by Ava Butera
Spanish River High School
South Forsyth High School
Tucked away on Washington Ave, restaurant Clocked has been in business for almost 20 years. And based on opinions of the locals, Clocked will go on to last even longer.
“I keep returning to Clocked because it’s the best burger in town,” said Tanner Scott, a loyal customer who has been a patron since its opening in 2000.
Since 2012, Clocked has continuously been ranked number one on Flagpole’s yearly “Best Athens Restaurants” in the American food category. Their unique menu containing eclectic burgers and indulgent side dishes keeps their customers coming back for more. The ambience, which alludes to a 70’s aesthetic pairs nicely with the uncommon food choices, along with the quirky customers that dine here.
“This [interior of Clocked] is kind of my house in the 70’s. I used to have flock wallpaper on the walls which is just very 70’s. I can’t put shag carpet in here because its a restaurant, but this is all kind of like my house,” owner David Zwart said.
It’s not just the decor the makes Clocked special. The authentically American cuisine is a throwback to old-school diners. The Bronco Burger is packed with gouda cheese, bacon, onion rings and BBQ sauce. million flavors attack the palette after one juicy bite. The burger is effortlessly tasty.
Although known for their burgers, Clocked offers other American comforts, such as a grilled cheese. The bread is toasted to perfection and the cheese melts in the mouth with each bite. The side of tater tots are also a definite hit, a throwback to childhood.
The ambience also made the experience more authentic and unique. The walls were covered in vintage movie posters, and a television played 60’s movies on a loop. Lamps hung from the ceiling, covered in various materials, such as wrappers and glass, in a plethora of colors.
Zwart didn’t always know he wanted to go to the restaurant business, but he blames fate for how he ended up as the owner of one of Athens’ most beloved restaurants.
“I used to live here in the 80’s and I worked at 40 Watt. I moved around to New York City and Portland, OR and I saw a place in Portland and I thought ‘this place would love great on this corner right next to 40 Watt, said Zwart when discussing the inception of Clocked.
“Eventually, I heard that a friend of mine was selling this restaurant, so I called him and he said he was selling it so it was kind of like fate because it was exactly where I thought it would be and that’s what I did: took an idea from Portland and brought it over here to Athens.”
People should not only come to Clocked for their famous burgers, but also a welcoming environment and overall experience. The passion for Clocked extends to the staff. Waitress, Flynne Collins, encourages customers to come.
“I think it’s a really fun and nice environment and everyone’s usually in a good mood here.
Clocked is located on 259 W Washington St, Athens, GA 30601. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.