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Central Georgia Eats: Check out the top 5 locally-owned restaurants that opened in 2020

We're taking a look back at the restaurants that you told us interested you the most!

MACON, Ga. — Dozens of new restaurants have opened across the region throughout what has been quite possibly one of the most challenging years to start a new business.

We're taking a look back and showcasing five locally-owned restaurants you told us you were most excited about opening in Central Georgia. Their placement is based on social media activity and our website traffic throughout the year.

#5 Saltwater Fishery

The seafood spot opened on South Jefferson Street in downtown Dublin in February. Co-owner Jacob Darley says they’re known for their crab cakes.

“We could package our crab cakes, and they would sell all over the country, that’s how good these crab cakes are, they’re not your grandma’s crab cakes, they’re not smashed and fried, they’re these huge... we call them colossal crab cakes,” Darley said.

People online said they couldn’t wait to try it and the restaurant’s Facebook page has rave reviews.

#4 Sweet Valley Bakery & Farmstead

Hamidah Sharif is a public health professor at Fort Valley State University. The baker of 30 years opened up her sugar-free bakery, Sweet Valley, this summer at 728 Aldridge Road.

Credit: Thais Ackerman
Hamidah Sharif is the owner of Sweet Valley Bakery and Farmstead in Fort Valley, Georgia. It's a sugar-free bakery.

They’ve got a bunch of sugar-free delights from cookies and cakes, like lemon pound cake and brown butter pecan cake to traditional pies.

Their article got hundreds of shares and likes on 13WMAZ’s Facebook page.

#3 Lieu's on the Go

Lieu's on the Go in Bonaire has typical Chinese take-out options — crab rangoons, egg drop soup, sweet and sour chicken, and more.

People online say it’s the best place to get Chinese take out in Central Georgia.

“We don’t have anything that comes in packages,” Su said. “This way, we can give better ingredients to the customer.”

#2 Island Pot JA

With over 1,000 likes and shares combined on our Facebook page, Island Pot Ja takes the runner up spot.

The Jamaican restaurant opened on Pio Nono Avenue in August. It’s owned by four Jamaicans and one of its owners, Lovane Carty, says they have authentic cuisine.

They sell different types of traditional dishes like jerk chicken, ox-tail, rice and peas, fried plantains and more.

Lovane says working with their “warm welcoming team” makes it easy to please their customers.

Credit: Thais Ackerman
The team at Island Pot JA in Macon, Georgia on Pio Nono Avenue.

And here's the one Central Georgia just absolutely went crazy for this year...

#1 Louvenia's Seafood Market

Taking the top spot is Louvenia’s Seafood Market.

Michelle and Jason Walker opened their food truck as a store front at 5033 Brookhaven Road in Macon this February.

An article about their new restaurant got thousands of likes and shares on the 13WMAZ Facebook page.

They’re known for their 4750 platter -- a seafood tray with potatoes, corn, and sausage. It's all drizzled with a sauce of your choice.

The business was so successful that the couple expanded to a second location in October, opening Louvenia's Crab Cake Hut at the Macon Farmer’s Market.

2021 is sure to bring dozens of new, locally-owned eateries to the region. Keep up with 13WMAZ in the new year to see all the new spots!

Credit: Thais Ackerman

ORIGINAL STORIES

Seafood restaurant with rooftop bar and dining area coming to downtown Dublin

'We're not just your regular bakery': Sugar-free bakery opens in Fort Valley

'Your mom and pop Chinese restaurant': Lieu's on the Go opens in Bonaire

New Jamaican restaurant opens on Pio Nono Avenue in Macon

Macon couple opens 'pull-up' seafood restaurant