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City Talk: Rise Biscuits Donuts brightens mornings on Broughton

The first location of Rise Biscuits Donuts opened in Durham, N.C., in 2012, and the regional chain now has 14 locations and two more set to open soon.

Savannah’s first Rise Biscuits Donuts opened earlier this month at 10 W. Broughton St.

When I walked into the locally owned Rise franchise for the first time, I was immediately struck by the bright colors and by the sheer size of the open kitchen. The counter for orders is really close to the main entrance, and limited seating is available at a long counter on the side, but the space is dominated by the kitchen, which can no doubt turn out a huge number of fresh baked goods.

On that first trip, I tried the fried buffalo chicken biscuit with blue cheese sauce and shaved celery ($5.75). The large biscuit was flaky, rich and flavorful, and the chicken was appropriately spicy and perfectly cooked. The celery was a nice counter to the texture of the buffalo and blue cheese sauces.

All of Rise’s biscuit sandwiches can also be prepared on potato rolls. Other tempting sandwiches include fried green tomato with pimento cheese and arugula ($5.50) and huevos rancheros ($5).

If you’re looking for a more traditional breakfast biscuit, you can mix and match a variety of items and complimentary toppings.

Rise offers more than a dozen styles of donuts. I haven’t tried any of them yet, but they sure look tempting in the display case.

The counter seating at Rise is comfortable enough but not conducive to lingering or to large groups. Presumably, this won’t be a problem for Rise, which should appeal to downtown residents and office workers on the go, visitors who are happy to take their food to a nearby square or back to their hotel rooms and folks planning events.

Rise seems a good fit for the current bustle of Broughton Street.

The Rise website (https://risebiscuitsdonuts.com) has an efficient system for placing both small and large orders.

Rise Biscuits Donuts is open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day.

More jobs, fewer seasonal layoffs — maybe

June is generally a fickle month for employment because of typical seasonal factors dealing with school schedules and summer vacations, but the latest estimates from the Georgia Department of Labor suggest continued vigor for employment in the Savannah area.

Statewide, there were 25,638 initial applications for unemployment insurance in June. That was a 6.1 percent decrease from June 2015. The decline suggests fewer seasonal layoffs than usual.

The Savannah metro area (Chatham, Effingham and Bryan counties) had 1,019 initial unemployment claims in June 2016, but only 666 (seriously?) in June 2017. That’s a huge decline, but I’d feel better if the final tally were 665 or 667.

The June estimates for nonfarm payroll employment are similarly upbeat.

Statewide, the number of positions increased 2.8 percent compared to a year ago, with nearly all the growth coming in the private sector.

In the Savannah metro area, we had an estimated 180,400 payroll jobs in June, up 2.1 percent from June 2016. That’s a less robust annual increase than we have seen recently, but the pace of job growth is still faster than the rate of population growth.

Over the past year, we saw healthy increases in positions in a variety of sectors, including construction, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, wholesale trade and retail trade. Government employment in the metro area has also risen at the federal, state and local levels.

The Hinesville metro area has also seen solid payroll job growth over the past year. Every other Georgia metro area also saw growth over the past year, although the estimates vary widely from Atlanta (+3.5 percent) to Columbus (+.6 percent).

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in June, down from 4.9 percent in May and down from 5.3 percent in June 2016.

We haven’t yet gotten the June estimate for metro area unemployment, but readers should note that the local unemployment rate estimates are not adjusted for seasonality. The Savannah area unemployment rate was just 4.4 percent in May, but we will almost certainly see an increase for June because of ordinary seasonal changes.

City Talk appears every Tuesday and Sunday. Bill Dawers can be reached via billdawers@comcast.net. Send mail to 10 E. 32nd St., Savannah, Ga. 31401.

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