'As Told To' Stories
Written for Prof. Lori Johnston’s Feature Writing course, these “as told to” stories were created by a person’s spoken remarks recorded and then edited for publication. Comments trimmed for length and clarity.
 Why It’s Newsworthy: This story highlights the real struggles that The Rook & Pawn bartender, Abigail Burrow, faces in her day-to-day work at The Rook & Pawn, a unique staple of the Downtown Athens scene, due to COVID-19.  


Abigail Burrow, a bartender at The Rook & Pawn, describes her personal experience navigating her job at Athens’ unique board game bar. She provides Iris Hersey with the unique perspective of being the person behind the bar during a time when some find it hard to justify even being out of the house.


I’ve been working at The Rook & Pawn for over a year now, so I started in November of 2019. It was one or two people behind the bar and then an extra person in the kitchen. Now on weekdays, it’s one person for the entire spot, both front and back of house. Which normally is fine, because I mean, it’s been so slow there. But it’s just, I mean, it’s the same vibe as working alone anywhere. It’s just like, boring and sad. I’m just like, man, I wish I would get some customers.

I will say that most of our clientele, like most of the people that come in to play games, are very COVID conscious.  

It’s nice because no one sits inside so I don’t have to worry about, I don’t know, like bleaching down all the tables. I wipe the tables down between people. And the quarantine games obviously. Because we’ve got three copies of Sorry. And somehow they’re always in quarantine.

I think that a lot of the people that come out are looking for a place where it’s not going to be too crowded and they’re going to be able to sit down, be able to hear each other while they’re talking to each other. 

It’s very easy to stay within your comfort zone while also getting human interaction at Rook & Pawn.


Iris Hersey is a senior majoring in journalism and international affairs with a minor in public policy and administration in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.



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