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Feb. 21, 2019
9:11 pm


Area business news

By Pamela A. Keene

HomeTown Grill: Americana food comes to Flowery Branch
Keleigh Oxendine makes it very clear that the name of her new restaurant was intentional. “I want to create a home-town neighborhood restaurant where there’s a sense of community,” Oxendine said. “I could have named it anything, but I chose to name it HomeTown Grill, not because it was next to Hometown Spirits, but because Flowery Branch feels like a hometown to me.”
Oxendine and her now 12-year-old son moved to Flowery Branch from Gwinnett three years ago. “I was ready for a change and wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of Gwinnett,” she said. “We really love it here and people are so friendly. It really feels like a hometown to me.”
For the past 12 years, she has worked as a storm-chaser for Allstate insurance, a job she still does when time permits. But she has spent the past six to 10 months getting ready to open HomeTown Grill. From interior remodeling to creating all the recipes from scratch, she has become immersed in the restaurant business.
The menu features hand-crafted burgers that can be served either grilled or fried. “For our fried burgers, we hand-patty them, then sear them, egg-wash them, batter them, then roll them in panko breadcrumbs, then they’re popped in the deep fryer.” Eight burgers, plus a veggie burger, are the mainstays of the restaurant, but diners can also select from sandwiches, salads and entrees that feature steak, salmon and chicken.
Oxendine developed the recipes for the sides that include baked mac-and-cheese, fried okra, garlic mashed potatoes and cucumber tomato onion salad. Appetizer selections range from fried green tomatoes and hummus to hand-battered asparagus, onion rings and house chips drizzled with house ranch dressing, bacon, chives, diced tomatoes and blue cheese crumbles.
Oxendine has made changes to the physical structure of the restaurant that originally housed Grapes & Hops and later Green’s Tavern. The bar in the main dining room has been removed to allow for more family seating. garage-style doors open from the bar onto the patio. The U-shaped bar has been refinished and is dotted with photos of historic Flowery Branch.
“The whole restaurant, including the patio, is now completely non-smoking,” she said.
HomeTown Grill offers happy hour Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m. There’s live music on Saturday and either Friday or Sunday. The restaurant also features daily lunch specials. “We’re a fun family-oriented place and we want people to come here and feel at home,” she said.
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Lanier chemist develops ‘no-stink’ products for marine and home use
Barbara Nolan said that her boating habit forced her into the marine business. As a clinical chemist, she developed microbial products used in diagnostics for hospitals and labs. “When I started boating, I found that holding tanks always had an odor, and not a pleasant one,” she said. "I researched the industry and found that many products used formaldehyde. Not only was it ineffective, it was also bad for the environment.”
She sold her company, Nolan Biological Labs in the late 1970s, and set out to find a better way to manage on-board holding tanks, eventually developing a product called BacTANK T3. Today it’s one of a full line of products for holding tanks in boats and motor homes, septic tanks and even pet runs.
The products are environmentally safe, based on microbiotics. The company’s catalogue offers solutions to get rid of fish odors, clean graywater tanks, keep flies and insects away and treat grease traps. Bathroom cleaners, carpet cleaners and environmentally safe laundry detergent are available as well.
Nolan began boating in the early 1970s. She was an active member of Lake Lanier’s U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for 25 years before retiring. She and USCG Auxiliary leader, the late Bolling Douglas, were lifelong friends and often boated together.
“Bolling went with me when I bought a new Lazy Days houseboat in 1972,” Nolan said. “We both noticed the odor from the holding tanks and right then she persuaded me to use my knowledge of chemistry and microbiotics to help solve the problem.”
The products are used in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and Alaska. BacTANK T3 was also used by the Kuwaitis to clean up a massive oil spill.
“If you use it correctly, you can get rid of odors and maintain your holding tanks, septic tanks and gray-water systems.” Products are available in liquid and dry applications, depending on the use.
“People by nature just don’t want to put money into something they can’t see, but when you can smell it, it’s time,” Nolan said. “And, if you don’t have an odor once you're using the product properly, it’s worth the investment.”
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MarineMax Sounds of Summer concert

In early June, MarineMax hosted its first on-the-water concert of the season at Bald Ridge Marina. Called the Sounds of Summer Concert series, the inaugural event drew more than 50 boats who rafted up near the marina for an evening of music. Two more raft-up concerts are planned: July 7, featuring “Members Only Band,” and September 1, featuring “Fly Betty.” The events are presented by Sea Ray. The concerts are accessible by boat only. For more info, call MarineMax at 770 781-9370.

Postred onlne 6/29/18
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