As somebody who used to live near Glenwood South for over a decade, I’ve known it’s always been a club, bar, and lounge mecca in the area. But as a local, I always enjoyed the quieter bars in the area. From the Flash House to Napper Tandys, these spots used to be a block or two off the beaten path and had a more local crowd. The newest bar in this neighborhood bar category is the Johnson Street Yacht Club (JSYC)! But don’t let the name fool you, you won’t need a blue blazer for this spot. Here’s what to expect if you visit the JSYC.
Located on Johnson Street (duh) in the old building previously known as “The Office”, the JSYC presents a mysterious facade! A cool, brick privacy wall wraps the front patio and looking above, you’ll find a 2nd floor patio and is that what I think it is?! A bright blue slide dropping into 1st floor patio! Inside the JSYC is all dive bar. Unfinished concrete floor, weathered wood bar and trim, pool table, and juke box. Yeah, I think you’ll feel pretty comfortable here! A selection of bottled beers, basic liquors, and affordable drink prices means you’ve got a place to hang out in with little pretension.
My first couple of visits to the JSYC were pre-pandemic and then I’ve made a couple of visits post-pandemic and it’s a very mixed crowd here in a good way. A mix of older locals, business people, young 20-somethings (the slide) along with service people usually are hanging out here. And I’m sure over the weekend it attracts a spill-over crowd from Glenwood South. JSYC is woman-owned and woman-friendly so my guess is they will keep any asshole-ish behavior to a minimum!
But in general, you’ll find a good mix of locals at JSYC along with their attentive bartenders. Upstairs is where things get a bit more interesting! There’s a large bar along with TV and music along with some patio deck chairs and covered umbrellas. And what about the big blue slide you spied from the outside? The entrance to the slide is up here and you will be whisked down to the first-floor patio in a jiffy. The slide is fast, keep your elbows tucked in (or you’ll skin them) and make sure your knees are ready to cushion the landing! And at night, you’ll find that second-floor patio to be a bit of a magical spot with the warmer weather.
While Johnson Street Yacht Club is not for everyone, it works pretty well for me. I enjoy my fancy-shmancy bars but if I lived in this hood again, I would definitely stop by from time to time to meet a friend and chat. During this pandemic, social connections have been cut short but I imagine that the JSYC would be a good spot to re-establish people connections since it’s managed to survive all that craziness!