• Allstate Insurance has named The Franklin Insurance Group, a full-service Allstate agency located inside the Franklin Chevrolet and Franklin Toyota dealerships, as an Allstate Premier Agency for 2014. The designation was presented to agency manager Richard Rappa and recognizes outstanding business and customer service performance. Franklin was the first dealership in Georgia to offer this service, when it partnered with Allstate in 2012.
• Ellis Wood Contracting has begun the site preparation at the corner of Veterans Memorial Parkway and Old Register Road for construction of the first phase of the GSU Shooting Sports Education Center. The 25-acre track will house a 30,000-square-foot facility, which includes a 16-lane, 25-meter indoor archery center, 16-lane, 25-meter firing range, two classroom/training rooms and administrative support space. Projected opening is summer 2015.
• The Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce will host a ribbon cutting for Metabolic Research Center, 1686 Northside Drive E., on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. The center is located between the Charter Conservatory school and NAPA Auto Parts. Nancy Howard is the local manager of the center, which specializes in weight loss.To learn more about Metabolic, visit www.emetabolic.com.
• Farmers Market Vendor of the Week: www. bandghoneyfarm.com
Over the past couple of months, Carmike Cinema 12 in Statesboro has undergone extensive exterior and interior renovations. If you have been over that way, you have noticed the repainted exterior of the building. Inside, you will also see fresh paint, wallpaper and bathroom renovations.
The most extensive and pleasantly surprising change is to the old Backstage Café — formerly Mugs and Movies and now once again named Mugs and Movies. Mugs was closed for a little more than a month while renovations were completed.
When you enter Mugs, the first thing you see is the new sports bar. The design, colors and lighting are very welcoming. The bar and the theater will be full service pending final approval of their liquor license. Wanda Sinkule, who is the Food & Beverage Special Concepts manager for Carmike, is in Statesboro overseeing the transformation.
"This renovation was long overdue and we have greatly upgraded Mugs," she said. "In addition to adding the sports bar, we have redesigned the theater to make it more intimate and comfortable. Through this process, we actually reduced the number of seats from 130 to 84."
It is noticeably more comfortable. The chairs are much nicer, and the spacing now allows you to not feel as though you are trying to join the people next to you. One major improvement is the complete enclosure of the kitchen. In the old Mugs, if you sat in the back of the theater, you could hear all of the activity going on in the kitchen. Not anymore.
You feel like you are in the theater of an upscale cruise ship. The best surprise was the improved menu with lots of great selections, including Sinkule's favorite, fried green tomatoes, pesto chicken pizza and Angus sliders.
"We are making everything from scratch now," she said. "Many of the recipes are original, and the quality will be noticeable better. We hand-patty the burgers, make our own dressings and the hummus is our new manager, Fatih Cecen's, personal recipe. The staff has been completely retrained, and the food presentation has been elevated. No more plastic baskets. Your food comes on real plates, and the beverages are served in glasses."
Cecan has worked in Statesboro for years and owned and managed several popular restaurants before accepting the management position at Mug's.
"Our goal is to make Mug's a place you want to come for great food and drinks with a good movie on the side instead of the reverse," Cecan said. "With the addition of the sports bar, now anyone can come and enjoy our restaurant and bar without having to purchase a movie ticket."
"Even though Carmike has over 300 theaters across the South, only three of them have a full restaurant concept," Sinkule said. "We want this to be a totally new experience for our Statesboro clients, and our hope is that this will serve as a successful prototype for other Carmike Cinemas."
It is certainly a hit with my family. My daughter's favorite was the pesto chicken pizza, my wife's was the hummus and sliders, and I liked the fried green tomatoes. The best surprise, however, was the heavenly dessert. I highly recommend you try the Rustic Apple Tart with vanilla bean ice cream soon. It includes Granny Smith apples, cinnamon and sugar in a flaky crust. It's topped with vanilla bean ice cream and carmel syrup, whipped ice cream and a cherry.
Mugs will continue showing Sunday and Monday night football along with other major sporting events, including any Georgia Southern University televised events that are accessible locally. Mug's is also available for private events and can be reserved by calling the Carmike Cinema manager, Tiffany Hedrick, at (912) 489-4322.
Please email DeWayne at email@example.com or give him a call at (912) 489-9499.