Last night a good friend of mine indoctrinated me into one of her self-proclaimed heavens on earth: Tavern VI, a two-story, invitation-only bar on private property where what is consumed is brought by those who come and shared among everyone — be it alcohol, food, guns or explosives, and all are consumed often at some point. It’s not an every-night kind of place, either. The man who owns it only invites folks out every month or so, though that might happen more or less frequently depending on season and the economy.
Tavern VI is placed on a large property outside Columbus, GA., where there is a house, a large barn garage, a microcrop and three cultivated bee hives. It sits next to a large man-made pond made into the side of a wooded decline with the endearing welcoming yellow signs warning trespassers of snipers, placed just below three bright red stop signs adorning the entry drive.
Its privacy is paramount, so the details I may speak of here will remain largely circumspect, suffice to say it’s a nice place, with nice people who love sharing each other’s company. It’s a place of exchange, be it camaraderie or a cold one, and there is plenty of both. Sometimes it’s homemade brew, sometimes it’s a hybrid concoction of fruit and alcohol, or just the local stuff bought a few miles away at the local liquor store.
When I arrived, they already had a high powered rifle with large scope set upon a table for shooting. My friend brought zombie-themed targets that changed color based on where the round struck the cardboard. The crack reverberated through the tavern.
The tavern, built with a small kitchen and large bathroom in a three-tiered structure on a shallow hill. the short bar divided the kitchen from open half of the three-tiered room, making all within the tavern visible to those sitting at the bar. Upon the walls are fastened many colorful signs, hats and other adornments. There are neon signs and flags, old shirts and a long line of hats rimming the underside of the third-tier. A pool table is the center piece of the lower floor, but does not take up it all, with a few tables and a number of stools. The third tier, with a balcony overlooking the other two, has two futons and a long serving bar along the balcony, itself.
Out back is a two-tiered deck deck with a diving board I was advised against messing with.
I spent my evening traveling about the grounds, conversing with the owner, my two friends and numerous other “tavernauts,” as they lovingly call themselves, about life, politics and everything between. We learned about the owner’s hobbies and focuses, discussed homeopathy, local education, race relations, and the finer points of eating moonshine-soaked strawberries out the jar.
I was the sober mascot for the evening and the well-identified Tavern Virgin, as it was my first time at the Tavern.
The day had already started out both interesting and productive, as I had to drive from Montgomery to Atlanta to reclaim my RV and put it into storage. I hung out with a friend for awhile, visited Rev Coffee in Smyrna, and then headed south to Columbus.
The evening was a good one. I made new friends, had interesting conversations, danced a little, and had to deal with some drunks, but it was all in good fun. No more standing close to Eric Parsons when he’s feeling like a smartass and is toasted.
I hope to return soon, though I will not say next when I am scheduled to go, because “What happens at the Tavern better damn well stay at the Tavern or you’re not longer invited to the Tavern.” That’s the extended version. Or they shoot you. There’s always that.
My time was good. I had lots of fun, great convo, and it’s always good to see old friends while making new ones. My my friend who invited me was correct — I did have a good time.
And that’s how I lost my “Tavern VI”rgnity.