Thirsty Third Thursdays

What a great idea! Businesses stay open until 8pm, giving everyone a chance to visit shops and shopkeepers. Visitors and shoppers are greeted with hospitality in the form of liquid refreshments. That evening reminds visitors of the luxury of personalized customer service, something that’s becoming rare. We wore our masks, and shopkeepers wore theirs, but we were still able to make that very important connection. 

In January on Thirsty Third Thursday, Painting with a Twist was the hosting business. We checked in there, and were presented with a wrist band and very nice blue cloth swag bag and map of the various businesses. We visited with Christrine, who asked us to tell our friends to come on in and paint. Brush up (no pun intended), or learn a new the joy of expressing yourself on canvas. She emphasized that it is not necessary to have a paint party in order to paint. If a glass of wine will help you to release those creative juices, bring it along. Christine served us each a small cup of wine as we chatted and learned more about her business. 

Since it was raining, we drove, and did not stroll to the other businesses. We found a parking space at Seventh and Main and strolled into Wild Grave, our favorite ladies’ boutique. We were sad to learn that the February Thirsty Third Thursday will be the last one for Wild Grace. Owner Melissa Benge will continue to serve her Wild Grace customers online. We sadly perused the racks, sipped the wine and wondered what business will next occupy the space we have so enjoyed shopping in over the past few years. I was always able to find that perfect gift for female friends and family members at Wild Grace.

The rain had let up a bit, so we strolled down to Frocksy to visit with Trayc and Karin, shop owners who always manage to have a party atmosphere, and they didn’t disappoint. One can always count on a warm greeting and fun browsing in this creative little haven. The drinks we sipped there were just as creative and enjoyable as the environment they were served in. We made a special effort to express our appreciation for the customized social distancing wands Trayc had made for us. While there I purchased some very special bar bath soap that was hand made by a Garland lady who was formerly a Ringling Brothers Circus acrobat. Now where else can you do that?

Next door to Frocksy is the Jimmy Wallace Guitar Gallery, and they were all set up with an array of wines at a bar at the front of their store as we entered. We always stop in to chat with the very friendly shopkeepers and plow through a collection of great looking T shirts emblazoned with artwork from the International Guitar Shows Jimmy Wallace has organized. It’s a fun store to browse if you like music, and I found a very cool guitar strap made of hand tooled leather for a very fair price. You don’t need to be a musician to enjoy a visit to this unique store.

Our party of four finally made our way down to Fish N Tails Oyster Bar for sustenance, as we had worked up an appetite with all that sipping and shopping. The tables in that restaurant are spread out due to Covid restrictions, and they are using the former event center, poetry Place, as overflow seating for the restaurant. Even on a rainy Thursday evening that place seemed filled to allowable capacity. My favorite menu items are the delicious shrimp cocktail and a dinner entree called “Trio”. Everyone was pleased with their meals, and especially the very fresh grilled catfish dinner plate was spot on, as always. 

There were other businesses open and waiting to welcome us, but after warming up and filling up, we decided to head home after a very enjoyable evening in downtown Garland. We’ll be back for February’s Thirsty Third Thursday. 

Nancy Ghirla