaco, and Oak Steakhouse, will offer modern, Italian cuisine with a Southern perspective. Led by Chef Mark Bolchoz, Culinary Director of Indigo Road’s Italian concepts, alongside a talented local culinary team, the menu embraces hyperlocal and seasonal ingredients, which shine in antipasti and handmade pastas like Agnolotti di Mais and Ziti alla Vodka, alongside signature entrees such as Chicken Napoletana and a 20-oz Ribeye with Salsa “Accorto,” enjoyed a la carte or family style. The bar program boasts an impressive wine list as well as creative cocktails and spirit-free offerings. 
Olio’s interiors, also designed by Whitley, are welcoming and lively, with bold, purposeful details including luxe velvets, hand-knotted wool rugs, and a large wood bar with unique marble serving as a connection point for diners. In addition to traditional seating, the private dining room tucked away inside the restaurant is the perfect space for an intimate affair, and those looking to dine al fresco can enjoy the lush greenery and ample seating on the spacious patio. Offering Indigo Road’s signature hospitality and comfort for all occasions, Osterio Olio is an exciting addition to Athens’ dynamic culinary scene, creating a destination for locals and hotel guests, whether for an after-work aperitivo or a celebratory dinner.
Osteria Olio is open for dinner seven days a week from 5pm-10pm Sunday-Thursday, and 5pm11pm Friday and Saturday, the Bar is open daily at 3pm for drinks with light bites available at 4pm; reservations can be made via OpenTable HERE

The Spa at Rivet House

The Spa at Rivet House offers a tranquil and calming refuge for guests embarking on a transformative journey of balance and restoration. Curated by hospitality and spa consultant Lydia Mondavi, The Spa aims to create the ultimate retreat for guests seeking a luxurious sojourn through a menu of services, personalized treatments, and holistic offerings for the face, body, and soul. 
In addition to traditional services, The Spa at Rivet House offers Light Stim LED Infrared Therapies, Cryo Want Treatment, Electrical Muscle Stimulation treatments, CBD Soothing Balms, Cupping, and Sound and Meditation Therapy. Appointments can be made HERE.

Additional Details

Room rates begin at $341 per night. 
Rivet House photography can be found HERE (credit: Mali Azima) and Osteria Olio photography HERE (credit: Andrew Thomas Lee). 
Hotel reservations can be made via the Rivet House website HERE.

For press inquiries or additional information, please contact:
Sprouthouse Agency

Rivet House

Rivet House is a boutique hotel in the Southern Mill development of Athens, GA blending chic accommodations and bespoke design with the spirit and beloved culture of the town. Envisioned and developed by local husband-and-wife duo James and Jessica Whitley, and managed by the Indigo Road Hospitality Group, the 50-room hotel, spa, and restaurant are located in a former, long-forgotten denim mill. Creative Director Jessica Whitley, a celebrated interior designer, brings an elevated approach to the century-old building through welcoming earth tones, textural elements, and curated accents from around the world that soften and refine its industrial bones. The onsite restaurant, Osteria Olio, will offer modern Italian classics and Indigo Road’s 
signature hospitality, rounding out the property’s role as an urban retreat for locals and visitors alike.

The Indigo Road Hospitality Group

Founded in 2009 by Steve Palmer, The Indigo Road Hospitality Group (IRHG) owns, operates, and manages restaurants and boutique hotels throughout the country. Based in the Southeast, IRHG is founded upon the core principle of serving with love and creating memorable experiences for all. In 2019, IRHG marked its tenth anniversary by being named a Forbes Small Giant and appearing on the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies list, and in 2020 announced its new venture into lodging with a focus on food & beverage-driven boutique hotels. The Indigo Road’s dedication to excellence in food & beverage was recognized in multiple years (’18,’19,’20, and ‘24) by Palmer being named a semifinalist by the James Beard Foundation’s award for Outstanding Restaurateur. For more information on the portfolio, team, core values and services, visit