That didn’t take long at all.
Eat It and Like It has learned that the restaurant space at the corner of Whitaker Street and Victory Drive in Savannah formerly occupied by The Florence, is getting a new tenant. And it will have something of a local flavor.
Tony Seichrist, owner/operator at the very popular The Wyld Dock Bar in Savannah is the going to be one of the principals involved in the project. He confirmed the news to us via phone on Thursday afternoon.
“Obviously we are excited about this” Seichrist said. “The space is beautiful, we all know that. We just can’t wait to get in there and make it our own.”
Joining Seichrist here in Savannah will be Landon Thompson, an Atlanta area chef and former semi-finalist for a James Beard Award for “Rising Star Chef” in the South. Joe Gephardt is also involved in the project. Thompson and Gephardt currently work at Cooks and Soliders in Atlanta.
So what are they going to do with that large space? The entire discussion is clearly a work in progress, but they have an idea of where they would like to go with a space that includes a downstairs restaurant, upstairs bar area and deck and a smaller space formerly used as a coffee shop.
“Right now we are looking at a Raw Bar upstairs.” Seichrist says “I’d like to do raw oysters, some cooked stuff. Bring some of the vibe we have at The Wyld to that bar and the great deck area.” “Kind of a sister space” he added.
“The coffee shop area might end up as a small marketplace. A great place to grab some bread, butter, prosciutto maybe and sit out on a table and have some lunch.” he said. There are no names yet. Not even close. The ink is barely dry.
The downstairs main dining room area, however, is likely to create the most buzz over the next 6 months while they piece it all together.
“We are looking at a casual Mexican concept there. We want to use the freshest ingredients we can find in the area.” “We are going to make all of our own tortillas and make everything we can right there in house.”
Hearing Mexican, I was quick to ask if the vision looked anything like Minero, Sean Brock’s Mexican concept with a location in Charleston and Atlanta. That got me a very quick “No. Not where we are going with that.”
Reality is, there may be a vision but that vision is likely to evolve over time. What we can confirm is that Thompson is a major talent. He and Seichrist met and worked together years ago at Holeman and Finch in Buckhead. “We’ve been friends ever since.” Seichrist says.
The lease was purchased from Hugh Acheson, celebrity chef and restaurant owner who closed The Florence on June 25th ending a 3 year run in Savannah.
“I had a long long talk with Hugh.” Seichrist says “He was great. We discussed some things he did that worked and some others he wished he could do over again.”
Of course, hindsight is always 20/20 but Seichrist says he and his team are locked in on their future in Savannah. As we mentioned, they are hoping to have everything turned around and ready to go early 2018.
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