A reader bleg… and a bash

Finally!  Now we can talk about the Notre Dame game.  I’m going to start by reminding one and all about what a great trip I, along with much of Dawgnation, had in 2017.  Everyone in South Bend was friendly and gracious.  And everyone coming to Athens deserves to have the same courtesy extended to them.  Make ’em feel welcome enough they can tolerate a big loss, amirite?

Moving on, I received an email from reader Timphd, who has a request for us that I’ll share here:

I am hoping you and the other readers can give me some advice. I am coming back to campus for the Notre Dame game next week. My first game back since the early 90’s. I live in Maine and it is nearly impossible to get back for a game due to work and family demands. However, in the last two years I have made the Notre Dame game in South Bend and the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma.

Next week my wife, son and daughter in law are headed to Athens for the game. We paid through the nose for tickets but have no regrets. What I need advice on revolves primarily around the logistics of the game. Here are my questions for the readers:

How early before kickoff do you have to present to the gate to be sure you don’t miss the kick? I nearly missed the kick in Pasadena due to how long security took. I used to like watching pregame warmups. How early would we have to get there for that?
Where is the best tailgating? I know we won’t be able to set up a tailgate, but we hope to have a little time to engage with other fans and get a sense of the scene now. As I said, my last trip to Athens for a game was in the early 90’s. I am sure much has changed.

Where should we try to grab lunch and/or dinner if we are mostly on foot? What are the recommended food options within walking distance of the stadium. How about after the game for (hopefully) celebratory drinks? I expect the whole town will be hopping and lines will be long, which ones are worth the wait? Or are there some off the beaten path places that people recommend?

As someone who rarely travels downtown on game day, I’ll leave it to you guys to share advice in the comments.  I will say that between the extra seats being sold, ESPN’s appearance and the level of ACCPD’s crowd/traffic management, I expect Athens to be a zoo Saturday.

As far as pregame goes, plan on heading into the stadium 45 or so minutes ahead of game time to watch warmups.

As far as tailgating goes, my group plans on being in early Saturday and setting up for the long haul — and, believe me, with the game not ending until after eleven, a long haul it will be — so y’all are invited to drop in and see us any time you like that day and spend some time enjoying yourselves.  I’d love to see any of you.  As always, we will set up in the lot by the tracks just north of the stadium.

Screenshot_2019-09-16 Impacted Lots - North Campus UGA Transportation and Parking Services

On that map, it’s designated as N08.  I’ll try to post a picture of where we are in the lot once we get there on Saturday.  In any event, I hope you’ll drop by.  If you time it right, you may run into Hoppy, star of stage, screen and the Montana Project, who’s also making it back to Athens.  If nothing else, maybe you can put a face with a moniker.

A good time will be had by all, I promise.


Filed under Georgia Football, GTP Stuff

90 responses to “A reader bleg… and a bash

  1. sniffer

    Man, you read my mind. I was thinking of messaging you to find your tailgate and, voila, you beat me to it. I want to say hi and thank you in person for this labor of love we know as Get the Picture. I, too, am paying through the nose but it will be worth the cost to be at the Dawg event of the year.


  2. scottrollins

    I don’t get to Athens nearly enough on game day, because I live in Kentucky and have to work on Sundays. But I try to get in town early early and park past north campus down here that Hotel Nikko, (Sometimes you can park for free if you get there early enough) To me, North Campus is the prettiest part of the campus anyway. Maybe an early stroll to the bookstore to load up on necessary items that you can’t find back home, then back up the hill to North Campus to find a bar to drink and eat for a while. I am just jealous as hell of those of you getting to go to the game, but I got to go to the game in South Bend so not too jealous

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul

    I am fond of the hanger steak at The Last Resort. There is also good food at The Place. Both are small and popular so be advised.


  4. Silver Britches

    I park my RV in the Hotel Indigo parking lot, so I have to deal with downtown for every game. Everywhere will be an absolute zoo, but postgame, the crowd seems to thin out by the time you get to Washington Street. Trappeze, Little King’s, South Kitchen, and maybe Blind Pig might be your best bets postgame to grab a drink without it being totally nuts. I wouldn’t be optimistic, though.


  5. Double Dog No. 8245

    Restaurant recommendations: Five&Ten (5p), The National (downtown), Seabear (bottleworks/downtown), Donna Chang’s (5p), Last Resort (downtown), Chuck’s fish (downtown)
    The main thing I would say for (the good) restaurants on a busy game day is just to pick somewhere and tough out the wait. Hardly anywhere in Athens takes reservations (exceptions: The National and Five&Ten). So, if you really want a table at a place likely to have a long line, just go put your name in as early as you can, then go somewhere else and have a drink while enjoying the wait.


  6. I want our team to make the game so miserable for the ND fans that the Fech deck is practically empty for Light Up Sanford. Otherwise, I hope they have a pleasant stay in the Classic City and spend a lot of money with the local businesses.


    • For Timphd, I enjoy DePalma’s but, like most places downtown, it can get really crowded. It has been my good luck tailgating spot for years.

      Given you’re making the trip, I would spend a little time at Creature Comforts for your pregame beverages especially if you can’t get their brews locally (Tropicalia from the tap is hard to beat).


      • CC is an excellent suggestion.


      • Bulldog Joe

        We went to Creature Saturday after the game.

        Don’t let the long line discourage you. It usually moves fast. They finished their outdoor pavilion last month and had a food truck there. It is shaded with new picnic tables and is not the sweat shop it used to be. Claim a spot and choose a runner for your beers.

        After showing your ID, you no longer have to check in for your glass. Beers are more expensive now, but the variety is the best they’ve had since they opened. Just be aware it won’t be open after the night game.

        Terrapin is another pregame option, just not within walking distance.


  7. ugat

    Wow, Senator I’d love to come by and meet you in the flesh and have a drink with you. Will you have a sign up or something so we will know exactly where you are?


  8. Rival

    Hope Timphd has a blast! I’m a former Georgian turned Mainer, too. I wish I could be there!


  9. JS

    I don’t really understand why some group doesn’t put on a public/paid tailgate. I think somebody could make a killing. The alumni association tailgate at the Rose Bowl was $150 per person but included food, drinks, music, other games on a projector, etc, and really just helped make the day so special. I wouldn’t expect all that stuff for every game but just food and drinks and maybe a tv would be so great – I think people like me that only go to 1-2 games a year and don’t have a tailgate set up would pay a fair amount for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. MGW

    So any of the posters who tend to antagonize you ever show up at your tailgate like, “…and another thing! Mark Richt….”


  11. Bulldog Joe


    A few post-game lessons-learned:

    For its size, Athens has good late-night food options…unless 100,000 others are trying to do the same thing.
    Many downtown establishments will have their kitchen shut down before the game ends…bar options-only.
    Win or lose, if you are over 40, downtown Athens after a night game gets annoying fast.

    If you are hungry, get out of the downtown area unless you want to stand in a long line for an overwhelmed staff. There’s a 24-hour Firehouse Subs on Prince near Athens Regional Hospital if you are on the westside. There’s a Choo-Choo Express Hibachi on Gaines School open until 3:30am if you are on the eastside.

    It’s not exactly fine-dining, but it gets the job done.


  12. stoopnagle

    Here’s stoopnagle’s advice: take it for what it’s worth.

    If you want to make sure you’re in the game on time – and you’ve got kids in tow – be at the DawgWalk and then just go in from there. Maybe loiter in the Tate lot for a bit.

    The best kid-friendly choices for downtown eating are Clocked (burgers, shakes) and Ted’s Most Best (pizza). I can heartily recommend Uncle Ernie’s for sandwiches. For those of you old enough to recall Clayton St. Deli, it’s that Uncle Ernie.

    If you’re coming in from Jefferson Hwy, then the Normaltown choices are spot on: Hi-Lo has good, cheap eats and a good beer selection. It’s kid friendly, too. I love White Tiger off Boulevard. It’s outdoor seating, great burgers, good BBQ. Also kid-friendly.

    I’m guessing you can find tailgates to crash. We welcome any and all and always have plenty to share. Look for the Texas flag in the Cloverhurst Lot.

    Go Dawgs, y’all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • doofusdawg

      Yep. For a late game bop around downtown for lunch and then take in North Campus and check out the puppy cemetery on way to Book store and then Tate Center to watch any number of early games on tv. Grab a chick fil a in Tate then watch band warm up and dawg walk. Follow band into stadium and take in all the glory until the chapel bell rings.

      Kid friendly and worked for me.


  13. Walt Simmons

    I always though that your tailgate was on south campus but its great to see that you tailgate close to where Leonard Post-toasties of Leonard’s Losers, another great Athens football related institution, had his roofing business.


    • Russ

      RIP, Leonard. I miss that show. I wish there was a complete archive on the web. With all the other junk you can find out there, this is one thing I can’t find.

      And have fun everyone at the game. Be on your good manners for the ND fans. They were exceptionally gracious to me in SB. Let the Dawgs on the field be the nasty ones this week.


  14. Gaskilldawg

    Tim, game day parking is a lot worse than you remember it from the early 1990s. The stadium is about 5,000 seats larger, meaning that at least 1,500 more cars will be looking for parking spaces. You probably remember early arriving fans being able to find parking spaces on campus and on the sidewalk. There are several new buildings where parking spaces used to be. The UGAAA cuts off access to a lot of campus unless you paid for a pass. The campus parking decks are not available without a pass that UGA AA sold in March.

    I do not know what your definition of “walking distance” is but if you do not mind parking a mile from the stadium there are downtown lots north of the courthouse. Expect to pay $50 or so. I recommend getting to Athens and looking for those lots really early, maybe by 3:00 or so (maybe earlier.) if you don’t mind a longer walk you can find parking, both paid lots and free street parking, in the Prince Avenue area. The free street parking would be n the residential neighborhoods on either side of Prince. Yes, it will be safe. Before the game you have a variety of food options from vegetarian/Vega (The Grit) to burgers and everything in between. The Student Center by the bookstore is bigger than when you were last at a gam3 had has a cafe. It has public restrooms and has a large area with televisions if you wish to watch the games.

    After the game I expect there will be a lot of drink options open (but I do not know what time Athens stops alcohol sales on Saturday night/Sunday morning now.

    With CBS and its production staff and ESPN and its production staff everywhere will be packed.

    If the distance I have referenced is too far for your group Five Points has some food and drink. Grind house Killer Burgers on South Lumpkin is popular and it is within a third of a mile from Butts Mehre. There is not as much parking in that area, though.

    I do not know your intinary. If you have all day the biggest suggestion is wear walking shoes and get to Athens EARLY, EARLY, EARLY.


    • illini84

      There is a new latin food place where the Thai joint was in the Bottleworks too.


    • Classic City Canine

      There are $20 lots on Milledge Avenue, but they aren’t in an optimal place for visiting downtown. Bars close at 2:00 am. Five Points is a great alternative to downtown, especially with several new restaurant options, but most of those options are on the expensive side (with the exception of Grindhouse, Fully Loaded Pizza, El Barrio, and Kelly’s Jamaican)


  15. respectthespecs

    Athenian and recent grad here. I’d recommend going somewhere off the beaten path for lunch/dinner if at all possible. Depending on when and how you’re getting into town, it might even work better for you! Normaltown boasts some good restaurants/bars if you’re not in the mood for anything too fancy (Agua Linda, Hi-Lo, and Automatic/Normal Bar, and Sips has some great coffee), and Homemade and Farmcart on Baxter are really wonderful. Downtown, the further north and east you go, generally the quieter it gets. I second the suggestions for Trappeze (also has seating and cocktails around the corner at Highwire) and Little Kings, and Creature is likely to be packed but well worth it. South Kitchen and Bar is also great. Five Points may be less busy than downtown, but it’s unlikely. You could try the Royal Peasant, The Pine, or The Root, but they’re relatively small. Donna Chang’s, 5&10, the Expat, and LRG Provisions are nicer fare in 5Pts.


  16. Sanford222view

    I really enjoyed The National when I ate there and Last Resort is always good as well. I do think Five & Ten has declined and didn’t have a good experience there the last time I ate there which was after the Tennessee game last year.


  17. SSB Charley

    I’m a Taco Stand junkie, and will hit there every time I go back to Athens. My wife and I used to load up a cooler with food from there when we’d get back down there. I think I miss the food from there (chicken quesadilla with onions, bean burrito, medium hot sauce, and a lemonade) as much as anything else about Athens.

    Having attended the good Senator’s tailgate before the 2015 Alabama game, I can attest that he is as kind and gracious in person as he is on here. I met someone else from here too, but am failing to recall now (my apologies). Stopping Tyler Dawgden’s tailgate by Stegeman is also a great time, as Tony is as good as the day is long.


  18. ugafidelis

    I’m fixing to splurge for 2 tickets on stubhub. What sections are the best bang for the buck?


    • illini84

      I’ve been in the second row of the upper deck in 332 for 10 years and I like the view from up there.


    • jrod1229

      It’s gonna be a night game so weather won’t be an issue. At that point anything where your back or immediate side isn’t near the jumbotron is probably ideal. Whether you can afford 300s and 100s is up to you, but I don’t think you’ve got a bad spot otherwise.


      • ugafidelis

        I appreciate it. I’ve got some friends with season tickets and assumed they were going, but I gave them a call and it just so happens that they are not. So I’ll be in 126.


  19. illini84

    The fucking morons on 960 were just yammering about hoping people spit on the Notre Dame fans.


  20. illini84

    Come over to White Tiger in Normaltown, vegetarian and BBQ!


  21. Timphd

    Thanks to all of you for the suggestions! I am appreciative of the efforts to give me advice. As for “walking distance” for this group a couple of miles is no big deal. We all walk a lot. We have a ride into the city that will drop us off pre-game so parking should not be an issue. Getting out of town may be trickier, as my recollection is traffic out of town was a bitch even before the town grew and the stadium expanded. We plan to Uber once the crowds have dissipated a bit. That is the appeal of an after game watering hole.

    The restaurants all sound good too. We are not too picky about what genre of food we have, as long as it is good. We will probably hit town in the late afternoon and grab some local cuisine and take a campus tour before heading to the game. I do hope to run into many of you, it would be nice to have faces and names to go with the posts. If you are out and about, I should be easy to spot, I will be the one wearing a red Georgia polo and red hat with a G ;).

    Thanks again.


    • Dawgflan

      Whether parking or being dropped off, my go-to is the area between Prince Avenue and Broad just West of downtown. Once there, you are a quick walk from Big City Bread, Taqueria Del Sol, The Last Resort, The National, The World Famous, Creature Comforts, Ted’s Most Best, and others.

      Grab lunch at one of the above spots, and then meander through downtown and North Campus to enjoy the public events and/or tailgating (including the Senator’s!). Then head over to the Tate center in time for Dawg Walk (5:45 pm), do one lest fuel up and restroom break at Tate/Learning Center, and then head in around 6:30-6:45. Based on your ticket location, I would suggest either the Main Gate (under Sanford Bridge) or take the steps up and around to the South side of the Stadium.

      After the game, Flicker Theatre and The World Famous downtown, and Seabar Oyster Bar on Prince are all completely different vibes but all recommended late night watering holes depending on your mood.

      Once done, getting an Uber or picked up on the North side of Downtown/Prince is always easier than on campus or right near the Arches.


    • Harold Miller

      I don’t know if anyone has mentioned it, but Trappeze is a good option. There are no TVs, but the food and beer are excellent.


  22. Bob

    Great point about hospitality Senator. Our fan base was treated like royalty in South Bend, even after winning. I have confidence that the bulk of Dawg Nation will do same. Saturday’s awesome display was fantastic

    Liked by 1 person

  23. 30904Dawg

    Your advice of heading to the stadium 45 minutes before game-time is terrible. For 15+ years now, there has been a bottleneck at gate 2 starting about an hour before kickoff; it usually causes anywhere from 5-10k people to be late making it to their seats.

    If you want to be in the stadium for warmups, pregame rituals like the Battle Hymn, Larry Munson video, cool gameday production videos and the national anthem/alma mater….its best to plan on being IN YOUR SEAT 45 minutes before kickoff. And you’ll want to allow for 30-45 minutes of walking to the stadium, getting through the gate, going to concessions and getting to your seats.


  24. saildawg

    As a local Athenian who does the bulk of tailgating at home and then walks to the stadium, I can perhaps give you a guide to a non traditional on foot tour of Athens tailgate.
    Parking will be a nightmare so the earlier you get here the better. I would recommend parking on the West side of downtown, be prepared to pay $40-80. I would aim to arrive around noon. If starting around noon on the West end of downtown, I would hit up Bottle Worx shopping center first. Its on Prince Avenue (5 minute walk West of Downtown)
    1)Go to SeaBear get oysters and craft cocktails/and or cheap beer. This place has amazing food as well can’t go wrong with anything there, and their drinks are top notch as well. Get a negroni slushi if it is hot out or just cause its awesome.
    2)Walk next Door to Viva Argentina and get some cupcakes for dessert. The coconut dulce de leche is amazing.
    3) Walk to Creature comforts and grab an Athena and Tropicalia, they also have other great selections but these two are a must try. Hang out, enjoy the new outdoor space etc, there is a food truck there as well
    4) If still in the mood for high quality cocktails, try to go to the bar at the National across the street, they have a great cocktail menu. If you can get some appetizers there as well go for it, pricey but top notch quality.
    5) Now we start bar hoping toward campus, places I recommend are High Wire, Little Kings, World Famous. Start drinking your way toward the arches. Cross through and enter north campus and see where the day/night takes you. Given Senator is having a tailgate make your way there. I plan to get to the gates a good 1 hour before kickoff, because the hype anticipation is going to be amazing.
    Friday can’t get here soon enough, GO DAWGS!!!!


    • +1 on Seabear. Fantastic happy hour.


    • Big City Bread is good for breakfast and lunch.


    • Bulldog Joe

      Bottleworks-area is a good less-crowded choice in the afternoon but very few places beyond the Go Bar will be open after the game. Seabear has creative cocktails, good oysters, and a solid chowder, but the menu is not kid-friendly and there is usually a lengthy wait to get in. Kids usually like Taqueria Del Sol a block down the street or Ted’s Most Best in that corner of downtown. Few, if any, will be open post-game except the Go Bar next to the Grit.

      For late night post-game drinks… perhaps Shokitini or the Trappeze Pub will have seating downtown or take a cab ride to the Old Pal or Normal Bar in Normaltown. All are open late. Everywhere else downtown will be slammed.


      • saildawg

        Yes this is the pregame plan, I also agree that Normaltown has the best bars and would be a great choice after the game, assuming you can get there by 2 am (CBS after all will likely make this game end after 12). Old Pal is by far my favorite place for cocktails. HI LO also is a great place for drinks and surprisingly good upscale bar food.


      • illini84

        And out back of the Normal Bar is fun.


    • Classic City Canine

      Sounds like you’re a bit of a Townie



    Honestly believe that Athens will double in size this weekend, GO DAWGS!


  26. Russ

    B&L Warehouse and O’Malley’s were always fun. Tyrone’s OC for a different spin on things.


  27. Vectordawg

    Would y’all mind helping out another Dawg fan with a dilemma? I’ll be in CO elk hunting and won’t be able to watch the game live. When we get back to camp Saturday night the game will be over. Y’all have any suggestions as to how I can record the game and watch when I get back to camp? There is a satellite internet in camp. Thanks! I hope I don’t offend anyone by hijacking this thread.


  28. Timphd

    Once again, thanks to all of you for the suggestions and to the Senator for posting my questions. Sounds like we will have many choices. Are O’Malley’s and B&L Warehouse still open or is that a joke??? Those were there in the early 80’s when I was there. Can’t imagine they still exist.

    Have a great Saturday. Go Dawgs!


  29. Classic City Canine

    Young alum and Athens resident here. Lots of good advice already. I’ll try and add some things I haven’t seen here already.
    Lots of choices and price points available. If you’re looking for “fine” dining, the Bottleworks on Prince has multiple popular options like Seabear. Downtown itself has the National, Porterhouse, Last Resort, Five Bar, De Palma’s and South Kitchen+Bar. Last Resort is the best but the wait will be forever. In Five Points, the Expat, Five & Ten, the Pine, Donna Chang’s, and Marker 7 are available. I’d pick Marker 7 (sit on the deck) followed by the Pine.

    If you’re looking for more affordable options, Hi-Lo, Automatic Pizza (by the slice), Taqueria del Sol, and Tlaloc are great in the Boulevard/Prince/Normaltown area. Downtown has Clocked, the Grill, (both are personal favorites), Ted’s Most Best, Fuzzy’s, Blind Pig Tavern, and Chick-fil-A. I also highly recommend Trappeze Pub as others have. In Five Points, Fully Loaded Pizza, El Barrio, Grindhouse, Cali N Tito’s, and Kelly’s Jamaican should have you covered. I’d highly recommend Cali N Tito’s for lunch on game day if you’re near Myers or Stegeman (it’s a BYOB place too). I also like home.made on Baxter Street near St. Mary’s.

    If you’re near downtown for breakfast, I’d go with Zombie Donuts or Athens Bagel Co. Otherwise, go to Heirloom on Chase (get a reservation) or Mama’s Boy at the Falls. Don’t go the the Oconee Street Mama’s Boy unless you want to wait forever and a day to eat.

    There’s a watering hole for almost everyone but downtown is mostly split between the east and west side of Lumpkin. The west side will have more adult, townie/hipster places like Little Kings while the east side will be focused primarily on college students. However, there is some variety even among east side bars. Some are geared towards underage/bump and grind and others cater to upperclassmen and post grads. Walker’s/Blue Sky is probably the best for post grads/non-college students. Allgood and Magnolia’s are also solid choices. I would strongly recommend Creature Comforts before the game.

    If you’re in Five Points, I recommend the Root. It’s in the basement of The Pine restaurant and will probably be hidden from the worst of the crowds. Normal Bar is the spot to be if you’re on the Normaltown side of Athens. On the west side, Akademia brewpub is good, and of course Southern Brewing Co. (the most family friendly) and Terrapin are also available but are not remotely within walking distance of campus. Those would be good Friday evening places.

    If you’re looking for the best place to get in and get out, you can’t beat the East Campus Village Deck next to Building 1516 (not the same as the East Campus Deck). It lets out directly onto the Loop 10 highway around Athens. Most UGA lots require a pass unless you park at the IM Fields. The closest you can get to the stadium without a pass is the Baldwin Village Apartment lot behind where the old Bling Pig Tavern used to be next to the Senator’s railroad lot.


  30. Joe Herring

    I will be bringing a Notre Dame fan with me to the game and will be taking him to the Dawg walk. Does anyone know if the Irish do a Leprechan walk and if so when and where it would be. Any info will be appreicated.