Congress Street Social Club
If you're living in Savannah, chances are you will at some point end up at the Social Club, and with two-stories, four bars, on-street BBQ and a photo booth the place's draw is apparent. While Social is consistently a hot spot for twenty-somethings in Savannah, the club's crowd is a sturdy compilation of virtually every demographic, clique or stereotype you could imagine — from the college kids and local soldiers to aging hipsters who may or may not be trying to recapture their youth. Congress Street Social Club is the Savannah scene's hub for making plans, catching a buzz via the bar's 130 bourbons, or grooving to the local musicians that love to play this stage. When — and it really is a matter of "when," not "if"— you end up here, it'll become clear that the Social Club is true to its name.
The American Legion
Tucked in on the south end of Forsyth Park, the Legion is the intimate, low-key, casual getaway from the sometimes overbearing and hectic swarms of the downtown area. Originally opened in July 1946, Post 135 is luckily — for us non-veterans — open to the public. This allows us the treat of unbelievably inexpensive drinks (can you say $2 PBR's?) in one of Savannah's most laid-back environments. Naturally a hangout for military veterans — both active and retired — the disparities between age groups and civilians and military personnel is a non-issue as location, pricing, and atmosphere have entwined, leading to a significant influx of younger, college-aged patrons. Coupled with nearby Betty Bombers All-American Eatery, the Legion is easily one of Savannah's best places to decompress with a drink and a bite, or share an intimate outing on the deck along South Bull Street.
Note to the New Jack: Tact, respect, and manners along with proper disposing of discarded cigarettes are must-dos at the Legion.
At the corner of MLK and West Congress is one of Savannah's funkiest establishments, where oldies-on-vinyl meld with digital modernity — resulting in one of the most happening atmospheres downtown. Encased behind glass walls with an enviable record collection, Savannah's Sparetime has it going on, from a delectable dinner menu to an impressive list of house-infused liquors like a tomato gin — or the C-Port, an alcohol ode to the fine city itself. If you're going to consider yourself involved in the Savannah scene, the Sparetime needs to be on your list of places to drop in, hang out and vibe. Whether you're digging the stylings of visual artist/DJ Jose Ray,or just munching on the magic that the Sparetime kitchen concocts, rest assured that with each venture into the Sparetime comes an assortment of stories you'll be regaling your comrades in debauchery with.
While Congress Street is lined with a slew of bars — some great, some not so great — The Rail Pub is most definitely in the former category. With two courtyards — upstairs and downstairs — a tiki hut complete with outside bar, a corn hole area for bags enthusiasts, and the only bar (that I'm aware of) that sells 40 ounces of Miller or Bud Light for five bucks, as well as coozies for said forties. As somebody I know recently observed, "The Rail Pub feels like a local bar ... it's not a 'bro' or a 'dance' bar, just a good bar."
Hang Fire Bar
Hang Fire is a notoriously famous college bar with an even greater notoriety for spontaneity. Really, you'll never know what you may see or be a part of upon entering this historically hip hangout. With weekends that are rarely without DJs, the building's outer facade typically features a bustling mixture of semi-transient partiers, as electronica enthusiasts rage inside the dimly lit and frequently very crowded bar. With a history of being considered one of the best dance bars in Savannah, it's really no wonder that Hang Fire is an essential part of the Savannah scene.