Merchandise promoting “The Walking Dead” can be bought at The Woodbury Shoppe. (Staff Photo: Kathy Jefcoats)
SENOIA — The governor is crazy and the sheriff is gunning for him, accompanied by a band of ragtag survivalists skilled in the art of taking out walkers.
Sound like politics as usual in Georgia? Nope, it’s a thumbnail outline of the upcoming season of AMC’s popular series, “The Walking Dead,” which premieres Sunday at 9 p.m.
Filmed and set in Georgia, the series is based on a line of graphic novels written by Robert Kirkman that poses the scenario of a post-apocalypse where the dead return to a life of sorts as zombies seeking living humans as sustenance.
The show has made Senoia a travel destination for rabid fans eager get up close and personal with fictional Woodbury, Ga. Up and down Main Street are sights from the show readily-identifiable by viewers.
However, the town offers more than visual reminders of the show. Both sides of the street are lined with restaurants and antique, gift, home interior and clothing shops. There is even one store dedicated solely to the series, The Woodbury Shoppe, which carries only “Walking Dead” merchandise.
Standing at the front door, beckoning visitors, is a life-sized cardboard cut-out of actor Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon holding the Horton Scout HD 125 compound crossbow that seems attached to his left hand. Inside the store are mugs and drinking glasses, calendars, T-shirts, posters, banners, leather ear-shaped keychains and messenger bags, among other items promoting the show.
Compounding the celebrity draw of Senoia is Southern Ground Social Club, owned by Zac Brown, leader of the band by the same name. The restaurant features a menu of unique food items such as smoked chicken or beef tenderloin on cornbread, a bar boasting wine, whiskey and seasonal beer, and live music.
According to the restaurant’s website, nearly everything inside is for sale, including apparel, sauces and rubs, music CDs and collection of antique and handmade furniture and artwork. The beauty of the business is that a portion of all sales goes to develop Brown’s Camp Southern Ground, a retreat destination for children of all abilities, including those with developmental disorders.
Senoia is less than an hour’s drive from Clayton or Henry counties, making it a perfect day trip for shoppers who enjoy strolling from store to store, “Walking Dead” fans hoping to run into “walkers” looking for human flesh, or hungry music lovers who want to support a worthy cause.
For more information, access southerngroundsocialclub.com, senoia.com or walkingdeadlocations.com.