The Garage, Birmingham’s original beer garden, in Southside is still as cool as ever

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The Garage is located in Southside Birmingham. Photo by Pat Byington

Located a couple of blocks off Highland Avenue, stands Birmingham’s original beer garden – The Garage.

A local favorite of Birmingham natives, The Garage has some of the best sandwiches in town and cold beer, with a beautiful, eclectic courtyard in the back.

Sit back, relax, and take a deep breath because somehow The Garage feels like the backyard patio you’ve always dreamed of.

Catch a glimpse of one of the Garage’s patrons in the courtyard. Photo by Pat Byington

Ask anyone who works at The Garage and they’ll tell you they have regulars: like come everyday-know-your-order regulars. On a first time visit, you might think you stick out like a sore thumb, but the staff is kind and hospitable, willing to help explain the lingo.

Bring Cash

To some surprise, they only take cash, which adds to their street cred in a way; they provide an ATM in the back for anyone unprepared.

Their selection of beers is listed in big chalk letters on the back wall, organized by kind (IPA, stout, etc.). Big tubs full of ice cubes and beer sit just inside the counter ready to be cracked open. Their sandwich menu is solid and simple. Each sandwich comes with a spear pickle and potato chips averaging $8.25. Menus are located past the bar attached to the countertop, which is also where you order. Be prepared to park on the street and potentially take a slight stroll to arrive. Inside seating is limited, but the outside is where the real magic happens.

Nothing like a scrapyard and hanging overgrown wisteria to ignite one’s curiosity. Photo by Pat Byington
The Courtyard—One Of A Kind

The courtyard is centered between old covered garage stalls circa the 1930’s era. According to the staff, former property owner Fritz Woehle, whose daughter Kay Woehle now runs the bar,  collected odd antiquities from Europe and rumor has it that on more than one occasion he’d even sell a piece or two. These lawn statues and pieces of stone cover the patio and fill the garages. Each garage holds different pieces and fascinating articles.

Wisteria vines cover the entirety of the courtyard, creeping and crawling toward the sky. Many people look forward to the fall so they can sit under the trees, enjoy the warmth of the fire pit and the afternoon sun with their gang of friends and family. No table service means there is no rush to turnaround a table emphasizing the freedom of the space and completing the relaxed European ambience. On certain occasions, they also have live performers. The whole atmosphere almost feels as if it is of a different time.

Above the entrance to the Garage hangs an old sign. Photo by Pat Byington

Despite being considered a secret by locals, The Garage has been recognized on a national level multiple times.

It was named one of the “Top 100 Bars in the South” by Southern Living and one of the “10 Bars Worth Flying to” according to GQ.

Kay Woehle, the owner of The Garage, keeps it running smoothly. The Garage is a beer garden unlike any other, providing a place for parties, intimate conversations, and genuine good times in Birmingham’s southside.

An old gas pump sits in the middle of the courtyard. Photo by Pat Byington

Don’t forget to check it out if you don’t know it well already!

Location: 2304 10th Terrace S, Birmingham, AL 35205

Hours: 11:00 am-12:00 pm (opens on Sunday at 3 pm; and closes later on Friday’s and Saturday’s at 2 am)

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Holly Moore
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