Hildegard's German Cuisine, one of Athens' most anticipated new businesses, is on track to open this spring, one of the owners confirmed recently.
Amy Miller, who co-owns the business with husband Eric, said the restaurant is “on track” to open in March. She recently said the business was waiting on permits so work on the kitchen and bathrooms could begin.
The business will be located in the former Diesel and Lola building on the east side of The Square, which dates back to 1893. Because of city code, the Millers were required to install a new fire suppression system.
Most of the work up to this point has been renovating the walls and roof. They also put in a new electrical system to accommodate the kitchen equipment and a new grease trap, both of which were anticipated.
Amy Miller said those curious about the project will often stop by while work is going on.
“If we see people standing there, we'll let them come in and look around,” she said.
The business may have a “soft opening” prior to the grand opening. The couple posted updates about the project on the Hildegard's German Cuisine Facebook page. A posting from Monday features a photo of the inside of the building with a message, “Getting closer, Athens!”
The Athens restaurant will represent the second location for Hildegard's. There is a Huntsville location at the corner of Whitesburg Drive and Bob Wallace Avenue.
The Millers previously said the restaurant serves authentic German cuisine, but dishes should be palatable to those unfamiliar with bratwurst or schnitzel.
“Everything that comes out of our kitchen is authentic with a slight twist,” Eric Miller said. “It's comfort food.”
Tere Richardson, director of Athens Main Street, said she “can't wait” for the restaurant to open. She believes other businesses on The Square will benefit other merchants.
“Their food is amazing and they are bringing back to life one of our wonderful downtown buildings,” she said. “Restaurants are the leading force behind revitalizing downtowns. The more varied the choices, the more interest is created. What follows is downtown becomes the first choice for dining out.”