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Employees of Park's Place work in the kitchen to make a customer's order Sept. 13, 2023, in Athens, Ohio.

Park’s Place expands from Amesville to Court St.

Court Street welcomed a new restaurant this fall, Parks Place, located at 5 N. Court St., occupying the space FRY’D, a former Athens french fry restaurant, vacated last year.

Park’s Place is a casual dining establishment that offers late-night to-go and sit-down meals. Its owner Josh Vernon, said he decided to expand the restaurant out of Amesville, which is also in Athens County, and open doors to Ohio University students and Athens residents. 

The original restaurant in Amesville was founded in 2019 by Vernon and his cousin Cory Richards who both grew up in Amesville. Now, Richards has recently moved on from Parks Place and doesn’t own either restaurant, ending the partnership that started three and a half years ago, Vernon said.

Park’s Place on Court Street is open from 11-3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

“When the bars close at two, we’re here til three,” Vernon said. “We catch everyone on their way out.”

The menu consists of “sandos,” a fried chicken sandwich priced at $8 or $9, which is the most popular item, Vernon said. Sides include fried pickles, onion rings and cheese curds, ranging from $3 to $6. Many of the menu items are locally sourced, and vegetarian options are also available.

The menu on Court Street is nighttime-oriented, Vernon said, while the Amesville menu is more diverse, including brunch and breakfast options.

“(Parks Place is) more of a grab-and-go sandwich style and definitely targeted toward the late-night college crowd,” said Vernon.

On Fridays and Saturdays, it locks its doors at 9 p.m. and opens the front window, which is where customers order and pick up food. One person mans at the grill, another takes orders at the window and one person runs back and forth Ashley Merril, cook and front register worker, said. 

Merrill said she loves working at Park’s Place and even has plans to work at the Amesville location as well.

Vernon said he and Richards wanted to revive an old building in Amesville with the original restaurant and that many people had tried doing that before but failed due to Amesville’s low population. Vernon said Park’s Place decided to expand to Athens for its larger market and its close distance to Amesville.

“We knew that Court Street was the best place to do that in this area without expanding to a different county,” Vernon said. “Court Street was local enough that it was easy to manage but it also gave us access to a much larger audience.” 

Restaurants on Court Street can turn over very quickly and Vernon said he hopes Park’s Place’s high-quality and locally sourced ingredients will make sure it maintains its spot uptown.

“We generally pride ourselves on higher-quality, locally sourced ingredients and locally sourced food is much more sustainable,” Vernon said. “The higher-quality food will hopefully get people coming back time and time again.”

Vernon said he’s already noticed a few customers going to the restaurant every day since they opened. 

Terrence Brown, an Athens resident, said when he went to the restaurant for the first time he was happy with the food. 

“The food was good, it was tasty, well-seasoned, well-proportioned, fast,” Brown said. “The prices are real reasonable, the sandwich was $9.”

Brown had never been to the Amesville restaurant before, so this was his first time trying the food. Brown said he would recommend people try it. 

“We started out slow and it's been gaining and gaining ground each day,” Vernon said. “Late nights have been really good for us.”

Park’s Place is hiring and looking for a few more people to bring on board, Vernon said. They are also on Instagram and Facebook to promote the restaurant.


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