Albany- Packed local restaurants are becoming a commonplace thing in Albany. "When I first moved to albany 19 years ago I think there was all of a McDonalds," says restaurant customer Deborah Tholen. "There's a lot of variety moreso now than ever," says The Rocket owner Tim Underwood.
And restaurant owners like Tim Underwood are hoping business stays on the up and up and keeps customers coming back. "There are timeframes when the restaurant business in Albany is fantastic or good and there are times when you struggle," says Underwood.
A struggle that patrons are helping to change. According to Albany, Georgia business data, there are over 50 full- service restaurants in the area. "I think they're real good. Of course The Rocket's one of my favorites," says regular Leigh Brooks. But why the sudden influx of people to restaurants in South Georgia? Patrons say its the continuous upward change.
"People come and they spend lots of money and they come from other places, they spend the night go out for dinner and that helps Albany's economy," says Brooks. "With the economy as good as it is, people are beginning to feel free about spending some money towards entertainment, and I think that's a good thing," says customer Deborah Lothen.
Owners say its the local appeal and the efforts of local organizations to build up Albany as a viable source. "It feels great. It makes you feel like what you're doing is a great thing," says general manager Terry Underwood. "There's a lot of unique things to do in Albany that are actually becoming more worldclass and or much greater than I think people think that Southwest Georgia has to offer," says Underwood.
Like the many choices of fine dining in the area--choices that are increasing over time with the building up of Albany. Fridays and Saturdays are usually the busiest nights at area restaurants but businesses also see increased sales when events like the S-I-A-C tournament are in town.