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Trying a 4-Course Dinner at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

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When I first heard about The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA I got the feeling something was different about this place.

The main reason? The restaurant resides in the front of the actual Palace Theater in downtown Sylvester. In true theater style it has a tall vertical illuminated sign, proudly proclaiming its presence.

But once inside, the restaurant shows its true colors, quite literally. A theme of deep, dark greens and black tones are highlighted with gold and amber hues across the restaurant.

The interior walls, which extend two stories high are deliberately covered in framed artwork. I don’t just mean the restaurant just has a lot of artwork — which it does. What I mean is the walls of the main dining room are covered from top to bottom and from back to front with frames pieces of art.

One of the walls covered in curated art at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

Large paintings, small photos, and medium-sized selections of art adorn the walls all over the venue. More than that, the owner told me each piece was selected and placed in a specific spot.

It’s easy to get lost in the mesmerizing collection in the front half of the restaurant, and even more so in the curated selection of Salvador Dalí framed pieces towards the back. But I came primarily for the food and drink, so let’s continue there.

One of several illuminated framed Salvador Dalí prints at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

Let’s get to the food and drink, shall we?

I went for dinner on the second night that The Palace began offering their full menu. The restaurant’s atmosphere immediately set the mood, and I was ready to begin.

Appetizers

From the appetizer menu I ordered something I thought would be interesting and tasty: “Devils on Horseback.” This shareable dish offers almond and blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon. The result was a compact starter that was sweet, savory, and delicious. And as someone who doesn’t enjoy blue cheese (think salad dressing and crumbles) I actually enjoyed all the blended flavors.

“Devils on Horseback” – an appetizer at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

The Palace Restaurant cocktail menu

The Palace Restaurant has a signature cocktail menu that offers a wide variety of drinks to imbibe. Top choices include an Angels Old Fashioned and a Peach Bellini. I spoke with several guests who raved about a number of other signature drinks available. While I’m not sharing the cocktail menu here, I can confirm the list is not short.

Salad and main course

For the main part of the meal I ordered a ribeye steak with cheese grits and a Caesar salad. The Caesar came out first, with crisp, cold romaine, croutons, a light house caesar dressing, and lightly topped with parmesan cheese. The salad wasn’t anything earth-changing, but it delivered everything I anticipated it would.

Then, not too soon, the ribeye steak and cheese grits arrived. Its temperature was hot and glistened on the plate, topped with seasoned melted butter and The Palace Restaurant’s own in-house steak sauce.

A ribeye steak and cheese grits at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

Cutting into the steak, it was red, tender, and flavorful. I ate most of it with only the butter garnish, but ventured to try the in-house sauce. The Palace Restaurant’s own steak sauce is not like others you’ll find elsewhere. It is red-orange in color and has the texture of a puree while bringing an almost salsa-like flavor. It’s hard to describe the taste, but I enjoyed it, and found myself coming back to dipping pieces of steak into it during my meal. The cheese grits complementing my steak were hot and tasty, with just the right amount of flavor. Nothing bland at all.

Going for dessert

There were no listed dessert items on the main menu I ordered from on my visit, so I asked my waiter if they had a dessert menu. He told me yes, and informed me they had a special fried ice cream dish. I knew I had to try it, so I placed an order. When it arrived, it was presented in a large shiny bowl topped with whip cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce, and dusted with powdered sugar. Wow.

Fried Ice Cream at The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

Cutting into this monster dessert, the outside was crispy and warm and the inside revealed a cold ball of ice cream. The entire dish was delicious. I couldn’t finish it by myself, so I recommend enlisting the help of others (or a date, perhaps) to enjoy.

Lastly, I asked if I could have a cup of coffee and was shortly presented with a fresh cup, along with a miniature pitcher of cream. The coffee was hot and not bitter, and just what I wanted to finish things off.

Overall conclusions

The Palace Restaurant in downtown Sylvester, GA is an experience all its own. The atmosphere is deliberate and inspiring, and the service is welcoming and thoughtful.

It’s a good idea to call ahead and make reservations at least one day in advance if you plan to dine at The Palace. There are only so many tables available and in my experience they seemed to fill up quickly.

The restaurant offers larger tables for groups, tables for two, and a bar that seats at least 10 people. If the bar is full or you don’t wish to sit up high, you can wait for your table or order a drink and relax in a cozy sitting area towards the back.

A view of leather arm chairs in the sitting area inside The Palace Restaurant in Sylvester, GA

The Palace Restaurant seems to be following a method of authentic nostalgia, a revival of cherished, storied historical buildings, and an atmosphere of food and gathering that seems to be hitting a high note with guests.

Will I be back? You bet.

Have you visited The Palace Restaurant? How was your experience? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Copyright 229 Life 2024. All rights reserved.

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Crumbl Cookies Joins Albany Shops Open Til Midnight or Later

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The buzz around a new Crumbl Cookies location being built in Albany has been palpable leading up to their grand opening, but what’s more interesting is their operating schedule. The sweets shop in Albany is open late most nights, and even later on the weekends.

According to the schedule posted on its windows, Crumbl Cookies Albany will be open Monday – Thursday from 8 am to 10 pm, and Friday and Saturday from 8 am to midnight.

When Checkers opened their location just across the parking lot, the business adopted a similar schedule. The Checkers in Northwest Albany is also open late, from 10 am to midnight Monday – Thursday, and 10 am to 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays. They are also open Sundays from 10 am to 11 pm.

Just down the road, you can find these restaurants open later than most:

  • Applebee’s: Open until midnight or later everyday
  • Olive Garden: Open until 10pm or later everyday
  • Newk’s Eatery: Open as late as 9 pm six days a week
  • Austin’s Firegrill: Open until 10pm 5 nights a week

These schedule choices could indicate a return to places choosing to open later into the evenings for the Albany area. It could also point to stronger demand overall.

Before the Covid pandemic, a wider variety of restaurants and shops were open until 9 pm or later. Once mandates and other rules subsided, many shops and stores chose to continue on a limited opening schedule.

For example, Publix locations around Albany tested a schedule of closing at 9 pm for a while, then later resumed closing at 10 pm. Albany’s primary Starbucks location reduced their hours dramatically from a closing time of 10 pm and 11 pm to closing at 7:30 pm. Since then, they have adjusted their schedule to close at 8:30 pm. Temp Coffee on U.S. 19 made a similar change, moving from closing at 9 pm and 10 pm to their current schedule of closing at 8 pm.

With their location and availability, Albany’s Crumbl Cookies could see reasonable traffic into the later evening hours. Only time will tell.

Trays of chocolate chip cookies inside a Crumbl Cookies location.

Crumbl Cookies in Albany is one of 800+ bakeries in the US under the franchise. Based out of Utah, it is the fastest-growing cookie company in the United States. Its core menu includes milk chocolate chip and pink sugar cookies. Outside of that, Crumbl offers a weekly rotating menu of unique cookie offerings inspired by a variety of foods and flavors.

Crumbl Cookies Albany is set to host their grand opening on Friday, February 9th beginning as soon as they open that morning.

What do you think about their opening hours? Do you think other Albany restaurants and shops should stay open later?

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Copyright 229 Life 2024. All rights reserved.

Introducing 229 Life Places: The South Georgia Directory Amplifying Small Businesses

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For the last 12 months of building 229 Life I noticed a growing trend – people were sending me emails, DMs, and text messages with the same general question: “Can you talk/post about my business? How much to promote my local business?”

Initially the answer was just “no.” But then I realized I could deliver a better solution. So, the first addition to 229 Life is is finally here. Introducing 229 Life Places. It is a new answer to all those questions and requests, and I hope you’ll read and scroll to the bottom to see a limited-time bonus.

What is 229 Life Places?

At its core, 229 Life Places is a South Georgia directory focused on amplifying small businesses. Hundreds and hundreds of businesses across the region don’t get the visibility they deserve. They’re exhausted spinning their wheels trying to run their business while staying present and relevant.

229 Life Places lifts up local member businesses, makes them searchable by category, and lists them on a collective map that people actually want to explore and share with friends.

229 Life Places website on an iPad.

How does 229 Life Places work?

Making your business more visible is just the beginning of 229 Life Places. Users can easily create an account, pick a plan, and make a listing for their business. Listings are simple yet intuitive, allowing members to add features about their business that people want to see most. These include contact information, one-click directions, food delivery options, and more.

Creating your listing is best done on a computer or tablet, but 229 Life Places is made for people to explore on any device. In fact, it is the most user-friendly and comprehensive business directory across South Georgia.

How does 229 Life Places make sure businesses are legit?

This is a great question, and another one of the core benefits of this directory. Everyone is welcome to create an account, pick a plan, and make a listing. And every business listing goes through a verification process to ensure users stay protected. When a business is verified, users can tell by the green check on its listing.

I want to add my business, where do I start?

Adding your business is easy. Simply head over to places.229life.com, register an account, pick a plan, and add the details of your business. You’ll be on your way in no time and into the verification process shortly after. It’s so easy it’s fun!

I scrolled to the bottom, what’s the bonus?

Thanks for making it here. Now here’s the bonus: For a limited time, the first round of local businesses who sign up for any paid plan will get a free welcome post from 229 Life on Facebook or Instagram.

There are a limited number of these social media posts available, and once they’re gone, they’re gone. These posts are worth so much more than the annual plans offered on their own, so I hope you will take advantage of this special offer while it lasts.

Make no mistake, it will sell out. Good luck!

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Copyright 229 Life 2024. All rights reserved.

5 Anticipated New Albany Area Business Openings In 2024

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New business plans in the Albany area were abundant in 2023. Now into the new year, we get to witness the progress and completion of these projects. And, while not an all-inclusive list, here are five anticipated new business openings set for 2024.

Here’s the list:

Crumbl Cookies

Crumbl Cookies in Albany, GA is a sweets store that’s been under construction since Q3 2023. The franchise is popular across the US with hundreds of locations. Georgia has more than 30.

Each shop offers a wide variety of fresh-baked cookie choices and the company delivers more than 170 unique flavors.

Crumbl Cookies in Albany is located in the Albany Square Shopping Center along Dawson Rd, on the Hobby Lobby side next to the T-Mobile store. An official opening date has not been set.

Grand Island Park

Grand Island Park is the Albany area’s largest recreational project in years, and is set to be a combination of games, sports, and family fun. Located on part of the former Grand Island Golf Course property, the project will have plenty of space.

All those acres will be needed as Grand Island Park said guests can expect a new indoor skating rink, 12 pickleball courts, a patio area with food and refreshments, and a gamified golf driving range with a restaurant, delivering a ‘Top Golf’ like experience.

While no opening date is set, the owners tell 229 Life that Grand Island Park will open its doors in 2024.

Jack’s Family Restaurant

Jack’s Family Restaurant in Albany, GA is an American fast food restaurant chain with sit-down dining and drive thru, and takeout options. Based in Birmingham, AL the chain is popular across the South.

Two Jack’s restaurants are being built in Albany – one on North Slappey Blvd and one on Clark Ave. The location on North Slappey opens January 8th.

TCBY & 3 Squares Diner

TCBY and 3 Squares Diner in Albany, GA are set to be the newest additions to Northwest Albany.

TCBY needs no introduction as the frozen yogurt chain has been popular across the US for decades. 3 Squares Diner is a little closer to home as the homegrown chain of breakfast, lunch, and dinner diners across South Georgia.

Located in between Los Vaqueros and Locos Grill and Pub, TCBY and 3 Squares Diner will occupy their own spaces in one new building. The location is still under construction but is expected to open later in 2024.

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Slim Chickens

Slim Chickens in Albany, GA is a Southern food restaurant chain that specializes in fried chicken and offers dine-in, delivery, and drive thru options.

While not officially announced, the building is under construction in the Tri Plaza Shopping Center on the corner of Dawson Rd and Stuart Ave. Slim Chickens is based in Louisiana and prides itself on serving up comfort food to customers.

No official opening date has been set.

Copyright 229 Life 2024. All rights reserved.

December Events You Should Know About In South Georgia

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Hello December

December is here, college football is back, and there are lots of things happening across South Georgia that you need to know about. This list is not all-inclusive, but covers notable events across different cities.

Don’t see your event? You can add it to the 229 Life Community Calendar HERE. Let’s take a look at what’s in store.

Upcoming December Events

Thanks for checking out this list of monthly events. It will be updated as more are added to the list. Don’t forget, you can add your event to the Community Calendar page. We welcome all event submissions.

There are lots of events happening across South Georgia, and 229 Life wants to make sure you’re aware of them.

When it comes to things to do in Albany, GA, things to do in Leesburg, GA, things to do in Thomasville, GA, and every South Georgia city we cover – we want your experience to be the best it can be.

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Copyright 229 Life 2024. All rights reserved.