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To-go Cups & Pub Life: Savannah’s Tippling Spots

SAVANNAH Georgia — Green Palm Inn bed and breakfast is near attractions, and happily points to Savannah pub life —  the fabulous little “tippling” spots and nightlife bars in Savannah, Georgia’s 2.2 mile Historic District.  You will hear often, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere”!

Remember: In Savannah you must be 21 to drink beer or any alcoholic beverage. Be prepared to show I.D.  A Savannah ordinance also prohibits smoking in restaurants and pubs.

The city’s infamous “to-go” cup and rambunctious St. Patrick’s Day celebrations help to perpetuate the fun-loving image of a city serious about its spirited beverages and jolly reputation!

The old southern saying goes, “In Atlanta, people ask what you do for a living; in Charleston, they ask you from what family do you belong; in Savannah, they ask you, ‘What’s your favorite drink?’”

Pedi-cabs (rickshaw-type bikes) and cabs are readily available. Driving drunk is not permitted, and strictly enforced in Savannah.


A few of our favorite pub spots are Molly MacPherson’s, Jen’s and Friends, Abe’s on Lincoln tavern, Lulu’s Chocolate Bar, Murphy’s Law Irish Pub, The Lounge at 17Hundred90 pub, Circa 1875 Gastro Pub, and The Distillery (where vintage silent movies are on the big screen).

A stop at Kevin Barry’s Irish Pub, Pinkie Masters (named “3rd best dive bar in the South” in January 2013), and Crystal Beer Parlor will give you a glimpse into the old timer’s nostalgic spots, sought out by fun-loving generations today.  U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced his run for the presidency standing on the bar at Pinkie Master.

Tippling in 1531 meant to “sell alcoholic liquor by retail”. Tipla “to drink slowly or in small quantities” also “drink (alcoholic beverage) too much” is first attested in 1560. Tippler or “seller of alcoholic liquors” is from 1396; in the sense of “habitual drinker” it dates from 1580.

Naming Molly MacPherson’s after their great-grandmother, Debbie Boulanger and Jennifer Brown, along with their husbands Dannie Cloutier and Michael Brown, opened Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub & Grill in Savannah on July 1, 2005.

Quality food, a comfortable atmosphere, a great selection of Single Malts, Scottish culture, and the male wait-staff in kilts are what they envisioned for their Pub – and that’s exactly what they got!

Molly’s offers a wide array of Scotch and Irish fare, but the hidden jewel is the Scotch cake. A spiced ginger cake with whiskey and Grand Marnier in the just-sweet-enough icing, this confection is, quite simply, heaven on earth. Don’t ask for two forks; tease your companion with just a taste, and then make him/her beg you to share the rest.

Circa 1875 is a local gem located in beautiful historic downtown Savannah, GA. Check out the haunted tours that stop by Circa 1875 to tell tales of spotted specters to the guests of our city. The locals are enchanted by wine and food tastings at this local French bistro where they pride themselves on giving attentive personal service in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. The melodic tones of classic jazz and standards enliven the atmosphere. Boutique wines are offered by the glass and bottle, along with imported draught beer, handcrafted martinis and cocktails.

While choosing from over 100 different martinis might sound like a daunting task, it’s actually very easy to order a drink at Jen’s and Friend’s because every martini tastes exactly like its name. The venerable “Snickers”, the famous “Mango”, the “PBJ”, or their signature “White Elephant” (okay, maybe that one doesn’t taste like it sounds), these are just a few of their favorite concoctions that make this downtown bar so popular. They don’t stint on presentation either … with chocolate swirls, rock pop rims, and whole candy bars as garnishes.

Jen’s is located just off Johnson Square on Bull Street between Broughton and Congress in the heart of the Historic District. Reminiscent of a San Francisco style saloon, they occupy a small space that runs length-wise along their overflowing bar. With faded wood walls plastered with posters and notices, it has a dive bar sensibility, but without the smoky atmosphere, and with a much better cocktail menu. (Note: if you even try to light up, you will be asked to take it outside before your lighter is out of your pocket.]

Jen’s and Friend’s also has a few tables and chairs on the sidewalk that make for a great Happy Hour hang out from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday-Saturday. While they don’t have an official closing time, they tend to stay open late, usually until 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. or when the bar starts to clear out. They are closed on Sunday.

Once a local Happy Hour hang out, 17Hundred90 pub has undergone a change over the last few years. New owners pride themselves in bringing back the local flavor at this downtown neighborhood favorite. With the pub’s vast wine selection and experienced bartenders, all tastes are satisfied and all thirsts are quenched. Stay a while, either for a nightcap or a cool afternoon refreshment.

Rumor has it that a friendly, early 19th century ghost named Anna Powers haunts the at 17Hundred90.  According to folklore, Anna fell in love with a married seaman in the early 1800s. She is said to have thrown herself to her own death from the third floor balcony onto the brick courtyard below, just as the sails of his ship left her sight and headed down the Savannah river to the sea. Some have suggested that the young Miss Powers was helped ad finestra by the seaman’s jealous bride. Since then, her ghost has purportedly been seen wandering the halls throughout restaurant and that inn, particularly in room 204

“CEAD MILE FAILTE” – or 100,000 Welcomes from Murphy’s Law Irish Pub – a pub that “has the cure for what ‘ales’ you”. This authentic Irish Pub has been a Savannah tradition since 2006 with some of the best Fish and Chips and an impressive draught and bottled beer selection. Pub Grub, Irish Mire Cake and specialty drinks round out their menu. Also beware! The bar staff are expert whiskey drinkers so try not to take them on. This IS their area of expertise.

Lulu’s Chocolate Bar … More Than Just a Dessert Bar

You will love the retro-glam atmosphere and personalized service. Each staff member wears a collection of vintage-style aprons made by their friend Johnny Walgate. Lulu’s has a fun internet jukebox with classic and modern music. Enjoy an evening with great desserts and good friends. The dessert bar is conveniently located between Broughton Street and Congress Street on MLK Jr. Boulevard in downtown Savannah, Georgia.

Lulu’s has a full wine and champagne menu along with great drink specials, including the Savannah Bourbon Bellini. Martinis range from $8 to $12. Live music most nights and local art rounds out a crazy fun outing.

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