The What to Do and See From a Real Dog About Town

The What to Do and See From a Real Dog About Town

Ryman Recommends: Wildwood Revival


All photos via Wildwood Revival

Ryman is a big music fan – after all, he spends every day napping in the office of a record label - but when it comes to festivals, this dog is too old to fight the fringe and ankle bootie clad masses to see his favorite bands. Enter the anti-festival, Wildwood Revival held August 29th & 30th


Set on the grounds of a historic mansion just outside Athens, GA, Wildwood Revival is unlike any other festival. Ticket sales are limited for the very purpose of keeping the event intimate. Most of the bands have an Americana, folk feel. Perfect for a day of relaxing with friends. It feels more like your best friend’s rustic wedding reception or the most epic high school party ever than it does a typical festival.


Wildwood offers the option to camp either in your own tent or in one of their adorable teepees. For those who spend the night, breakfast tacos will be served before an onsite yoga session and wiffle ball game. Is this adult summer camp!? I mean…


This year the line up is stacked with familiar artists and new bands bound to be your new favorite. And if the bands aren’t enough, “Saturday evening wraps up with what GQ Magazine calls ‘The Most Stylish Party in America.’ The fellas from ELECTRIC WESTERN present their wildly successful rock and soul dance party, spinning a hand-selected mix of the most danceable popular and obscure 50’s and 60’s Rock and Roll, Soul, Doo Wop, Garage Rock and more.” – AKA Heaven! See the full lineup HERE



The artisan market keeps in tune with the rest of this hip festival. Each vendor either sells beautiful vintage goods or handcrafted items. You won’t find any cheesy wind chimes at this artisan market!

And no festival is complete without food & beer. Enter Ryman’s favorite, Heirloom Cafe who will be offering breakfast for campers in addition to food throughout the day. Hip Pops will be on site all weekend to curb your sweet tooth. Terrapin will be supplying all the beer.

For ticket and event information visit:



Ryman Recommends: Broad 9A & Indie South Pop Up Shop


Image via The Broad Collective

In Ryman’s world, weekends are reserved for 3 things: sleeping, brunching, and hiking, but this weekend, he is making an exception. On Sunday, July 19th, our friends at Broad 9A are joining forces with the Indie South Fair to host a pop up shop. More than 20 artisans from around the area have been selected to sell their wares. Since the folks at Broad 9A think of everything, this event will be family friendly. Let your kids jump out their pent-up summer energy in the BOUNCE HOUSE(!) while you peruse the goods. Hip Pops will be on hand to keep every cool. Pop it like it’s HOT!

Broad 9A is located at 160 Tracey St. — Up the walkway from Hip Pops



Ryman Recommends: Patio Round Up



The weather is heating up, and after weeks of rain, it seems we have fast forwarded straight to summertime. Not that Ryman is complaining. This dog lives for an evening spent begging for leftovers lounging on a patio as the sun sets and the heat of the day cools off. Ryman spent some time rounding up all of his favorite patios around town. In no particular order:

Ted’s Most Best

The obvious front runner for the Athens Patio Scene. This pizza place has ample room to spread out and enjoy a cold Creature Comforts beer or a crisp Vinho Verde while you wait for a pizza and garlic knots. What started as a bocce ball court is now the most popular sandbox in downtown, giving parents the opportunity to throw a couple back without having to worry about their youngsters – awaiting some sandy pizza crusts from tiny hands is what keeps Ryman coming back.


The National

What it lacks in size, The National’s outdoor dining makes up for in flavor and people watching. With just a few tables outside, the seating feels casual and intimate while you enjoy some of the freshest, most delicious dining in town.

Photo via Awesome Athens


Ike & Jane

Ryman has sung the praises of Ike & Jane on many occasions. Its cute picnic tables with umbrellas make it the perfect spot to enjoy a sandwich and an Arnold Palmer on even the hottest of days.

Normal Bar

It’s a dog party every night of the week at Normal Bar, and Ryman never misses a good soirée. Sip on a Loving Cup or a Hecho en Mexico on the back porch, and soak up all the townie goodness that makes Athens the special place that it is.

Normal Bar Back Patio

Pulaski Heights BBQ

Pork, pooches, and patios go together like peanut butter and jelly. Pulaski Heights has ample outdoor seating to enjoy the roar of the train and the scents of the outdoor smokehouse. Ryman recently tried the new Cuban sandwich on the menu. Good lordy, it’s good! He has a new go-to when burnt ends aren’t on the menu.

Cuban Sandwich at Pulaski Heights


For brunch on a Saturday or Sunday, there is nowhere better than Heirloom Cafe. The Love on a Biscuit rotates weekly, and every week it is inexplicably better than the week before. The coffee is strong and the patio is peaceful. What more could a pampered pooch ask for before 11am?

Love on a Biscuit


The most historic of our featured patios, the 5&10 porch is covered, so you are safe from any sudden Southern thunderstorms making their way through town on a summer evening. Warning (maybe from personal experience…): 5&10′s porch is so fabulous, an hour can easily turn into 3, and 1 bottle of wine can quickly become 1 too many bottles of wine. But a life filled with “one too manys” is a life well lived in Ryman’s book.

Photo via MW Eats

Georgia Theatre Rooftop / Branded Butcher Rooftop

While what was the best view in Athens is now blocked with a monstrous student housing development (Don’t get Ryman started on this topic), the Georgia Theatre roof is the best spot to grab lunch, an after work beer, or a late night show. The food matches the atmosphere with Branded Butcher at the helm. Fans of the original Farm Cart (ME!) will be thrilled to see the Bahn Mi sandwich and burger on the menu.

Georgia Theatre Roof (pre-monstrosity) Photo via The Georgia Theatre


The Globe

The Globe only has 4 tables outside, but in the center of town on the corner of Lumpkin & Clayton, they provide some of the best people watching in Athens. Ryman likes to get a couple Twin Pine burgers and a cold brew and chill out for the day.


Seabear has quickly become a weekly ritual in our house. Warm evenings amble on when sitting on this porch located at the hopping Bottleworks Building. The inventive cocktail list is a perfect accompaniment to the fresh seafood. Ryman is partial to the fried clam strips and the chicken steam buns, but everything on the menu is fabulous.

Photo via Seabear

Dozen Beausoleils, please.




Ryman Recommends: White Violet

We all know Athens is famous for its music, but once and for all, can publications stop referencing The B-52′s and REM as if they are the only bands that have come from our great city? In the last 3 decades, Athens has been churning out incredible music that goes far beyond the pop sensations of the 1980′s and 90′s. One of these bands is the 4 piece Athens-based White Violet. Fronted by Nate Nelson, an Athens local who has had his hand in all aspects of our music scene since his early teens, White Violet creates beautiful, dreamy, almost haunting music. Their new album, Stay Lost, out on Normaltown Records, is out today, and it is the perfect album to soundtrack your autumn cookouts or mountain road trips.

White Violet will be celebrating their cd release today by supporting Pure Bathing Culture at Normaltown Hall (399 Meigs St.) tonight. Being the dog about town that he is, Ryman wouldn’t miss the show, so while you are there, be sure to look down for our furry mascot and give him some love. Doors at 8:30 $8

Ryman Recommends: Ike & Jane

photo 5

Sadly, those of the canine breed are not welcome in many dining establishments, so Ryman has become somewhat of an Athens patio connoisseur. One of his favorite patios during the weekday lunch rush is in Normaltown on Prince Ave. at Ike & Jane. The adorable bakery is known around town for their creative donuts – Lucky Charms topped, Pepper Jelly filled, and “The Elvis”: Banana, Bacon & Peanut Butter just to name a few  - but it’s what this cafe is pumping out after the morning hours that gets Ryman all riled up.

Patio Life

Celebrating their 5th year of business in Athens, Ike & Jane makes some of the best sandwiches in town (See the menu HERE). Every time I bring a friend, and they ask “So, what’s good here?”, I usually find myself rattling off the merits of every single menu item. However, if I had to save only 1 of their sandwiches from a burning building, I would have to go with the Pulled Pork Sandwich. Pulled Pork from a cafe specializing in donuts? I know. I was skeptical too at first, and then I tried it. The pulled pork is sweet with the tiniest hint of spice and topped with a perfect slaw, all on a soft roll. The meat is so juicy you’ll have it dripping down your arms while you find yourself cursing the 1-ply napkins and simultaneously thanking the pig gods from above.

Picture via Ike&Jane

And if you’re like Ryman, and breakfast & lunch just isn’t enough to satisfy you, Ike & Jane partnered up with their neighbor (and Ryman’s favorite bar), Normal Bar to offer Ike @ Nite. Dinner Thursday – Saturday that can be enjoyed on the patio or delivered to Normal Bar. The menu is simple: insanely delicious burgers, hotdogs, Frito Pie, and a dessert.

This bakery+cafe is quintessential Athens with a friendly staff, amazing, creative food, and most importantly, a great patio.

Ike & Jane Cafe+Bakery

1307 Prince Ave.

Athens, GA 30606

Monday- Friday 6:30am-5:00pm

Saturday & Sunday 8:00am -2:00pm

Ike @ Nite: Thursday-Saturday 6-10pm

Vacation, Vacation

Making pops is tough business, and every now and again we need a good vacation to keep the inspiration juices flowing.

The Pop Shop will be closed September 9-12th. We have regular shop hours this week, so come in and stock your home freezers with the coolest pops in town. And as always, you can get your pop fix at Daily Co-op Grocery on Prince or at Krimson Kafe in Watkinsville.

We will be thinking about all our pop fans while we are away… not really, but we hope that made you feel loved.

Ryman Recommends: Brunch at Cinco y Diez

Cinco y Diez deserves it own post one of these days, but for now Ryman wants to focus on the brunch at this Five Points gem.

Cinco fills a major gap in the Athens’ culinary world by offering a Saturday brunch. In town, Saturday breakfast options are pretty much limited to egg biscuits that take an hour at Big City, standard grits, bacon, and eggs at Mayflower, waiting in line at Mama’s Boy, or a great meal at Heirloom (more on this favorite another day). Cinco y Diez has brunch beginning at 10:30 on Saturday and Sunday, and it is completely feasible to eat two days in a row and still be satisfied.


Former Farm 255 (R.I.P.) chef, Whitney Otawka, has created the perfect brunch menu with small plates for sharing, large plates for hangover nursing, and tacos and tortas for indulging. For me, the real star of the brunch menu are the tortas, Spanish sandwiches. I’ve tried them all, and picking a favorite would be like picking a favorite child.

The Ahogado

The Cubano









There are 3 options:

  • The Cubano – The newest flavor with grilled ham, shredded brisket, housemade pickles, and mayo & mustard. It is hands down the best Cuban sandwich I have ever had.
  • The Hormiga – Made with pork Milanesa, guacamole, queso fresca, black beans, and jalepeno.
  • The Ahogado – Covered in an arbol salsa, this torta requires a fork and knife. Inside you will find scrambled eggs, chicken, and avocado.

Is your mouth watering yet?! Cancel your plans next weekend, and make a date for brunch at Cinco y Diez. You won’t regret it.

Ryman Recommends: Normaltown Hall

Something you may not know about Ryman is that he is a music fan. When he isn’t taste testing Floatridas, his days are spent helping the UPS delivery man with the shipping and receiving of vinyl at New West & Normaltown Records, and his nights are spent in the studio laying down fresh beats.


It just so happens that Ryman’s favorite music venue in town, Normaltown Hall, is also his employer. Normaltown Hall (399 Meigs St.) sits above the Athens office of  New West Records. It is one of Athens’ hidden gems. If you weren’t looking for the building, you would probably drive right by (hint, look for the GIANT guitar statue), but just behind those unassuming doors is a beautiful space for local and touring bands. The room was created with acoustics and true music fans in mind. This is not the place where someone yelling out shot orders or the latest sorority drama will compete with the tunes. People come here for the music – and the BYOB attitude.

Buxton at Normaltown Hall photo courtesy of DT Productions

At most shows, you can find Ryman roaming the crowd looking for free pets. If he is really feeling the jams, he’ll jump on stage, and give some free moral support to the band. Such a Band-Aid.

(photo courtesy of

It just so happens there is a show coming up…. Come give Ryman a pet and check out Normaltown Hall this Thursday. Doors at 8:30, show at 9:00pm. BYOB


Ryman Recommends: Shots of Whiskeytown

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, if I could magically make any band get back together, it would be Whiskeytown.

Well, I am about to get a glimpse into my dreams. Tonight at The Green Room current and former members of Futurebirds are joined with various other talented Athens musicians to pay homage to Whiskeytown’s breakthrough album, Strangers Almanac. They will be playing the album from start to finish, and I will be in the front row singing along all night.

Show starts at 10:00 pm at The Green Room (175 N. Lumpkin St.)

Ryman Recommends: The what to do and see in Athens from a real dog about town

With the launch of our new website, we are also launching our new series “Ryman Recommends: The what to do and see in Athens from a real dog about town. It combines our two favorite things, Athens & Athens’ most famous boxer and Hip Pops mascot, Ryman Fontaine.

The hardest working dog in pop business

Hip Pops could have been started in any city, but we picked Athens, because, simply said, it is the BEST. We love every inch of this town, and want all of our pop fans in on our fabulous finds. Each week, pup-extraordinaire, Ryman, will showcase an Athens gem – be it a great restaurant, an upcoming show, a favorite swimming hole – the inspiration is limitless. We hope you enjoy our favorite spots as much as we do! Ryman + The Hip Pops Team

Popping it all over Athens and northeast Georgia.

Contact us about catering your next event!