Jackie O’s is another of uptown Athens’ prominent bars. While many of its competitors aim to please students exclusively, Jackie O’s is a bar of an entirely different stripe. Toting itself as “Athens’ only Brewpub,” the bar features a slightly more Irish atmosphere and caters as much to Athens’ local populace. It prominently features local micro-brews and a variety of alternative bands populate its stage on weekends. Jackie O’s brings a unique mix of students and townsfolk mingling together — few other places in town seem to have this dynamic.
Jacke O’s features a healthy dose of people relaxing with beers and friends during all hours of the day. A variety of groups, including students, alumni and town residents, populated the bar when it gave it a try for dinner. Jackie O’s offers a menu of foods atypically conscious of the local folk. The burgers are made from locally grown livestock and the pizzas are crafted from grains used during the brewing process. In all, the bar aims to localize its product and keep waste down. An admirable cause, to be sure.
- Athens’ own Cheeseburger: The burgers seem to be the crown jewels on the menu. Six varieties of the burger each provide a different take on it — and each is an amazing mound of juicy meat covered in cheese and fresh, crispy vegetables.
- Shoestring fries: Don’t let the appearance of the shoestring fries fool you — they are cooked perfectly. They don’t need much salt to complete them, but I would recommend some ketchup or some of the very rich barbecue sauce.
- Artichoke parmesan dip: A very hot dip, but no less charming! Easy to love, though the pita crackers are a bit on the dry end.
- Spent grain pizza: The pizza is also an interesting flavor. The spent grains result in a very thin crust pizza which tastes richly of grain. There are a few home-grown varieties of the pizza, but a stripped-down version is cheaper, and even the smaller sizes are filling. It’s the perfect balance in a thin-crust pizza, and it’s difficult to reproduce — keeping the crust crispy without overburdening it with greasy cheese or toppings. It’s commendably well done.
- Torta: A traditional Mexican sandwich that is sometimes served as a bar special. It’s heavy and that sauce adds a ton of flavor! But oh so good.
- Beef vegetable soup: A remarkable comforting side dish with a thick, hearty kick.
And the craft beers! You have to love them!
- Cool Beans Blonde Ale: This blonde ale is conditioned with coffee beans to give it an aggressive coffee flavor. Very strong! Stronger even than if you had a darker coffee beer.
- Gingamang: This fruit beer is brewed with ginger, mango and lime. The ginger is a strong hit in the front, with the hops evening it out to the finish. Delicious.
The waitresses are friendly and quick to refill drinks and keep your experience pleasant. Service was quick and friendly, and I’m glad the menu was good to match. Jackie O’s has a devout following of customers — both Ohio University students and townsfolk alike, who come from far and wide to give the place another try. It’s another cultural icon of Athens’ alternative lifestyle. If you’re willing to give it a try, you’ll quickly see why.
- Jackie O’s has a uniquely alternative environment that anyone will be able to appreciate. Don’t hesitate to bring an adult group in for a meal.
- Though it doesn’t pride itself as a sports bar, Jackie O’s has plenty of accommodation for sports fans — and it’s arguably more relaxed than the Buffalo Wild Wings across the street.
- Definitely give the pizza or burgers a try. The fish items and others specials look good but these items are a guaranteed good meal.
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