Location : Suwanee, Georgia
I grew up in Scotland where the pubs to people ratio is somewhere along the lines of 1:1. If you are out having a walk and you trip chances are you will fall through the front doors of a bar. There is also a kind of rite of passage that you go through when you turn 18 which involves the process of picking which of the may pubs will become “your local”. That is the bar that you will become fiercely loyal to and will be the only place in your town that you will drink in until it closes or you are barred for throwing up all over the bar top.
Imagine my surprise then when I moved to Canada at the age of 19 and realized that, oh horror of horrors, you had to get in the car to find the nearest bar, which you had to hope was one that not only served the beer you like, but was also a decent place to hang out. It got even worse when I moved to Georgia where the pubs were even further afield and the liquor store didn’t serve alcohol on Sundays. I can still picture the look of abject horror on my face the first time I tried to pick up a six-pack of beer on a Sunday and was turned away and made to feel like a moron by the attendant in the gas station.
In the three years that I have lived in my new hometown of Suwanee, Georgia, we have experienced a sort of alcoholic renaissance as we went from 1 bar which was a 10 minute drive from the house to now having 5 within the same distance. I, of course, have had to sample each one in a heroic attempt to find out which will become my local. I look at it as getting back to my roots, my wife thinks of it more as my becoming a complete beer pig. I am going to go through all 5 of the locations and maybe you, my beloved readers, can help me decide where I should pledge my allegiance.
1. Wild Wing – This is the bar that was here when we first arrived and I have a certain loyalty to it as it is the one I have been to most often. It’s a little dingy and dark on the inside but the service and food in particular is great. As the name suggests, they specialize in chicken wings and have multiple flavors to choose from but my favorite is the chicken sandwich that you can build from scratch including the sauces and toppings. It’s massive and delicious to boot. They also serve Guinness on tap which is a major bonus in my eyes.
2. Chili’s – The restaurant chain has just opened a new location here and it does have a separate bar inside although not a very large one and with limited beer selections on tap which is what I prefer. Again though, the food is great but I don’t know if that is enough to make it a strong candidate as my local.
3. Taco Mac – What set’s this one apart from all the others is the absolutely staggering array of beers they have on offer. They have a beer passport club which can earn you prizes and discounts as you work your way through their beer menu. It really is fun to try all those different brews and get rewarded for doing so. They also have a great set-up with large plasma TV’s just about everywhere you look which makes it a great spot to watch sports. The major downside here for me though is the food which I just can’t seem to warm up to there. I suppose I could always eat before I go.
4. Indigo Joes – More restaurant than anything but they have a real nice little bar attached that’s just a nice size and is never too busy. There are a number of great things about this place and none bad that I can think of. Draft beer comes in 14, 23, and a whopping 34 ounce glass which, when filled with Guinness, brings a little happy tear to my eye. They also have numerous TV’s for watching sports, the NTN trivia game in which you play trivia against thousands of other bars across the nation, a cool little kids games room where the little ones can go and play video games until your supply of quarters runs out as well as a weekly poker tournament and a weekly live trivia night. Great service and it has a very small town feel with a large group of regular customers.
5. Olde Town Tavern & Grill – The newest addition to the group and probably in the best location. It sits on the edge of our local park and has a great patio where you can sit and watch the live concerts etc that go on in the park on a regular basis. Food is great, especially their sandwiches, and the service is absolutely incredible. The girls behind the bar are incredibly good looking but they are much more than just a pretty face as they work very hard to keep the always busy bar moving along and you never have to wait for a drink.
So now you see my dilemma. I have a definite bar which I am leaning towards but am fully prepared to test them all on a very regular basis just to make sure that I make an intelligent, informed decision. I just hope my liver can handle the torrid pace.