The Best of Savannah

Best of Savannah 2011: Nightlife

Best New Bar

Best Outdoor Bar

Best Pool Hall

Congress Street Social Club

Sprinting to the top of the "new" list after just two months in business (it opened the week before St. Patrick's Day), this two-level club is at 411 W. Congress - it took over the space vacated by B&B Ale House, with the added pleasures of the long-closed second level. That's where the "outdoor" part comes in - the courtyard, which sat mostly unused in the B&B era, overlooks Congress fom behind simple iron gates.

The new club's three owners had some careful revisions in mind, including an extensive and all-new bar on the upper level, a refurbished courtyard bar, and the addition of dining tables on the upper level and in the courtyard. In effect, the space has simple been improved and expanded.

Runner-up, new bar: Crypt Pub

Runner-up, outdoor bar: Rocks on the Roof

Runner-up, pool hall: Capone's

Best Overall Bar

Best Bartender (Tony Beasley)

Best Bar Staff

Best Downtown Bar

Best Live Music Bar

Best Bar to Spot a Celebrity

Best Happy Hour

The Jinx

Look at all those category wins - what can we say about the Jinx that isn't at least suggested by our readers' choices? We can tell you that Suzanne Warnekros bought the lease in 2003, when it was still known as Velvet Elvis. "I just didn't want Savannah to lose that spot, because in my opinion there's just nothing else in town like it," she told us. "Nothing as open-minded, nothing as eclectic. There's definitely the right kind of vibe in there."

Runner-up, bartender: Wendy Williby (Alligator Soul)

Runner-up, bar staff: Seed Eco-lounge

Runner-up, downtown bar: Rail Pub

Runner-up, live music bar: Live Wire Music Hall

Runner-up, celebrity: Pinkie Masters

Runner-up, overall: Circa 1875

Best Daytime Bar

Best Trivia Night

Wild Wing Café

Hey, you got the charms of City Market right at your fingertips. Afternoons on the Wild Wings porch, with a pitcher and a plate of wings, that's better than people-watching at the airport. And Tuesday is "Team Trivia" night.

Runner-up, daytime: The Distillery

Runner-up, trivia: Tailgate

Best Weeknight Bar

Best College Bar

Best Mixed Drinks

Seed Eco-Lounge

SCAD grad Adam Hamlin, who'd already managed a couple of downtown clubs, opened the Seed in the summer of 2009, after he'd already dreamed up the concept of an "environmentally friendly" bar in his Masters thesis. So behind those recycled doors there are bamboo-papered walls, cork flooring, tables made from recycled steel and other reclaimed materials, LED lighting, and "low-flow" sinks and toilets. College kids, of course, love that kind of stuff - it adds to the funky vibe - and the drinks are strong.

Runner-up, weeknight: The Jinx

Runner-up, college: Hang Fire

Runner-up, Mixed Drinks: Lulu's

Best River Street Bar

Wet Willie's

Frozen daiquiris - dozens of ‘em - in a multitude of swirling psychedelic colors. There's no shortage of folks with Wet Willie's to-go cups wobbling up and down River Street.

Runner-up: Live Wire Music Hall

Best Southside Bar


The manager proudly proclaims this southside sports establishment "the most chilled-out restaubar in Savannah." Lotsa big-screen TVs, Karaoke nights, trivia, pub food - what else do you need?

Runner-up: Spanky's

Best Islands Bar

Britannia Pub

They've got Union Jacks and pictures of the Beatles on almost every wall, but it's not the British heritage that made this watering hole a local favorite - it's the friendly service and the proximity to home for its Island-living patrons.

Runner-up: Rock House

Best Tybee Island Bar


Few things in life are as relaxing as a sunny afternoon sit on the Huc-a-porch, with a cold one and a slice of their truly excellent pizza. Great live music, too.

Runner-up: Tybee Time

Best Westside Bar

Robins Nest

A Pooler perennial - no frills, just cold beer, pub food and a neighborhood atmosphere. Ask about the cornhole tournament (it's not what you think).

Runner-up: Bahama Bob's

Best Neighborhood Bar

bar food

For years, Ardsley Park residents didn't have a bar to call their own until bar food gave everyone around Habersham Village someplace to stumble home from without having to pay cab fare.

Runner-up: Pinkie Masters

Best Signature Drink

Lulutini at Lulu's Chocolate Bar

What would the signature drink at a chocolate bar taste like? If you guessed chocolate, you'd be halfway to understanding the sweet decadence of the Lulutini, which melds Chocolate Vodka, Meletti Ciocolatto Liqueur, Crème de Cacao, and real chocolate.

Runner-up: Cucumber Chill Martini at Seed

Best Margarita


The competition for this category has gotten a lot tighter over the last few years, but Jalapeno's "monster margaritas" have weathered a fair number of challengers as the restaurants have sprouted from West Chatham to Bluffton.

Runner-up: Carlito's

Best Martini

Jen's and Friends

With a menu featuring more than 100 different martinis, Jen's and Friends has become an institution for locals and tourists alike who'd rather sip on a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or a Georgia Peach...when they taste that good, who can blame them?

Runner-up: Jazz'd

Best Sommelier

Jason Restivo - The Pink House

How does one become a sommelier?

"A lot of studying, a lot of reading, and definitely a lot of tasting," explains Jason Restivo, the sommelier at the Pink House.

A veteran of the service industry, Restivo found himself at a string of jobs - one at an Italian winery and another at an upscale French restaurant in Carmel, CA - that gave him a first hand education in the finer points of fermented grapes.

"My first wines were wines that I really can't afford now," he says, chuckling.

From there, he became a certified member of the Court of Master Sommeliers, and the rest is history.

He and his wife moved to Savannah about two years ago, after coming here for a vacation and discovering the appeal of "affordable historic real estate." Not long after, he joined the staff at the Pink House and began to re-shape their formidable wine selection to cater to the evolving tastes of visitors and locals alike.

"We have wines that we shouldn't do by the glass, but we do because our clientele deserves it," Restivo explains. "We like to expose and treat our guests to things they should be treated to." -- Patrick Rodgers

Runner-up: Sean Dylan - Vic's on the River

Best Wine Selection (retail)

Habersham Beverage

With such a massive selection of wines from around the world, the hardest part about visiting their Southside location is making up your mind on which bottle(s) to take home with you.

Runner-up: Johnny Ganem's

Best Wine Selection (bar or restaurant)

Elizabeth on 37th

With a cellar that holds 10,000 bottles, and a menu that offers up about 250 different selections, it's hard to argue with Elizabeth's. Their wine captain knows a thing or two about pairings too.

Runner-up: Bacchus

Best Beer Selection (retail)

Habersham Beverage

Habersham Beverage has really stepped up their selection of craft beers over the last few years. From international intrigue to delicious domestics, they've got a little bit of everything.

Runner-up: Johnny Ganem's

Best Bottled Beer Selection (bar or restaurant)

Best Beer on Tap

The Distillery

With a special menu just for bottled beers that includes information about styles, alcohol content and country of origin, you know the folks at the Distillery aren't messing around. And once you try all those, you'll still need to check out their 20+ draught offerings. Don't go it alone, we recommend bringing a tasting team to help try them all.

Runner-up, bottles: Crystal Beer Parlor

Runner-up, tap: Moon River Brewery

Best British Pub

Churchill's Pub

You won't need a passport, but you might be confused (especially after a few pints). There's a 35-foot, full mahogany bar hand-carved by English craftsmen, a vast selection of ales and stouts, U.K. soccer on the satellite telly and a menu featuring Shepherd's Pie and Bangers & Mash.

Runner-up: Six Pence Pub

Best Irish Pub

Kevin Barry's

One of the longest-lasting drinking spots in Savannah, Barry's recently celebrated 30 uninterrupted years on River Street. It's a no-frills Irish pub, with nary a television nor video game to be seen. Just pints, and plenty of ‘em.

Runner-up: Murphy's Law

Best Dance Club

Best Gay Club

Club One

Lady Chablis' cabaret show might have put this place on the map, but their packed dance floor is what makes them a weekly destination.

Runner-up, dance: 51 Degrees

Runner-up, gay: Blaine's Back Door

Best Latin Dancing


The folks from Salsa Savannah heat up the dance floor at Tantra every Tuesday night.

Runner-up: Saya

Best Hook Up Spot

The Bar Bar

A local institution for making out with strangers, it's been at basement level in City Market since 1993. Thursday is officially College Night, although from the looks of the regular customers, every night is College Night.

Runner-up: Club One

Best Sports Bar

Coach's Corner

Ten 50-inch LED televisions will let you watch the big games; the one screen that's 10-feet wide is for the really, really big games! Darts, billiards, beach volleyball, shuffleboard, bumper pool ... and live bands. And beer. And food. And what else could you want from a sports bar?

Runner-up: Wild Wing Café

Best Adult Entertainment

Uncle Harry's

Uncle Harry's has topless women and a kitchen serving prime rib. We can't remember which of those is the fastest way to a man's heart.

Runner-up: Gold Club

Best Karaoke


The only place in Savannah that has Karaoke seven nights a week. How could it not win?

Runner-up: The Jinx








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