Broughton Street is a tough nut to crack, no question. If you’ve been paying attention long enough you’ve seen your fair share of restaurants and store fronts come and go. Good concepts and bad. They give it a run, think our cities “shopping” street is going to give them the necessary traffic to survive and either high rents or a sub-standard product (or both) do them in. $8 or a hot dog? Yeah, no thanks. So when you hear that a new place is going in along Broughton, the first thing you think is “uh-oh.”
Well, ROSE Public House has gone in on Broughton next door to the Marshall House to favorable early returns, but a few blocks back at Bull Street, construction is underway for what promises to be a jewel of a space. They are calling it Chive Sea Bar and Lounge. The new restaurant is brought to you by Sean and Ele Tran, the same people behind Ele on Wilmington Island, Tangerine and the King and I on the Southside, and Fire Street Food downtown on Chippewa Square. I got a peek inside recently and I can already tell you this one is going to be different.
“No sushi. None” According to Trish Patel, who will be one of the managers at the new location. “This will be predominantly seafood platters. Oysters, mussels, lobster.” She says. “We’re gonna do a cold platter and a hot platter.” “But we are going to steer away from the Asian vibe. We are going to go with more a sexy Southern twist.” “Does that make sense?” she asks. Uhhhh, yeah, sure. A sexy, southern twist for seafood from Savannah’s First Family of Sushi? But no sushi? Ok, got it. The twisted play-dough look on my face begs for more of an explanation, so she offers. “I think because they’ve done it.” she says. “Their other restaurants have been with Japanese-Thai fusions, so it’s time for something different.”
Something different this most definitely is. It’s being set up to take advantage of the late night crowd too. “We will have great music” Trish tells me. A 70 inch television on the wall will show either a video or big televised event. This will definitely be a place to hang out with some great food and cocktails. Surround sound in the booths are a quick indicator of the vibe going on here late night. There will be a small roped-off VIP section in the back and you can expect tables to get pushed back or moved out very late night for dancing. Do not, however, let that fool you. Yes, late late night on Friday and Saturday the vibe will most certainly feel like a ‘club,’ but early on it will be a great place for dinner with more a low-key feel. Especially during the week.
I look around and I see the beauty of Ele. I ask if this is a ‘spinoff’ Trish tells me “I keep saying this, but this space is going to have a gorgeous sexy flair.” “Contemporary, sure.” “But I think when people walk by or drive by, they are going to say ‘I want to dress up to come in there’
I couldn’t get any specifics on their menu, in part because the opening is over a month away. They just haven’t gotten that far yet, but if Ele and Tangerine are any indication of what might be cooking in this kitchen, then it is going to be very very good. There will be suggested wines for pairing on their menu for each dish.
Trish adds “This is something Savannah hasn’t seen yet.” “And if they’ve seen it, it hasn’t succeeded.”
We shall see.
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