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Staff Photo by Matt Hamilton / Visitors gather before the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Southern Adventist University on Friday. The school held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the formal opening the Bietz Center for Student Life on Friday, October 1, 2021 in Collegedale. The 40,000 square foot building features lounge areas, game rooms, an eatery, a chapel, prayer rooms, and more and is named for Gordon Bietz, a former president at the school.

Drive Time: From Collegedale's City Hall, it is a 22- to 35-minute drive to downtown Chattanooga, depending on the traffic.

Locator maps: 35°36N 85°249

Curb appeal: The median home listing price in January 2022 was $399,000 according to Realtor.com.

Breakfast:

— 4 Corners Cafe on Apison Pike has breakfast sandwiches, French toast and your morning cup of coffee. There is also an extensive lunch menu with ample vegetarian and vegan options.

— The Bakery on Apison Pike is completely plant-based and offers a variety of pastries and goods.

— Village Market Deli on University Drive offers a number of breakfast options, notably breakfast burritos and sandwiches, for those looking for all vegetarian and vegan eats.

Lunch:

— China Kitchen on Apison Pike is a community favorite with all one would expect from a Chinese restaurant, along with ample vegetarian offerings.

— Frogurtland on Apison Pike may appear from the outside to be an ordinary frozen yogurt shop, but it also provides Korean food like ramen, Kimchi fried rice and sweet and trendy boba drinks.

— Curry Pot on Apison Pike has authentic, delicious and affordable Indian food. Pre-pandemic it wasn't uncommon to see a line outside of the building at lunchtime.

Dinner:

— Aji Peruvian Restaurant on Ooltewah Ringgold Road has traditional Peruvian flavors and serves the likes of empanadas, yuca, sandwiches and ceviche, with and without meat.

— Tropical Cuisine Restaurant on Ooltewah Ringgold Road is another completely vegetarian restaurant, relatively new to the area. It offers Hispanic and Caribbean-inspired flavors for low prices. The empanadas, the daily fresh juice and the rotating featured plates are well worth the time.

— Los Potros Mexican Restaurant on Apison Pike is home to authentic Mexican cuisine. Here you can enjoy burritos, fajitas and practically anything that comes in a tortilla. They also offer salads and multiple combos and specials.

Ribbon Cutters:

The Bakery on Apison Pike at 4 Corners in Collegedale, has a name as simple as its products — plant-based pastries and baked goods.

"You can have your cake and enjoy it too," said owner Dante Santana of the wholesome and health-conscious approach to his baking.

Santana first started baking in Puerto Rico out of frustration with not being able to find a good loaf of bread.

Now he runs The Bakery, selling bread and a variety of vegan sweets like cheesecakes, cookies and cinnamon rolls. Most items range from $2 to $5. The business opened on June 23, 2021, and quickly began to have local regulars.

In addition to selling treats, Santana and his wife, who is a social worker, hope to minister to the young people they employ by instilling a strong work ethic in them. A portion of profits also goes to support agricultural and business development ministries in the Dominican Republic.

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MyChattanooga: Collegedale

In the News:

— Collegedale and McKee Foods broke ground on a park partnership near the center of town in 2021.

— Collegedale grew the fastest among Chattanooga area cities from 2010-2020, according to the 2020 census.

Happy Place:

The Collegedale Commons, a pavilion structure located behind city hall, truly brings the community together. The Commons was built a few years ago and has since hosted events weekly from farmers markets and dance classes to weddings and church services.

Shop Talk:

If you're looking to shop in Collegedale, the businesses off of Little Debbie Parkway are likely your best bet. Along this road, you can find Walmart, a variety of fast-food restaurants and other retail options for various needs. A stone's throw away, Ooltewah is also known for Cambridge Square, home to boutiques, restaurants and medical offices.

Livability score sheet:

Walkability: The walkability of Collegedale depends on where you live and where you are hoping to go. Collegedale has a paved greenway that winds through the different area parks, and many parts of the city are fully accessible by sidewalks. The 4 Corners and city hall areas of town are centralized with restaurants, a car shop and outdoor recreation close by, but one would likely need a vehicle to truly access all of the amenities of the town.

Health-care assets: While Collegedale doesn't have any hospitals, there are urgent care centers nearby like AFC Urgent Care and an Erlanger Express Care.

Claim to fame: Collegedale is home to McKee Foods, owner of Little Debbie's headquarters. The snack cake giant was started in Chattanooga in 1934 and moved to Collegedale in 1957. It has key offices and production plants in the city.

Parks and Rec:

— Imagination Station

— Dog Park

— Veteran Memorial Park

— Greenway

— Thatcher Switch

— Nature Nook

Schools:

— Ooltewah Elementary (pre-K-5)

— Wolftever Creek Elementary (K-5)

— Apison Elementary (pre-K-5).

— Collegedale Academy (K-12).

— Ooltewah Middle School (6-8).

— East Hamilton School (6-12).

— Ooltewah High (9-12).

— Southern Adventist University (undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs).

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