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Savor towns tastes by the lake
Annual event raises funds for Lake Lanier Rowing Club
Diners sample local restaurant’s offerings alongside Lake Lanier in the Olympic Plaza at Clark’s Bridge Park during a recent edition of the annual Taste of Gainesville.

A Taste of Gainesville

When: 6-9 p.m. Oct. 4

Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Venue, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville

Cost: $25 in advance; $30 at the door

More info:


Foodies from far and wide need to get their taste buds ready — a true Taste of Gainesville is coming to town.

Returning after last year’s hiatus, the 17th annual evening of food, drink and live music begins at 6 p.m. Oct. 4 as a benefit for the Lake Lanier Rowing Club.

For $25 per person or $40 for a table of eight, patrons can listen to live music while dining lakeside in the plaza at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue. More than 30 local vendors will supply food and drink for the event.

“It’s a great deal for the amount of money,” said Ann Marie Hynes, a board member and secretary of the LLRC who’s in charge of events. “It’s more food than you get anywhere else. You can’t eat the way you can eat there for $25.”

Located at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue on Clarks Bridge Road, the LLRC provides professional, beginner’s and youth rowing classes and training to the Northeast Georgia area. It also hosts rowing competitions that draw competitors from around the country. Proceeds will support the junior’s program and furnish new equipment for the nonprofit organization.

“The (proceeds) really go to help keep the sport alive,” Hynes said.

Restaurants set to provide goodies at the upcoming event include Atlanta Highway Seafood Market, Avocado’s Restaurant, Blue Fin Sushi and Hibachi, Johnny’s Barbecue, Recess Southern Gastro Pub, 2 Dog and Yellow Fin.

A variety of dishes will be available at Taste of Gainesville, but the unifying theme appears to be seafood in accordance with the event’s aquatic atmosphere.

“The year before last we did shrimp and grits from the Coffee Shop, which are also on the Skogies menu, and fried fish fingers,” said Tony Jonovitch, the owner of Skogies at Gainesville Marina and The Coffee Shop at Lawrence Pharmacy. “It’s probably what we’ll do again. It was pretty popular.”

Tina Roberts, owner of 2 Dog Restaurant on Spring Street, said the popular downtown Gainesville eatery will jump on the seafood bandwagon. Roberts and 2 Dog will supply pasta jambalaya as well as peppered parmesan loaves.

Roberts said the local eatery tries to support as many local events as possible.

“We try to do our part in any community event, because it’s important for businesses to support local charities, groups and clubs just as it is important for those people to support local businesses,” Roberts said.

While the local eatery Southern Recess plans on bringing a shrimp and grits entree, it is considering venturing out of the seafood arena.

“I think we’re thinking about doing the meatloaf entrée as well, making smaller portions of the meatloaf for everybody to have,” said Austin Calvert, Southern Recess’ executive chef.

Southern Recess Gastro-Pub on Bradford Street is participating in Taste of Gainesville for its fourth year, and it has an impressive record to uphold.

“I think we’ve won pretty much every time we’ve entered,” Southern Recess’ owner Chris Richardson said.

Richardson also recognizes the importance of giving back as a local business.

“It’s always nice to get out and talk to the community,” Richardson said. “The community supports us, so we support them.”

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