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Taste of Gainesville raises funds for Lake Lanier Rowing Club
Angel Retana, owner of Fajitas in Gainesville, prepares Mexican fare for patrons of Taste of Gainesville on Saturday night at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue.

A Taste of Gainesville
When: 6-9 p.m.
Where: Lake Lanier Rowing Club, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, in Gainesville
Cost: $25 in advance and $30 at the door
More info:

Foodies who love supporting their community are in for a real treat when A Taste of Gainesville comes to town once again.

During the 18th annual event, area restaurants dish out sample-size delicacies throughout the night on the plaza at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue. The feast raises money for the Lake Lanier Rowing Club Juniors League and their boats.

“The Taste of Gainesville helps promote the sport of rowing in the Gainesville community as well as helps promote the local restaurants that come out to support the event,” said Tracy Tallman, the head juniors coach at Lake Lanier Rowing Club. “This event is important to Lake Lanier Rowing Club, because this is how we fundraise for our equipment since we are a not-for-profit organization.”

The 18th annual event will be  from 6-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Lake Lanier Rowing Club, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, in Gainesville. The dinner will take place outdoors with indoor space available in case of rain.

Advanced tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the website,

a-taste-of-gainesville or through a rowing club member. Tickets may be bought at the door for $30. A table of eight may be reserved for an $40 or a table of 10 for $50. Children younger than 10 may enter for free with a parent.

As part of the annual event, restaurants will compete for several awards, including best overall, fan favorite, best meat and best dessert, Rowing club president Duane Schlereth said.

Some restaurants serving their specialties include Avocados, Bluefin, Cosa Nostra Italian Kitchen, Mule Camp Tavern, Johnny’s BBQ, Panera Bread, Senor Fiesta and Skogies. Bruster’s real ice cream and Kona Ice will satisfy those sweet tooths.

“We’ve been doing this for a couple of years,” said Dylann Young, manager of  Atlanta Bread Company on Dawsonville Highway. “It’s always good to have friends (who) own other businesses. We help each other out.”

Young said his restaurant would “definitely bring balsamic blue salad and our classic turkey bacon avocado sandwich” to the event.

Returning for another year will be Skogies, a seafood restaurant accessible by land and water. It will be joined by the Coffee Shop at Lawrence Pharmacy and the Midland Station Coffee Company, which is teaming up with Lakewood Baptist Church.

“Skogies will be serving fried grouper fingers. The Midland Station will have shrimp and grits. And there will be coffee for everyone,” Skogies owner Tony Jonovitch said. “We love the people and the venue, and the great cause that we are supporting.”

The Lake Lanier Rowing Club was formed in 1993 to provide opportunities for citizens “to come together and enjoy the sport of rowing,” Schlereth said. The club’s popularity grew after the rowing events for the 1996 Olympics were on Lake Lanier. Now, the club sends junior rowers to state competitions every year.

The club has active areas of programs for adults and students including weekly training sessions. Learn-to-Row classes teach newcomers the sport and are offered throughout the year.

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