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Social Circle to welcome new restaurants, builders wanted
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Residents and visitors of Social Circle will have a few more eating options as the city will open three more in the downtown area.

Mayor Hal Dally said Hot Rod’s Diner, Butcher Block and Willy’s Mex Mex Grill have plans to open or have opened in April, giving people in downtown Social Circle a few more choices to dine.

Hot Rods Diner, which is located behind the Blue Willow Inn restaurant on North Cherokee Road, reopened under new management on Monday.

Dally raved about some of the menu choices the restaurant would have.

“It’s going to have some of the same menu [items] it had — the best hamburgers and onion rings you can find around here,” Dally said.

He said Butcher Block, owned by Covington restaurateur Jim Stalvey, would have menu items that were similar to that of Quik-Chic ( a popular chicken restaurant in Covington known for its chicken tenders and fried okra), and also small square hamburgers, similar to that of the Krystal restaurant.

Willy’s Mex Mex Grill, a Mexican restaurant, will also be opening downtown. Dally said it will be the business’s fourth location and that the establishment will have a full bar.

“We’re trying to get the restaurants back open. We want to make downtown a destination, just like the Blue Willow,” Dally said. “We’ve got 4,500 people here in town, we’ve got over 2,300 jobs in town and our daytime population is 6,500 and they’ve got to have a place to eat.

“Restaurants have always been successful here. A lot of various reasons caused some of them to close down, but we are getting them re-opened and looking for people to come back into town and open new restaurants.”
To inspire more restaurant owners to open their businesses in Social Circle, Dally said the city has cut the license fee for beer, wine and liquor to $500 a year. It was previously $3,500 a year.

“I think that’s the cheapest you can find anywhere around. I think Madison may be $3,500 and Covington is $5, 000,” he said. “We want people who come in town to be profitable and we think that cutting the beer, wine and liquor fee to $500 — if they were on the fence, [they would now] come over.”

Dally said there are 150,000 people within 20 minutes of Social Circle and that everybody is always looking for a dining option.

He said Social Circle hopes to provide it.

In other news, Dally said the city is looking for builders to build more homes in the city, as the inventory of houses is low.

He said people have purchased the majority of the houses in the area, even the houses that needed some work done to them. He added that the city has also cut its capacity fees in half for water and sewer hook-ups.

“We’re looking to get people to come back and restart home building. There are no homes available in Town Park, which is a senior community for 55 and older.

There are no homes left in Windsong, which is a start-up community, [and] the high-density Jubilee [community] in front of [Social Circle] high school has no homes for sale,” he said.

“We’ve got a lot of good neighborhoods where builders can come in and start homes again. We have less than 1 percent of available houses in town and the market is here, they come for the school systems, the jobs and the low taxes,” Dally said. “We’re open to do business.”