ATHENS, Ga (January 22, 2018) – Athens, Georgia, expects continued expansion in the brewery, dining and hotel segments of the hospitality industry, as well as new opportunities to enjoy outdoor recreation. The city’s mix of preservation and constant renewal allows visitors to revisit favorite spots and experience new restaurants and attractions that keep every visit to Athens exciting.

Meeting Facilities and Hotel Boom Continues in Athens: Hotels including downtown Athens Springhill Suites, Best Western Athens, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Courtyard by Marriott and Country Inn & Suites will undergo renovations and expansions to keep up with increased demand and create more possibilities for travel to the Classic City. 

Athens Springhill Suites will add 200 hotel rooms to the downtown inventory and boast views of historic North Campus and Sanford Stadium and is due to be completed in mid-late 2018.  Homewood Suites by Hilton, also under construction, is located behind The Classic Center at The Mark at Athens complex in downtown Athens. It will have 130 rooms and is scheduled to be open in late 2018.The Best Western is adding 54 more rooms, due to be completed in spring 2018.  Courtyard by Marriott and Country Inn & Suites are undergoing full renovations, due to be finished by the end of the year.

University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education and Hotel: The Magnolia Ballroom will undergo a transformation featuring more windows, updated lighting and smaller table sizes for more intimate table talk, which will create an elevated dining experience and meeting space for up to 200 people. For more information, visit


Food and Drink:

Akademia Brewing Company: Akademia Brewing Company is Athens' newest full-service brewpub, opened on Oct. 16, 2017, and is dedicated to the pursuit of higher education and high-gravity brews. Open for lunch and dinner, Akademia aims to become an Athens West Corridor destination. Its beers are named for a combination of collegiate themes and Greek mythology and provide patrons with both styles they know and love, as well as beers with which they may not be as familiar. Fans, known as Night Owls (or #ABCNightOwls on social media), can look forward to expanded event space and the outdoor bar area opening in 2018. For more information, visit

Creature Comforts Brewery at Southern Mill: The prominent brewery will invest a minimum of $11 million into a historic building in Athens for a secondary location, the Southern Mill complex, close to its downtown location. Production drives the opening of the new location, which will incorporate space for a tasting room and new brewhouses, a 24-head rotary filler for canning and 50,000 barrels’ worth of annual fermentation capacity. Visitors will be pleased with the greater availability of Creature Comforts. For more information, visit

The Expat: Bar Restaurant in Five Points: Former owners of H. Harper Station in Atlanta, Jerry and Krista Slater are bringing a versatile bar-restaurant into the Five Points area. The downstairs portion of the building will feature a restaurant and bar that nods to classic bistro culture and will have an all-day welcoming vibe. Upstairs will be an evening-only cocktail lounge for social gathering. For more information, contact 

Beau’s Cool World Ice Cream ShopThirteen-year old entrepreneur Beau Shell, aka Lil’ Ice Cream Dude, plans to open an ice cream shop in East Athens in April 2018.  After six years of operating his budding ice cream empire out of his parents’ garage and aggressive social media and kickstarter campaigns in November-December of 2017, he is “excited to move his business into a place of its own.”

Maepole: Foodies and devotees to fine taste will love the new fast-casual restaurant, Maepole. Local chef and restaurateur Peter Dale, co-owner of The National, Seabear and Condor Chocolate, has said that his newest venture Maepole “will serve Southern staples while drawing flavor inspiration from around the world.” To accommodate the savory flavors, Maepole will also serve fresh, house-made beverages, reasonably priced wine by the glass and draft options, including local beer and a refreshing spritz. For more information, visit



Lake Herrick Watershed Restoration: University of Georgia’s Lake Herrick will undergo restorations that will allow kayaks and other kinds of non-motorized vessels in summer 2018. Updates, including native plants, a new dock for launching canoes and kayaks, a new trail and a lawn area, will create the perfect area for an outdoor escape. For more information, visit


State Botanical Garden of Georgia Celebrates 50 Years: The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will celebrate its Golden Anniversary with activities and festivities throughout the year. Garden admirers and fresh-air enthusiasts will enjoy these celebrations. For more information, visit


Athens is also excited to welcome several other new restaurants, including but not limited to El Barrio Tacos and Tequila, a new Mexican restaurant which will open in the Five Points area in May 2018 and a new venture by Bain Mattox of The World Famous, which will move into the former 1000 Faces Coffee space on Chase Street. 




Aimee Cheek, PR Coordinator

Kayla Nichols, PR Intern, 706-357-4430


About the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau:

The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau is a proactive sales and marketing organization whose primary goal is to increase the economic impact of the hospitality and visitor industry by attracting individual visitors, group tours and meetings and conventions to Athens. Tourism WORKS for Athens, contributing $292.30 million in spending, 2,740 jobs and $20.17 million in local and state tax revenue in 2016.

Athens Travel Information:

The Athens Welcome Center at 280 E. Dougherty Street is open daily to provide maps, brochures, self-guided tours and visitor information. Guided bus tours of historic Athens depart daily from the Welcome Center at 2 p.m. Information on the Athens Welcome Center can be found at

The Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau offers a wealth of official visitor information at More information on Athens, Georgia is available at 706-357-4430 and