Note: This story appears in the Thursday, Aug. 29 newspaper on Page A1.
On Court Street in Athens, an outside look at the “shiny diner” does not appear to show much change besides the sign above the door.
Take a look around back, though, and you’ll see a new mural. Inside is a fresh look for the newest restaurant in town — Hangover Easy.
The restaurant, located in the former Court Street Diner digs, hopes to be a big hit after opening prior to Ohio University’s move-in weekend. The small restaurant chain hails from Columbus, where there are two locations, and has expanded into Cincinnati and now Athens.
Hangover Easy serves brunch with a cheeky, playful twist: many dishes have names that toe the line between fun and risqué. There’s the Low Down omelette, which includes pork belly, sautéed onions and veggies; or try the Dirty Burrito, with scrambled egg chorizo, HOE fries and queso, all wrapped in a flour tortilla and covered in pico de gallo cheddar cheese. Another highlight is the Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese.
Marketing Director Lauren-Ann Swanson said the company is excited to open a new location in Athens and described the transition from being Court Street Diner.
“What we did is we closed a couple months ago and re-renovated the entire space,” Swanson said. “It really fits into our brand, with pop culture influences and bright colored artwork, all done by artist Troy Sayers. We offer a really fun, eclectic environment and cater to the whole community.”
Sayers has been busy this week painting a mural on the back exterior showcasing the Berry Hotel — a historic business that had been on the site for decades, but was eventually torn down in 1974.
The interior pays further homage to the location’s history, with an Athens Messenger newspaper clipping describing the African-American-owned hotel. There are photos of the prominent local businessman Edward Berry and his wife, Mattie, along with a plaque further explaining the hotel’s significance in Athens.
In a provided statement, Hangover Easy owner Nick Pedro said the company is “so excited to open in Athens and be part of the community and university ... We love the area and the people there.”
The restaurant employs about 30 people, many of whom worked at Court Street Diner. Swanson said the feedback so far has been “phenomenal” and that the restaurant welcomes feedback.
“We’re really excited to listen,” she said. “We’re excited to cater to the Athens community. We believe that we have a lot to offer, and we’re thankful for the support of the community.”
She noted that the menu includes options for individuals with dietary restrictions. The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.