Newsletter: Amid new restaurants and some closings, are we a bit dining fatigued? Everyone claiming a piece of NW Georgia Olympics hopefuls. Broadcast birthdays and a goodbye. Peaks & Valleys: An all-star salute and a surprising snub.

Newsletter: Amid new restaurants and some closings, are we a bit dining fatigued? Everyone claiming a piece of NW Georgia Olympics hopefuls. Broadcast birthdays and a goodbye. Peaks & Valleys: An all-star salute and a surprising snub.

Note: Hometown’s weekly newsletter posts on Friday this week as half the community hits the road for the Independence Day holiday probably after lunch today. We’re pretty sure a lot of folks checked out midweek to be honest. Anyway, these items:


The always-safe generic food photo.


Have we plateaued when it comes to dining out? That’s an odd question, we know, when so many new options are truly on the table: Largos, Blossom Hill, Sam’s Southern Eatery, Eggs Up Grill, McAlister’s and soon, Fazoli’s. We’ve lost a few along the way as well including Jamwich, Homestead and Rome City Brewing. We’re also watching the clock on another spot as the lease draws to a close.

We ask that as we hear it from our foodie friends. The other night, over yet another wonderful meal at Yummy Thai on Broad, we talked about a downtown mainstay where the menu and food have just slipped. At the same time, one of the brightest newcomers in town, Eggs Up Grill, got solid reviews for a very eclectic spin on breakfast/brunch. Blossom Hill is the “be seen” spot right now but the most chatter we hear is about the jumbo shrimp, ample portions and customer service at Sam’s Southern Eatery.

The chains continue to add to the options — sometimes first in Cartersville (Fazoli’s) or first in Rome (Texas Roadhouse and Chipotle are doing well here and have companion restaurants well under way in Cartersville). We’re sure a few more are on the way.

Northwest Georgia aggressively supported area restaurants during the pandemic shutdowns and limited service. Some dining spots thrived with take-out and delivery as well as expanded outdoor seating. Even today, diners are being patient as their favorites battle through the benefits-induced labor shortage (we’re still stunned to hear Provino’s has closed Mondays and Tuesdays because of staffing issues).

Perhaps we’re all spoiled given the steady clip of newcomers or maybe, after trying those, we’re ready to return to our comfort spots where we enjoyed great times before. We felt that recently while dining at Sam’s Burger-Deli in Armuchee on a late spring Friday on the big patio, enjoying one of Mr. Edward’s perfect Philly Cheesesteaks. It was probably the most relaxing meal we’ve had anywhere in the last two years.

We’re anxious to hear what others have to say. Please email your comments to Please let us know if we can share them here next week.

Gymnist has ties to all of Northwest Georgia, it seems. Trion High graduate and Stanford standout Brody Malone is headed to Tokyo’s Summer Olympics, quite an achievement from a Northwest Georgian. But what’s interesting since Malone qualified is this. His “past” is catching up with him. He graduated from Trion High and went on to more fame at Stanford (background). But then came a post from Polk School District:

“Although Summerville, Georgia, is noted as his hometown, Brody and his family have been a part of the Polk School District family since 2005. Brody attended Westside Elementary, Cedartown Middle, and Rockmart Middle until 2014 when he moved to the Trion area. His father, J.D. Malone, was an Agriculture teacher at Rockmart High School for many years and is returning as the new Rockmart Middle School Agriculture teacher for the upcoming school year.” (for more)

And that was followed by a billboard in Bartow County, saluting the one-time Cartersville Twisters Gymnastics’ team member. (for more). As the team’s Facebook post says, “billboard official.” Indeed.

So we guess that makes him a regional star and not just “the pride of Trion High.” All we can add is this: “Just win, baby.”


The hits (and news) just keep on comin’ from two area radio stations turning 75 and 60:

Today’s media is mixed up more ways than the menu for hash browns at Waffle House. But what’s enduring is staying the course and that means serving communities with local news and information in this day of cookie-cutter syndication. That said, two radio properties in our area celebrate milestones this summer.

The first is WBHF AM 1450 and 100.1 FM in Cartersville. It it local to the core, from news to City Council to Cartersville High School sports and beyond. They’re even broadcasting and cosponsoring Saturday’s downtown Independence Day parade. WBHF turns 75 and the on-air party begins at 7 a.m. on July 16.

Next is WEIS, 990 AM and 100.5 FM, the “voice of Cherokee County” across the state line in Alabama, which turns 60 this year. It also is community-based with an active local news team.

You’d be surprised to know how much news you read and hear these days come from these two stations.

One more radio note: So now who do we go to when the weather gets hellish? WSB Radio’s first and only radio-only meteorologist Kirk Mellish retires at month’s end, Cox Radio announces. He’s served more than 30 years and will continue as a consultant through the end of the year. States the media release: “For more than three decades, listeners have tuned in each day to find out how Kirk will rate that day’s weather on the “Mellish Meter” and when there is severe weather to report, to hear his now famous call to action: “When the weather is hellish, depend on Mellish.”

Smith Douglas Homes has dominated local residential building so far in 2021 but area builders say much more is on the way. From a copy of the May permits from the planning department.


What’s ahead in the second half of 2021? We’ll answer that in a word — everything. 

The first six months of the year have seen plenty of newcomers, upgrades and a few farewells to some great businesses in downtown Rome and across Northwest Georgia. For sure, it was a time of mergers and sales involving the medical community — Redmond Regional, Cartersville Medical Center and the final steps of the Floyd/Atrium deal. In financial circles, Heritage First Bank is completing its union with First Chatsworth Bankshare. And what business has not been hit by staffing concerns?

As we enter the final six months of 2021, you’ll need a scorecard to keep track of exactly what’s on the way in our community. We’ll provide that in a series of stories posting next week, some of which feature the first works of correspondent Seth Chambliss (no relation to the senator) on Hometown Headlines.  One industry segment alone is wrapping up work on more than $30 million in projects. The housing demand will be answered as well with previously untapped areas — one a forgotten next phase — suddenly being primed for growth. And we all know about the retail and restaurant rush in Rome and Cartersville — but maybe not to this extent.

We plan to start the series on Tuesday, July 5.

PEAKS & VALLEYS: The highs and lows of Northwest Georgia.

Peak of the week: Sixty-four flags. Nearly as many businesses. And a spirited membership of the Armuchee Ruritan Club. All combine for another Norman Rockwell-like snapshot from Northwest Georgia celebrating Independence Day. Whether it is stylish bunting along home fences front U.S. 27 in Summerville or the down-home imagery from Cave Spring’s annual parade with Lady Liberty herself, Christa Jackson, this community-based images are what our nation’s birthday is all about.

Valley of the week: Those keeping U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s visit to Rome a secret on Monday.

You probably missed your invite to U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock’s “lunch and learn” whistle stop in Rome on Monday. We did, too, and apparently the only media there — the Rome News-Tribune — had to twist some arms to get access. Which is embarrassing. There was a quorum of five Rome City commissioners there as well as the county commission chair and a Rome Board of Education member. And they dined at a restaurant off Redmond Road — a popular spot but not exactly Broad Street, the River District or East Bend. What we don’t like: The secrecy of the meeting. Are our feelings hurt for not getting an invite? No; we wouldn’t have attended anyway as we’re not wild about photo opps and canned speeches; that’s PR, not news. What we really don’t like is this: You didn’t have a chance to see Warnock or even know he was in town. Wasn’t the 2020 election about moving beyond the good ol’ boy network and transparency in government and opening doors and building bridges? Given the roll call of those attending — courtesy of the RNT — is sounds like some of the players were changed but little more.

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