ATHENS — The owners of a downtown Athens restaurant made their feelings on the events of this week abundantly clear.
A sign outside The Place, on Broad Street in downtown Athens, spells it out:
Alan Pope, one of the co-owners of The Place, said he wasn’t working when the sign went up so he doesn’t know which employee wrote it.
“But that’s the feeling around the restaurant here, for sure,” he said. “We weren’t real thrilled with the decision.”
That decision, for those under a rock since Sunday morning: McGarity, Georgia’s athletics director, fired longtime head football coach Mark Richt.
The Place has been open since February, and no, Pope said, to his knowledge Richt has never been there.
Pope said the sign was posted Tuesday, prior to the news of Kirby Smart’s hiring as Richt’s replacement. Does that make Pope feel a bit better?
“I would say that it does. We’re extremely excited about having a UGA alum come back and coach. He’s been extremely successful at Alabama with Nick Saban,” he said. “But Richt was such a class act and huge gentleman. He kind of set the culture in Athens with the football team. We’re gonna miss him.”