Athens, Ga., has a sneaky way of subsuming people, transforming them thoroughly into permanent Athenians and Southerners, even if they’re from places like Ottawa, Canada, whence hails Hugh Acheson. His anchor restaurant is Five & Ten in Athens. But he’s also given Atlanta Empire State South, a three-meals-a-day spot with the best damned bacon biscuit in town. Coming in March 2014: the Florence in Savannah.
Photo by Rinne Allen
Last year, Brittany Howard introduced herself to the music world with this line: “Bless my heart. Bless my soul. Didn’t think I’d make it to 22 years old. There must be someone, up above, saying, ‘C’mon, Brittany! You got to come on up!’” And we all said, “Amen.” The Shakes are from Athens (Alabama, not Georgia).
Photo by Maria Ives
Sean Brock grew up in Virginia coal country. “You grew and cooked everything you ate, so I really saw food in its true form,” he says. In other words, he grew up eating the way a lot of us Bitter Southerners did. His passion for the preservation of our heirloom breeds and small farms has built him a culinary empire in Charleston and, now, Nashville.
Photo by Grace Beahm
About five miles north of Patterson Hood’s hometown, Florence, Ala., sits the Alabama Chanin factory, where designer Natalie Chanin creates extraordinary hand-sewn interpretations of the classics that grace the pages of fashion magazines worldwide. Ever hear of “Slow Food”? Chanin calls her work “Slow Design.”
Photo by Peter Stranglmayr
Drive south into downtown Florence, and you’ll find the anchor store of this little town’s other famous designer, Billy Reid. He grew up in Florence, and today, at at 114 N. Court St., he creates “lo-fi Southern luxury” clothing designs that have put a distinctly Southern stamp on the fashion world. We agree with Patterson. If we ever get to go to any of those places where they ask, “Who are you wearing?” we’re gonna wear some Billy Reid.
Photo courtesy of Billy Reid
The White Stripes guitar slinger may be from Detroit, but we’ve adopted him. When he wanted to create a permanent studio home for his Third Man Records in 2009, he put the whole operation on 7th Avenue South in Nashville. The tagline on Third Man’s website sums up the attitude: “Your turntable’s not dead.”
Photo courtesy of Third Man Records