Square One Fish Company: Athens’ Premier Seafood Restaurant

February 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

Square One Fish Company may be only two years old, but is fast becoming the place Athenians choose for their seafood.  Being an avid fisherman, and Miami restaurant owner for close to twenty years, Joe Casio knows a thing or two about how to cook a fish.  Like so many out of towners, Joe and his wife Erica fell in love with Athens for its small town feel, and big city amenities.  A passionate and experienced chef, it was only a matter of time before Joe decided to bring his Miami flavors to Athens.  It didn’t hurt that Joe’s specialty, seafood, had been absent from Athens for far too long. Maybe Square One’s success can be attributed to the filling of this void, but ask any restaurant goer, and they will tell you it’s the food! Serving up anything and everything under the sea, Square One includes a variety of fish, shrimp, oysters, crab, and so much more. An ever changing menu, much of Square One’s fresh food is dependent on what’s in season, so don’t be surprised to find blue crab one month, and octopus the next. With most appetizers under $10, and most entrees under $20, Square One serves an upscale menu at an affordable price. Better yet, come on Tuesdays and find a deal that can’t be beat.  A complete meal for two, the Twos-day special provides an appetizer, two surf and turf dinners, a bottle of wine, and dessert, all for only $40! As an avid fan of their food, and deals in general, I often find myself at Square One on Tuesdays, either with my husband, or some girl friends.  If you haven’t experienced Square One, do yourself a favor, and go!     

To view the menu, location, and much more, visit Square One’s website here

–Sissy Erwin


The Georgia Museum of Art Completes Expansion and Reopens to the Public

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

         On March 3, 2009, The Georgia Museum of Art began construction on its Phase II expansion. Designed by Gluckman Mayner Architects (New York), and supported by $20 million in private donations, the new expansion has taken close to two years to complete.With construction having forced the museum to close its doors, it has been a long two years for Athens residents and art enthusiasts.However today, the wait ends, as January 31, 2011 marks The Museum’s reopening to the public.

         The recently completed facilities add more than 16,000 square feet in new galleries, outdoor sculpture gardens, and expanded lobby space.Located on The University of Georgia Campus, The Georgia Museum of Art is a must see! To find more information on the exhibits, viewing hours, and location, visit their website here.

— Sissy Erwin


The General Hospital Neighborhood: Old World Charm with a Fashionable Appeal

January 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

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The General Hospital Area, with its close proximity to shops, restaurants, and the university, is fast becoming one of Athens’ most desirable neighborhoods.  Located in town between the streets of Oglethorpe Avenue, Prince Avenue, and The Atlanta Highway, The General Hospital Area puts its residents at the center of Athens culture. The neighborhood’s name and growth can be attributed largely to The Athens Regional Medical Center, the second major employer to Athens, behind the university.  King Avenue and Talmadge, two of the neighborhoods main streets, connect from Prince Avenue and run adjacent to Athens Regional.  Upon entering these streets from Prince, you will notice a mixture of small businesses and doctor’s offices, shortly before becoming fully residential.  Rich in character, many of these homes were constructed in the 1940s and 50s, providing the neighborhood with an old world charm unfounded in today’s cookie cutter subdivisions.  Being both in town and mature in age, The General Hospital Area is closely akin to two of Athens’ most premier regions, Five Points and Boulevard. While similar in these aspects, there are differences as well, mainly with regards to price and to some degree size.  Homes in The General Hospital Area are on average 1,100 sq ft. and have a median price of $175,000, far below the $300,000+ price range of Five Points and Boulevard.  However, this substantial price discrepancy has provided home builders and re-modelers with affordable and unique houses to flip.  Many buyers have found great value in remodeling the interior with custom kitchens, and bathrooms, while still maintaining the vintage exterior.  This best of both worlds approach has proved lucrative for investors, and in turn created a heightened appeal to the area.  Even with the recent fashionable upgrades, General Hospital has always been revered for its in town amenities. Whether shopping for groceries, dining downtown, or working at the university, it seems as if everything needed is within a 5 minute drive.  Closer yet are the numerous local cafes, restaurants, and shops of Prince Avenue and Normal Town, both of which are only a short walk down the road.  Further interest in the area will be created with the arrival of the new medical school on the corner of Prince Ave. and Oglethorpe Ave.  The University of Georgia and The Medical College of Georgia, in an effort to address the physician workforce issues in the state of Georgia, have partnered to create a new four year campus at The University of Georgia.  This past fall marked the arrival of the school’s first class. Temporarily residing on the university’s main campus, the medical school plans in 2011 to move to its new and permanent home on the 58 acre campus, once home to the Navy Supply Corps School.  With the new jobs and new students the school looks to bring in, The General Hospital Area will surely see an increase in home buyers to the neighborhood.  At the same time many current and prospective businesses will be looking to support the new school, so expect the intersection of Oglethorpe Ave and Prince Ave to receive some added commercial development.  So what does the arrival of the new medical school really mean for General Hospital?  Home prices will rise. Taking this into consideration along with the vast array of close amenities provided by Alps Rd, Prince Ave, and downtown, means now, more than ever, is the time to buy.

–Sissy Erwin

Athens’ own 40 Watt Named in Top Ten Rock Venues of All Time

January 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Dos Palmas Mexican Restaraunt and Cantina

January 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

Located in The Clarke Crossing Shopping Center on the Athens Westside

While pondering what to blog about, I found myself out to lunch with some friends at Dos Palmas Mexican Restaurant and Cantina. As you can tell from the title, my blogging light bulb went off, and with a full stomach, I find myself typing away.  Let me start off by saying I’m no foodie and certainly no critic so don’t expect an arsenal of sophisticated food adjectives or even a credible palette. What I do know is that I enjoy good Mexican food, and Dos Palmas does not disappoint. Athens is overflowing with Mexican restaurants, and if you ask any local what’s the best, you are bound to get a different answer. From my one experience at Dos Palmas, I found the atmosphere great, the service quick, and the price very affordable (entrees $7-$12). Of course it doesn’t hurt that the food was delicious. If you’re ever on the westside, and looking for a casual restaurant with good food, stop in Dos Palmas.


Loved the Mexican charm and was very impressed with the cleanliness.

Huge bar! Too bad it was lunchtime....had to resist the allure of margaritas.

Chicken Tacos

One messy but yummy burrito

–Talley Toro

New Posts for the New Year!

January 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

The holidays are officially over, and I now find myself back in the office and ready to work. New Years resolutions have no doubt inspired me to get my priorities in order, and one those is The Toro Team Blog. While, Sissy, Juan, and I are real estate agents, we are also members of the Athens community, and believe we have an obligation and general passion for sharing our expertise of the area.  Whether discussing restaurants, neighborhoods, schools, or events, we at The Toro Team want to make our blog the place to be for everything Athens. So without further ado, the first blog of the year is…Dos Palmas Mexican Restaurant and Cantina!

–Talley Toro


November 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

 Emmanuel’s Annual Thanksgiving Dinner is fast approaching! For over 15 years, we have provided Thanksgiving Dinner to thousands of guests, serving meals at the church and delivering them to the homebound. Last year we served 609 meals alone! Dinner is served in the Common Room from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Planning is underway and we invite you to help with setup, service, delivery, cleanup, hosting, and provision of cooked, boneless turkey breast and hams. If you would like to get involved please call Melissa in the church office at 706-543-1294 x 201.