This weekend, I had some friends in town and was so excited to take them to two of my old favorites, Last Resort and Casa Mia, and then we also branched out and went to Big City Bread for breakfast (which I've been wanting to go to for ages). There's just something so much more enjoyable about going to the quaint, local places than eating at chain restaurants (since I moved to Athens I've avoided Chili's at all costs).
Now more than ever, it's important to support these local businesses. During an economic downtown, chances are the corporate giants can sustain themselves much longer than the small "mom and pop" stores that we know and love. Branch out from your regular Tall Latte at Starbucks and try something from Walker's. Or if you're really wanting to keep it local, do your shopping at the Athens Farmers Market or eat at restaurants like Farm 255 that use all locally-grown food.
Of all the things I'll miss about Athens, the unique restaurant and bar scene will definitely be one of the hardest to leave.