Many Southern-inspired bars follow a theme of bull-riding, country music-playing and greasy-grub-slinging clichés that the odd tourist might love but Southern purists probably can’t stand. Then there’s Yardbird. The Southern eatery and bar is a true example of the hospitality and charm that the South prefers to consider its legacy.
The bar offers a variety of custom cocktails like the Blackberry Bourbon Lemonade made with blackberry puree, fresh lemon, Angostura Bitters and a healthy dose of bourbon, or the Watermelon Sling filled with fresh pressed watermelon juice and whiskey. Serving up these and other specialties in everything from highballs to Mason jars makes Yardbird a true Southern cocktail lover’s dream. But the flavor isn’t all that makes Yardbird stand out. Since it’s such a trendy spot, it caters to an emerging market in the hipster-sphere -- hand-crafted ice.
Each cocktail comes with its own style of custom-cut ice. The Watermelon Sling sits in a lowball with a two inch block of ice. The Albert’s Collins is in a highball with a long block. And the Yardbird Old Fashioned is paired with a two-inch sphere of ice, because everyone knows that round ice just tastes better than those nasty cylinders. The special shapes are cut in-house, are usually designed to fit into specific glasses and rarely take the shapes of swans or those peeing children that so many fountains seem to depict. So if you’re the type of hipster for whom the shape of your ice is just as important as the local growth of your kale-infused moustache wax, then Yardbird is the spot for you -- until it inevitably becomes too well known.
With extensive selections of beer, wine, whiskey, bourbon and other assorted liquors, as well as a full food menu of delicious Southern cuisine, Yardbird is a great place to enjoy drinks, dining and endless opportunities to watch people order things because of the shape of the ice. The joke may get cold after a while, especially if you start making puns about ice being cold, but the fun at Yardbird is sure to last even longer than it will realistically take for the South to rise again.