By Jason Simpson
When I learned Savannah was getting a new country western bar, I did what any normal man would do. I started dipping Skoal, roping cows and breaking debutante hearts in preparation. I grabbed a few cowboys and cowgirls and we headed to Saddle Bags Bar located at 317 W. River St. The new watering hole adds some steel and spurs to the mix of Southern culture here in Savannah.
The most impressive thing about Saddle Bags is that it has something for everyone. There are drink specials for the motorcycle crowd, line dancing and free lessons for those who like to boot scoot, a mechanical bull-riding contest, drink specials for the ladies and contests that celebrate male and female physical forms alike. They also serve traditional bar fare favorites mixed with some Southern flair.
The inside of the bar looks like a cross between a Toby Keith music video, the final scene in Coyote Ugly and a busy night at Merlotte’s Bar from “True Blood.”
We started out with free line dancing lessons at 7 p.m. and the teacher was pleasant and very patient. After watching me “dance” for a while, her hand went to her imaginary pearls and I think a few “bless your heart, you’re tryings” were uttered. As a result, my friends and I decided to change our focus to the menacing, large red-eyed bull in the corner.
The night my partners and I saddled up on the bull, he must have known he had novices holding the reigns. The mechanical bull goes in increasing levels of difficulty from one to six. Bar manager Erin Lariscy informed me that level six was so dangerous they had to deactivate it.
No one in my group could ride the bull beyond a level two. And to add further shame, the longest riding time was 28 seconds.
So, we decided to stick to something we were all better at: drinking. The bar features one of the largest selections of bourbon in Savannah. Thursday is Ladies Red Solo Cup Night, which means ladies get a red solo cup that entitles them to $2 well drinks all night long. For men, they get to watch ladies with their solo cups as Thursday night is also the “boots and bikinis” contest.
One of the best features of their lineup is the “birthday bash” option. If you visit the bar on a Friday night and your birthday falls during that week, you are entitled to a free Bourbon Slush and a free Fried Twinkie. If you’ve ever visited a state fair in Texas, you know what I’m talking about when I say that the fried Twinkies are like epic treats in the culinary world.
The only negative aspect of this bar in my experience was trying to nail down information. At present, they do not have an official website and any information you need, you will have to find on their Facebook page. The lineup of events is pretty serious, so check ahead before you go.
For more information, go to: Saddle Bags SavannahContact Jason Simpson.