Small town living and sophisticated drinks and dining don’t always go hand-in-hand, but friends and entrepreneurs Sherry Tucker and Christine McBride are changing the paradigm in their hometown. Meet Magnolia Society — a new upscale restaurant, bar and social club now open in historic downtown Columbus in the Greater Round Top region. 

With Magnolia Society, Tucker and McBride have their sights set on turning Columbus into a true destination. Although the pair left the area for several years after high school to pursue their dreams in bigger cities, they recently moved back to the town of 3,600 to be near their families.

Noting a void of exceptional food and wine options upon their return, the two women envisioned a high-end, art-filled cocktail lounge with a killer menu. A members only social club featuring live entertainment and special events such as wine tastings and themed dinners was also part of the dream. 

This dynamic duo purchased the historic Hotel Colorado in the center of town to turn their vision into a reality and embarked on an eight-month renovation of the dilapidated building with Five Oak Construction. An interior revamp of the former hotel with help from Julie McGarr of McGarr Design has resulted in a big city restaurant vibe. An added outdoor patio space makes the establishment pet friendly.  

Tucker and McBride brought on Chef Steven Konarik to develop Magnolia Society’s menu. Konarik got his start at renowned Houston-based catering company A Fare Extraordinaire. The chef continued to hone his skills at the famed Tony’s fine dining restaurant in Houston before taking the helm as head chef of his own Austin-based catering firm dubbed Kurant Events.  

Konarik has created a menu for Magnolia Society featuring comfort food favorites with an Italian influence. All are prepared with fresh, topnotch ingredients. Think hand cut truffle fries and charcuterie for sharing, a standout burger, fancy pizzas, paninis and popular entrees like braised short ribs. Konarik has even worked in kid-friendly dishes such as a grilled cheese sandwich, chicken tenders, and mac and cheese. A special Sunday brunch menu will feature a new item each week to keep things interesting. 

Magnolia Society opened to rave reviews this summer, and memberships to The Parlor social club immediately sold out. Be sure to get on The Parlor’s waitlist for a chance to enjoy private mixology classes, bourbon and tequila tastings, wine dinners and tastings, as well as early access to pop-up dinners, discounted wine bottles and the opportunity to reserve a wine locker. 

Beginning this month, Magnolia Society will be serving up distinctive monthly cocktails. Happy hours, including a unique late night happy hour are scheduled for Thursdays and Fridays with specials on drinks and fine wines selected from across the globe. Live music for the month of August will be provided on the patio by local artist Chris Helms and new acts will perform weekly beginning this fall. 

Sign up for Magnolia Society’s monthly newsletter on the new restaurant’s website, or follow along here to stay updated on all the uptown happenings at this new downtown Columbus haven.