Southwest Georgians still eating out on Friday nights - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Southwest Georgians still eating out on Friday nights

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – In a down economy most people cut out the little things they can do without, like eating out or entertainment.

Even with South Georgia's unemployment at near record highs and economic worries, many folks are still filling restaurants on the weekends.

On any given Friday you can find an almost full parking lot at most Albany restaurants.

"Friday nights are one of our best nights we have a huge crowd that comes out for karaoke," said Lisa Higdon, Hooters Asst. Manager.

Despite a tight budget Steven Elliott finds money to eat out about twice a week.

"I know times are tough they're tough on me, but I make time to come up here and hang out with my friends," said Elliott.

Managers welcome the extra business.

"The rest of the week we have a decent crowd. It has died off some with the economy and everything," said Higdon.

"No matter if the money is tight you're going to take the night and relax," said Trudy Cross, Cross Landing, Owner.

New restaurants like Cross Landing are opening up because some South Georgians still have money to dine out.

"It's not the club atmosphere, but you can relax and have a nice drink and socialize," said Cross.

The restaurant is located in the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport and they're catering to more than just airport passengers, with healthy menu choices and a full bar to draw in steady business.

For Hooters customer Steven Elliott, despite all the cutbacks he's had to make, eating out was one of the hardest to slash from his budget.

"It's hard to stop this place the fried pickles they're addictive," said Elliott.

Managers at Cross Landing, the new eatery and bar at the airport say they'll offer discounts to employees of large employers like Procter and Gamble, Miller Brewing and others to drum up business.

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