Mathers Social Gathering
When a new bar opens it's rarely on my radar to visit with any sort of urgency. Most bars = loud, drunk, annoying douche-chills so there isn't much reason for me to venture out. I know; grandma, party of one.
Mathers Social Gathering caught my eye because of the overhaul they did to a historic building downtown and the beautiful images I was seeing from friends - but still it wasn't until last week that I finally went. When it comes to anything related to alcohol, I'm as Fergie once said "2000 and late".
My demands on finally visiting with a friend were: We go right when it opens at 4 p.m. and we don't stay long. #partyhard Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised at the overall environment.
What I liked about Mathers:
There are no gimmicks. No passwords, no secret handshakes, you can just show up.
The entrance is on Magnolia Avenue, across the way from The Celt. A dashingly dressed doorman greets you and checks your I.D. and you are taken upstairs in a private elevator with plush padding on the walls, perfect for resting your intoxicated body on the short ride down when you leave. BTW there is a dress code, so know before you go. I was wearing jeans and a top and had no issues.
Upon exiting the the elevator there is a small room with a miniature library perfect for a Belle enters the Beast's library photo opportunity. To enter you must open the middle shelf of books. Ok, so that is a little gimmicky, but in a cute Sherlock Holmes sort of way. Totally acceptable.
Decor and attention to detail.
The decor is what I like to call Goodwill grandma chic, and I mean that as a high compliment. Every piece has a vintage feel to it that evokes both homey and classy vibes. The mixture of wallpapers, stacks of rich colored books, brass accents, the chests, and the variety of chairs and tables. One corner is so different from the next, but it all works and it gives me a lot of decor envy.
Also, not to go unmentioned, Mathers has the most seating that I can remember seeing in any bar downtown.
My years in the hospitality industry taught me many things, including the fact that if you can make someone truly comfortable in a environment, they will stay longer. The moment that comfort is disrupted, they will immediately break free. A restaurant or a bar is the easiest place to escape. You pound that last bit of beverage, you ask for a doggy bag and take your leave. However, if you create a space that hits all the right marks your average dollar sale will increase. Another drink will be ordered, a snack or two added to the bill as you linger and more money and good experiences will keep you in business and set you apart.
Drinks + Snacks Abound
Cocktails are easily the star and they range in price from $12 - $18 (if you want a price break visit during happy hour from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.) and range from classic to trendy. You can go old school with a Mint Julip, Manhattan, or Old Fashioned or you can try something a little different like their popular Frosé or a Blueberry Basil Gimlet (both pictured below). They also have wines, bubbly, and seasonal beer. I really liked the frosé, it was like the most delicious adult Slurpee ever and it packed a punch. Additionally I appreciate that they have non-alcoholic beverages, kombucha and coffee because not everyone drinks.
If you like to snack while you imbibe, Mather's has a limited selection of savory plates including olives, feta, fava beans and a whole charcuterie board. If you have a sweet tooth I would recommend the Prohibition Milk and Cookies ($14), warm chocolate chip cookies, milk, and a shot of whiskey.
Overall I was really pleased with the warmth in which we were greeted and taken care of by the staff, the quality of the drinks, the atmosphere, and the expansiveness of the space. I would be leary of visiting on a bustling weekend night because it would probably lose its charm for me while being packed to the brim. However, for a happy hour drink before the crowds, I will absolutely return.
Mathers Social Gathering is located at 30 S. Magnolia Avenue open from Wednesday - Saturday 4:00 P.M. - 2:00 A.M.
All photos were taken by me and should not be used without permission. All drinks were paid for by me. Support your local businesses that are trying to help Orlando gain city cred.