I believe that there is a perfect place to do everything. A perfect bar to enjoy a great bourbon. The ideal bookstore to sit on a floor and read an engaging book for hours on end. Even a special place to listen to music. What makes these places special, at least for me, aren’t extravagancies bought or preplanned, but a character that evolves within the space over time.
The Garage in Winston-Salem is one of those type of places. A venue with the sole purpose of providing the community with a place to listen to music that seems to have collected a whole lot of character throughout its years of existence.
On the front wall of the building is an area used to post signs of visiting bands and venue events. On my recent visit only one sign hung from the space but it was surrounded by more staples than one could accurately count. Although the board was nearly void of posters, the staples told a story of their own; numerous bands had graced the stage of the former auto garage.
Underneath the board a ginormous set of google eyes are affixed to the wall. One eyeball is stuffed with parts of a deck of cards. My vivid imagination pictured a group of guys playing a quick hand before going on stage that they never were able to get back to.
Inside of the Garage you won’t find a huge selection of tables or an air conditioner, but these aren’t bad things. There’s a fan the size of a windmill that does an excellent job in keeping the space cool and windows plastered with graffiti that stay open throughout the night. If you’re at the Garage you are coming to hear music, so standing shouldn’t be an issue, but there are a few places to sit if you must.
Every inch of the space is covered with some type of artwork whether it’s aged gas station signs, a Mattel Brothers sign that hangs from the ceiling, the “Wall of Art” behind the bar, the mixture of stickers, canvas and framed pieces or an old cigarette machine posted up against one of the walls.
Even the bathroom intrigued me with its carved out nooks, throne dresser combo, and original art.
The true beauty about the space is that the image it produces is the vibe it delivers as well. No two customers were alike, which carried over to the staff and bands that graced the stage.
It felt good to be able to relax and rock out to live music like no one was watching. What’s even better is to have that perfect venue that truly cares about the music and providing a home for it to thrive.