Local Tourist: The Society Garden
What do hand-tossed pizzas, wildflower seeds, tchotchkes, and local honey all have in common? Honestly, the answer is next to nothing, but they can all be found on Ingleside, and that is something. Whether you need a last minute gift for your four-year-old niece, or you want to plan a relaxing couples massage for you and your feet, Ingleside Village is the place to be. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in variety. Now in addition to Caribbean cuisine and Southern boutiques, you can also come to the Village for beer, wine, and ice cream.
The Society Garden, an open-air beer garden and wine bar complete with swings, a slide, and a sandbox for your little ones, is undoubtedly the most family-friendly bar in town. Yet walking up to its gated entry and then down its flower-lined staircase, a fountain, stringed-lights, and cozy seats appearing before you, it feels like you have left the city altogether, it feels like you have found Macon’s best kept secret, because you have. Once you reach the bottom of the staircase, a whimsical mural stretches across the wall to your right, the bar directly across from it on your left. Hurry and get there now before the delicious blood orange beer is no longer on tap. There is plenty of beer to choose from, though; and you can get your wine by the glass, the bottle, or the flight. Yes, you read that right. The Society Garden offers wine flights. After ordering your drink, you can take a seat up front or head to the back where more seating awaits. There you will discover that The Society Garden has its very own stage. There is also a ping pong table and other yard games. On cooler nights, a fire pit, heated lamps, and blankets are made available. The owners have clearly thought of everything. It is also clear that they have really good taste. Funky lamps add flair to each tabletop, creating a welcome continuity between the garden and its neighboring pizza joint. Beer cans become vases, trees become television stands, and dogs become patrons—anything is possible at this exciting garden of innovation.
If you are not in your car already, heading to the Village as you read, below is a list of potential scenarios in which “swinging by” The Society Garden for a “quick drink” is exactly what you need.
Scenario No. 1: Friday has come at last, but it has been one hell of a week. The last thing you want to do now is prepare another dinner for your picky family. Pizza it is! Ingleside Village Pizza to the rescue. After dinner you are feeling warm and fuzzy having eaten a meal prepared by someone else. You are piling back in to the SUV when you see twinkly lights and a sign that reads: “Beer, Wine, & Ice Cream.” It is a utopia for your fickle family! You unlock the door quickly, saying, “Unbuckle and follow me.”
Scenario No. 2: It is a beautiful day and you are jogging through Ingleside Village when you come face-to-face with a large arrow indicating a beer garden and wine bar just a few steps away. You slow down to a stroll and obey, because although it is a beautiful day for a jog, it is also a beautiful day for a beer, and you do not really like jogging much anyways.
Scenarios No 3: It is Saturday morning and decide to do some gardening, so you head over to your favorite local hardware store for some flowers and a new pair of gloves. As you are leaving Karsten & Denson, you realize that across the street Ingleside Village Antique Center is open. You will just browse for a bit, you tell yourself. Two hours later you are on the phone with your husband informing him when and where he needs to bring his pick-up truck, because you have just bought the most stunning mid-century hutch. He is grouchy, but he will be there in about a half hour. What do you do while you wait? You order a wine flight at The Society Garden, that’s what, because nothing passes the time like day-drinking and gardening can wait.
Scenario No. 4: You have just endured a very tedious dinner meeting at The Back Burner Restaurant with your colleagues. You like your colleagues, but it is 7:30 PM on a Wednesday and you are ready to put your professional face away. When dinner is over you watch them leave the parking lot one by one. The coast is clear and you head directly to The Society Garden, take a seat at the bar, unbutton your blouse, and order a beer.
Scenario No. 5: It is Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, and you are looking to have a good time. The Society Garden is open; I will meet you there.