Updated Mon, Mar 24, 2014 1:44 pm
UPDATE 1:45 p.m. The Athens Farmers Market is looking at the possibility of changing its hours to remain at The Market on State while accommodating the new Texas Roadhouse restaurant, which opened to the public on Monday.
The popular market has been looking for a new location since it was announced that the chain restaurant was being built in the parking lot of The Market on State, where the market is held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Once construction of the restaurant began, the market was shifted further east in the mall parking lot. As The Messenger previously reported, the market board was informed that it can stay at its current location throughout the end of March.
The market's board has been looking for a new location and has sought the help of the city of Athens and the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet) to try to find funding and an ideal piece of real estate.
On Saturday evening, Neal Niklaus, owner of Texas Roadhouse, told The Messenger that the farmers market could be changing its hours from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. to 9 a.m.-noon to accomodate the restaurant's customers. Texas Roadhouse opens at 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 4 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Athens Farmers Market Board President Larry Cowdery confirmed that option on Monday, stating that changing the hours of the market is likely the top choice among the market's board members. He said changing the hours for both the Saturday and Wednesday markets could help alleviate parking problems for customers at Texas Roadhouse and the Athena Grand movie theater.
Cowdery declined to elaborate on what other options the market may be considering. The market's board is meeting Thursday
The Athens Farmers Market board is slated to vote on its new temporary location on Thursday, but some customers say they’ll follow the market wherever it may go.
The popular market has been looking for a new location since it was announced that a Texas Roadhouse was being built in the parking lot of The Market on State, where the market was located on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
As The Athens Messenger previously reported, the market board was informed that it can stay at its current location throughout the end of March. Texas Roadhouse will open to the public on Monday.
Athens Farmers Market Manager Kip Parker confirmed Saturday that the market’s board will meet on Thursday and vote on a new temporary location at that time.
Market shopper Dan Basta said he frequents the market nearly every week with his children. He said he will continue to shop at the market wherever it moves.
“It will still be local. I’m not concerned about it,” Basta said.
Brittany McIntire agreed.
“It’s a great program for the community. I’ll still go regardless of the location,” she said on Saturday.
Whitney Peterson said she doesn’t make it to the market as often as she used to since her daughter was born, but said that her parents frequent the market quite often to pick up fresh produce.
She said she and her family will definitely still go to the market once it changes location.
Krista Everett and Jeremy Saks were also shopping at the market on Saturday.
They said they will follow the market to its new location as well.