Wanderlust: The new and improved: Natalie Jane’s

By NATALIE GAMBRELL

A&E Editor

According to our waitress, I caught Natalie Jane’s at a good time. It’s been crazy busy lately since their reopening. However, at 2:30 p.m., there are only a few tables and a quiet buzz of conversation that fills the room. 

Natalie Jane’s was originally a popular restaurant on Clarkesville’s square. However, when a fire devastated the square in Clarkesville, their old venue was destroyed beyond repair. Finally, over a year later, Natalie Jane’s has reopened behind Fender’s Diner in old downtown Cornelia.

While it had obviously been a while since I had been in the old Natalie Jane’s, the new one reminds me of the familiar home-y feeling of Clarkesville’s Natalie Jane’s while still having the exciting new feeling of a brand new restaurant. 

To begin, the space is so much bigger. The décor also seems more modern than I remember in the old place with a calm grey background that has silhouettes of trees cut out of it, showing exposed brick.

The venue isn’t the only thing that’s new.  In the new Natalie Jane’s, there is a coffee bar that brews espresso beverages with trained barista there six hours a day. The manager, Margaret Wade, who stopped to talk to us said that Natalie Jane used all the extra space in her new venue to add the coffee bar with free WiFi, hoping to welcome Piedmont students to come study there if they want more options for coffee shops besides Starbucks in Ingles. 

And according to Wade’s description, Jane’s coffee could be good competition for other coffee shops in the area. Jane tried countless coffees before picking her blend of coffee, called “Dirty Naked Lady.”

The menu is really similar to Natalie Jane’s old menu with the occasional unique dish like “Ahi Wonton Nachos” but mostly made up of typical American food. These dishes are made special by the fresh ingredients. 

I got a veggie wrap that features vegetables on a spinach wrap with a cream cheese spread, and I was amazed by how fresh and healthy the ingredients tasted. 

However, as a vegetarian, I’ll admit I was a little jealous of some of the other dishes I saw including the BLT, the reuben and the fish and chips. 

While their dinner menu is a little pricey, their lunch menu is almost entirely priced under 10 dollars, which is very friendly to the college budget, especially for the experience of going to such a nice, sit-down restaurant.

 Since Natalie Jane is the one who ran Trader John’s until it closed in October, students could also be interested in Natalie Jane’s being a possible replacement for the popular former bar, which was much loved by Piedmont students.

Although the struggle to reopen and the sheer amount of customers coming to the new Natalie Jane’s has been a little overwhelming, the staff seems to be happy to be back doing what they love.

“We understand we’re having growing pains because we’re in such a larger area with this restaurant,” said Wade. “But I love this restaurant. I feel like I’m home again.”