Updated Wed, Jul 31, 2013 11:37 am
More live music has just been added to the Uptown Athens menu, along with a side order of local art.
After more than a year of planning and hard work, Barb North-Moss and Eric Moss will open The Over Hang, a new restaurant and music/arts venue, on Monday, Aug. 5.
The couple, who have owned and operated W.g. Grinders on West Union Street since 2006, decided to expand their restaurant business to 63 North Court, the former location of The Blue Gator and The Greenery.
When Barb and Eric first learned about new apartments being built on the second and third floors of the building, they wondered what was going to happen with the ground floor, which had been vacant since 2008.
Shortly afterwards, they were approached by the builders about using the street-level space for a restaurant, and the opportunity was too good to pass up.
In addition to local music and artwork, the establishment will offer a menu of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, entrees and desserts, using ingredients from locally produced products. Breakfast is also being planned for Saturdays and Sundays.
WOUB caught up with co-owner/operator Barb North-Moss and booking manager Andie Walla to discuss plans for Athens' newest "hang."
WOUB: Barb, what prompted you and your husband to open a new restaurant on Court Street?
Barb North-Moss: We had frequently discussed expanding North Moss Restaurants, LCC and had investigated several opportunities for opening another restaurant in Athens. The timing was right and the situation was an excellent fit and opportunity.
WOUB: Could both of you give me your impression of the local arts scene and what immediate plans you have, in terms of hosting shows and exhibitions?
BNM: We're thrilled to be in the process of signing an agreement with Starbrick Gallery of Nelsonville for a "Starbrick on Court," if you will. The agreement will provide a designated 2-D gallery space in the restaurant, with six to nine rotating art shows per year. The gallery space and shows will be managed by Starbrick on Court, and artwork may be purchased.
Andie Walla: As a local musician, I feel every venue in Athens has a different vibe. Whether performing at The Smiling Skull Saloon, Jackie O's, The Union, Donkey Coffee or Casa Cantina, each has a different feel to it. With The Over Hang, I feel I'm helping create a totally unique performance space that does not exist in Athens.
BMN: We'll be featuring other items, such as the Dangling Guitars from Passion Works Studio. I'm also proud to say that, as you walk through the front door and look towards the stage, you'll see the Over Hang Logo painted by my talented sister, Beth Sour.
WOUB: Andie, what kind of music will be featured at The Over Hang?
AW: We're planning on having a variety of local and regional acts. Backwords, dubbed "Athens oldest band," will be the first act at the new venue. We plan on offering live music on weekends (Thursday-Saturday), but it will be a bit different in the fact that our shows will be from 9 p.m. to midnight. Only one band or a couple of solo acts will be featured in a night. Some other acts that are confirmed are Vinnie and The Lubricators, John Wetzel, Moonville Station, Appalachian Hillside Revolution, Broken Ring, Leah Nairn and The Posers, Olde Cellar Band, Blues Cowboys and The M.F.B.
WOUB: Will it be primarily local acts or are you planning on bringing in some out-of-town bands as well?
AW: To start, we'd like to focus on local acts, but hope to be able to occasionally bring in larger regional acts in the future.
WOUB: How can bands contact you if they would like to book a show?
AW: If an act has the ability to perform a three-hour set, they can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Many venues try and put several bands on a bill, limiting sets to 45 minutes or an hour or so. The Over Hang will allow musicians to perform more material in a night. We're currently booking acts for fall semester, so keep checking our online calendar.
For more information about The Over Hang, visit www.theoverhangou.com.