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Meet Jim Carruthers of Fightingtown Tavern in Blue Ridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Carruthers.

Jim, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up watching Julia Child, Graham Kerr and Jacque Pippon on PBS. It was either that or soap operas. I’d cook what I saw, throw it out and cook the next shows recipes. Our food bill must have been outrageous!

After school I entered the corporate world working for American Express, Rollins and, most recently, The Center for the Visually Impaired. But I always knew someday I wanted to open my own place.

In 2011, my wife Rhonda and I started casually looking around for either an existing business or a venue. We looked in Seattle, Atlanta and other places in the Southeast. We found a gem in our location in Blue Ridge – a location we had both frequented as kids.

We incorporated our passion for the environment, local, scratch made food and exceptional service into our business model and in 2014 opened Fighting town Tavern (named after Fighting town Creek).

We make everything (except mustard) from scratch. Dressings, side dishes, ketchup, mayo – everything. We tell people “no microwaves, no freezers, no kidding”. We source our beef, pork, trout, bison and most of our produce within 20 miles of the Tavern. All of our 10 taps are from Georgia. (Even Bud Light is brewed in Cartersville 😏).

100% if our to go containers are recyclable or compostable. We use vinegar and citrus based cleaners, recycle our plastic, aluminum, tin and cardboard and are active with the local humane society (another passion).

We try our best to do things the right way.

Has it been a smooth road?
Many people didn’t want the concept we were touting. The venue was originally slated for a high end steak house. We went through the typical growing pains many new businesses (especially restaurants) face but I think our success stems from not being afraid of change. If something didn’t work we fixed it or replaced it. Our backgrounds in operational efficiency in the corporate world certainly helped. Even now things like our house made dressings and ketchup are often a love or hate proposition. But we hold true to our passion for offering preservative free, scratch made food.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Fighting town Tavern – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Because we source things locally we are definitely known for our burgers. We grind our grass fed, dry aged beef in-house every morning. A difference that comes through in taste.

We believe that sticking to our guns about offering a scratch made menu separates us from the competition. That combined with our casual rock n roll atmosphere creates a unique experience in North Georgia. There are many exceptional fine dining restaurants to choose from but we have carved out our niche of offering extremely high quality food in a casual setting. Elevated pub fare you might say.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
It’s most definitely those who make a point to stop us and tell us they appreciate what we’re doing. Those who say they’ll only eat beef at the Tavern because they know the quality and source and the care we take. Or that they only eat out with us because we take the same care in preparation they do at home. To be able to positively impact people’s lives through a commitment to high quality food is very special. It makes what we do every day worthwhile.


  • Average entree prices is $10-12
  • Cocktail prices range from $4-$9

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Baxter Street Films
Athens Ga

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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