Another Celebrity Chef Coming to Savannah

plansSo I was told a month or so back that someone was looking at bringing a restaurant to Savannah.  Ok, yeah, sure we hear stuff like that all the time.  This, however, was no ordinary name nor restaurant.

I got the tip that Celebrity Chef Hugh Acheson was looking at space in town.  Hugh Acheson owns several restaurants in Atlanta and Athens.  He is credited by many for putting the Athens ‘foodie’ scene on the map.  5&10 is fantastic and The National is equally so.  In Atlanta, it’s Empire State South.  This would be a very big deal for Savannah.   All of that said……if you are passionate about food and being a foodie and all this gastro-geeky stuff like I am, then you stop what you are doing and ask more questions.

“Tell me more” I said.

Well, it turns out, I am told, there’s been some snooping and scoping around the area near Victory and Whitaker and Bull Streets.  Those warehouses where Whitaker Street ends in Savannah has been rumored for a large scale residential/retail development.  Can’t say this is where the restaurant is going to be, but typically when there is smoke, there is fire.  Now it has been confirmed.

I was in Athens this past weekend, tried to get an interview with Mr. Acheson, but was turned down.  I was told schedules were too busy (yes, I did ask in advance).   Fair enough.  So I fired a tweet into the air to see what would return.

“If you can bring a 5 & 10 to Savannah”, I said “I’ll wash dishes for a month, free.”

About 10 minutes later, I got a response “That may just happen” it said. “But in Italian”

Well, now comes word according Atlanta-Journal Constitution blogger Bob Townsend that there is enough smoke to put out a fire alarm just to keep an eye on further movements.  It says that Mr. Acheson is “planning to open a new restaurant in Savannah, tentatively named “Vittoria.”   It will part of a ‘major project’ with an Atlanta real estate developer.

Mr. Acheson confirmed via Twitter that it will be located at Victory and Bull Streets.  One West Victory Drive is the official address.  “It will be a fun spot.  Love the building.  Love the town.  Love the state.” according to his Twitter account.

The plan is for a March 2014 opening.  Fingers crossed.

Here is my quick Q&A with Mr. Acheson via email:

1. Is this [Savannah] a done deal?

Yes, to the degree that anything is. We have a signed LOI and are in design phase.

2. Tentative ground breaking and open date?

We will be opening (hopefully) in March 2014. Ground breaking happens sometime soon but I am unsure on exact date. There won’t be any pomp and circumstance or shovel ceremonies…. it’s a restaurant, not a museum or school.

3. Why Savannah?

I love the idea of being on the coast of the State I live in and Savannah is such a wonderful city. We think that there is room for restaurants like ours there and love working with the developer we are in leagues with. They care immensely about building spaces that work as well as being involved in the community.

Here is more from Savannahnow.com on the plans for that area known as One West Victory…. click here.

Read more about the concept and who the Executive Chef will be in Chef Hugh’s Interview with Atlanta Magazine… click here.

For more information about Chef Hugh Acheson click here.

We’ll keep you posted.

See you on TV.
Jesse

Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.