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Best of Savannah 2014

Fri, 08/08/2014 - 17:34

Best of Savannah 2014 from Munn Brothers on Vimeo.

  We Savannahians live at a crossroads of contrasts.

Tradition and trend.  Highbrow and lowdown.  And, infamously, good and evil.  We’re wicked with a wink, angelic with an attitude; equal parts eerie and elegant.

For our annual Best of Savannah™ party, we’re teaming with Sebrell Smith Designer Events to celebrate the contrast that lies at the heart of our city’s character.  We’re commemorating 20 years of the Midnight legacy—and kicking off the 25th year of Savannah magazine—with a fun-loving fête you won’t forget.

Join us in honoring the Best of Savannah™—naughty, nice, noir.



The Good & Evil Garden Party

Thursday, Sept. 18

7-9:30 p.m.  ¦  Charles H. Morris Center  ¦  10 East Broad St.

Tickets $30 in advance/$40 day of the event

Get your tickets TODAY »

Many Thanks to Our Sponsors Premier





39 Rue de Jean

Official Wine Sponsor: Barefoot Wine & Bubbly

Event Haus

In Any Event

John Davis Florist

New Arts Ensembles presents Velvet Caravan & The Train Wrecks

Pace Lighting

Psychic Readings by Virginia Lane

Sebrell Smith Designer Events

Speedi Sign

Stage Front Production Services




Dr. Claudia Gaughf, Chatham Skin & Cancer

Cohen’s Retreat

Herb Creek Landscape Supply

Institute for Personalized Medicine

J. Paige

Jackson Printing

McGladrey Classic

Old Savannah Tours

Pride Pools & Spas

Regions Bank

Savannah Christian Preparatory School

Savannah Dan

Savannah Morning News

Savannah Riverboat Cruises

Southeast Spine Care

Southern Motors

Yia Yia’s Kitchen

YMCA of Coastal Georgia

Special thanks to GPB, Seventh Heaven Antiques, Culver Rug Co., Teresa Earnest and Measure.

A Spirited Talk

Thu, 08/07/2014 - 18:22

Georgia-born Chad Darnell on why Savannah is still the best place to make a movie.

By J. Cindy Hill, GPB, Special to Savannah magazine

Filmmaker and Georgia native, Chad Darnell, first came to Savannah nearly two decades ago, researching the topic of spirits and hauntings for a Turner Broadcasting production.  He went on to cast movies and television series in Atlanta, Savannah and in Los Angeles, which is where he met a young producer, Megan Murphy, who was moving to Savannah to work for Medient, a new studio that would be based here.  Darnell had written a feature film script set in his “favorite city in the world” and suggested she read it to get familiar with her new town.

Cut to: 10 months later.  During Georgia’s “snowpocalypse” of January 2014, Murphy calls to ask if Darnell’s script is still available because Medient wants it to be the first film they produce in their new city.  With production set to begin in September, Darnell sat down to talk about how he has come full circle from someone standing at the gates of Bonaventure Cemetery asking about ghosts, to returning to town with his first big feature film production about the spirits and spirit of Savannah.  Listen in HERE »

We Do

Fri, 08/01/2014 - 15:06

Your dream day starts right here with the latest issue of Savannah Weddings magazine.

Discover the secrets of Southern charm through 10 real-world “I Dos” that will enchant you.  The Fall/Winter 2014-15 issue of Savannah Weddings magazine is on newsstands now and until Feb. 1, 2015.

Get inspired HERE »



Sounds like Teen Spirit

Mon, 07/28/2014 - 16:45

Meet the talented teens with soaring voices that hit the high notes. 

The Savannah Voice Festival shines the spotlight on young and local opera stars through the Teen Voice Workshop and Showcase.  Maggie Harney listens in on five homegrown virtuosos.

Bluegrass and the “Ave Maria”

First up: Gabby Lauretti—singer, songwriter, avid Tybee Beach-goer … and future folk star.  Read all about Gabby HERE »





One Woman Band

Regan Bowers, regular Social Club performer, aspiring physician’s assistant and Savannah sunset lover is strumming her way into the vibrant 912 music scene.  Read all about Regan HERE »



Good Vibrations

Tessa Morris, one half of the Teen Voice leader duo, hard-core music traditionalist and Junk 2 Funk fashion muse, is getting her powerful pipes performance ready. Read all about Tessa HERE »



Renaissance Girl

Liana Moseley, world traveler, tea-time connoisseur, and burgeoning history buff is on stage ready to take the city by storm.  Read all about Liana HERE »





Double Aria

Sisters Helen and Kathryn Savidge offer their burgeoning creativity, finish-each-other’s sentences charm and All-State championship expertise to the Savannah stage.  Read all about the Savidge sisters HERE »





My Long Journey to Tybee

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 15:18

How can someone grow up in Savannah and never see its beach? Wanda Smalls Lloyd explores a turning point in her life—and a sea change in local history.

Associated Press

Tybee Island is one of my favorite places in the world.  But it wasn’t always so. For my African-American peers and me, Tybee was taboo.

When I grew up in Savannah in the 1950s and 1960s, Savannah Beach, as it was known to us then, was off-limits.  My parents and the parents of my friends used to warn us away from the island as if was a forbidden fruit.  “Just don’t go there,” they would say, and implicit in the order were Jim Crow laws that segregated the races.  To this day, decades later and after the “wade-ins” of the Sixties, I still don’t know if there was some law on the books that said “Negroes” could not ride onto the island, or if our elders just knew that going there might mean peril to our physical being.

I left home for college and pursued my journalism career elsewhere, so the first time I saw Tybee Island in daylight was in March 1997, the day after we buried my mother in Laurel Grove South cemetery, the traditional black resting place.  Her demise had come soon after the doctor told us she would not survive the cancer.  Her funeral was even quicker—my mother’s wishes.  She planned the brief, elegant services herself.

The day after the funeral, I told my husband that I wanted to go see the ocean.  I wasn’t sure why; I just had a feeling that walking along the sea would put me just a few miles closer to God and I had so many questions about why I was left motherless before my 50th birthday.  I was angry, depressed, sad, yet somewhat relieved that her physical misery was over.  I was also curious about the place my family had once tried so hard to keep me away from.

And maybe I was feeling just a little guilty.  True, I’d never actually seen Tybee, but I didn’t exactly obey my parents, either.

Associated Press

A Ride into Darkness

On my prom night for Beach High School in 1967, the first and last thing my family said to me before walking out the door was, “Don’t go to the beach.”  Later that night, my date told me his parents said the exact same thing.  And the same came from the parents of the couple we were double dating with that night.

All four sets of parents warned us.  So what did we do?  We drove to Tybee after the prom, just to see what the mystery was all about.

We didn’t count on the fact that the island was pitch dark at night.  We could hear the ocean but we could not see a thing, and we were scared as heck when we got out there.  Our fears were buttressed by the race stories we were hearing from across the South—stories of lynchings, beatings and arbitrary jailings had us so afraid that all we did on Tybee that night was change drivers and head back home.

Since my date had driven us out to the island while the other couple “made out” in the back seat, we traded places—and activities—for the return trip.  To put it delicately, my eyes were closed, so I missed the warning lights from the police when they pulled us over.  White officers made our driver get out of the car and walk the white line on Highway 80.  None of us had been drinking as far as I knew, but I was surprised to learn that our friend didn’t have a license to drive.  He was arrested, so my date drove us home.

I never told my parents about our detour down U.S. 80.

Associated Press

A Place for Us

For African Americans in Savannah, beach paradise was elsewhere.

My social centers as a child were the segregated Girl Scout troop hosted at St. Matthews Episcopal Church, the West Broad Street YMCA where we learned social graces in “charm school,” and Second Baptist Church, the historic congregation founded by slaves and free blacks in 1802.  Before I was born, my grandfather was a deacon and Sunday school superintendent at Second Baptist; my aunt played the piano and my grandmother was an active deaconess.  Even today, the Oper Walker Guild, founded in honor of my grandmother, is still a service organization in that church.

When our church went to the beach, we made the four-hour commute to and from American Beach, on the southern end of Amelia Island in Florida.  Settled and built by Abraham Lincoln Lewis, CEO of the Afro-American Insurance Company, as a retreat for his company’s employees, American allowed us to enjoy the water free of racial intimidation.  It was a long bus ride—a sacrifice of time considering the Atlantic Ocean was also just 15 miles from our church’s front door on Savannah’s Houston Street.

Hilton Head Island was another oasis for black families, especially the few elite families from Savannah who built houses along one or two streets at the entrance to the island many years before the big resort corporations “discovered” it.  On Hilton Head, we had Collier Beach and Singleton Beach, “black beaches” where we had our own pavilions and shorelines for running into the surf, listening to the Sixties sounds of Motown and holding Saturday night dances.

My best friend Virginia’s family had a house on Hilton Head and her family invited me to join her there many weekends during our high school years.  We would pack up the car on a Friday afternoon, drive over with ample food supplies and return Sunday night.  It was a joyous weekend of freedom from Savannah’s oppressively hot, humid summer days.  I remember sleeping with the windows open at night and enjoying the breeze from the surf down the street.

In Daylight

So, on that day in 1997, when I went to Tybee Island to reflect on the loss of my mother and think about how I would move forward without her, my husband drove slowly.  Together, we took in the island’s quaintness and serenity.  We made our way down Butler Avenue, admiring the eclectic and colorful beach architecture, the tropical landscapes and the laid-back lifestyle.  We parked on the south end of the island and walked along Tybrisa Street past the shops and restaurants.  We strolled the length of the big pier to look at the water—which, even in early March, gave us a feeling of warmth and peace.  Here we were, just a few miles from where I grew up on Savannah’s west side, and yet we were a world away.

My husband, Willie, quickly learned the locals-only fishing spots.  We soon gravitated to vacation rentals along Chatham Avenue and the Bull River, where most of the houses have their own docks, and the views and fishing are unbeatable.  I came to love solitary walks along the shoreline of the South Beach, or sitting at dawn in one of the beach-side swings, watching the sun come up with a cup of coffee in hand.

Tybee became a place of celebration for us.  We chose the island as the site of our anniversary getaways each May.  During the next 12 years, we first rented small condos and, later, beach houses, inviting friends to joins us.

Willie and I relocated to Savannah permanently in 2013.  And just the other day, our daughter asked us where we would spend our vacation.

“Vacation?!” I exclaimed.  “We don’t need to go anywhere!”

Times change.  Tides change.  And, thankfully, so do people.

And the Angels Sing

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 15:21

Local singer-songwriters get into the spirit at Trinity’s Thursday Night Opry.

City Hotel‘s mandolin maestro, Cory Chambers, joked nervously that the bluegrass band wasn’t used to playing to a crowd that actually listened to them, so accustomed they are to providing background music to the clink of glasses and piercing thrum of conversation in some of Savannah’s bars and restaurants.  But the crowd that came to the Trinity United Methodist Church last Thursday night did just that—listen—with presence and awareness … and no small amount of toe-tapping against the hardwood floors.

The sanctuary of the 1848 church on Telfair Square lends itself to the soaring voices and roots melodies that mark the monthly Thursday Night Opry series, the brainchild of Trinity’s musical director, Jared Hall, an accomplished musician in his own right.  Monthly, he invites a trio of local bands to perform acoustic sets before a single microphone—in the tradition of Nashville’s family-friendly Grand Ol’ Opry.  They end the evening by sharing the stage and the accolades.

On this night, CUSSES had to cancel because of health concerns over lead singer Angel Bond’s voice.  They were missed.  But, City Hotel’s down-from-the-mountain pickin’ and American Hologram‘s tender harmonies filled the space with songs from their respective upcoming albums, gospel standards, and a rousing, unexpected and delightful rendition of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA.”

Now that’s what faith should sound like.  Photography by Jon Waits

Members of American Hologram and City Hotel: (l-r) Anthony Teixeira, Jay Rudd, Eric Britt, Craig Tanner, Cory Chambers, Britt Scott and Aaron Zimmer

American Hologram

City Hotel


Life Coach

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 14:19

Get some sage advice from one of Savannah’s leaders in women’s health. 

Courtesy of Carmela Pettigrew

Dr. Carmela Pettigrew

Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Savannah OB/GYN Specialists


I love the website  The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit with great information about food and products we use that may be potentially harmful.  I always refer to their “Dirty Dozen” list when I grocery shop to avoid pesticides.


I am a daily user of sunscreen, because UV rays damage DNA and can lead skin cancer.  Also, I frequently advise my patients to soak their razors in alcohol in between uses to kill bacteria, which reduces hair bumps and minor skin infections that can occur after shaving.


I don’t have a sweet tooth but I am very fond of salted caramel and I can eat an endless amount of the salted carmel macarons from Maison de Macarons. I try not to buy more than a few at a time because I will eat them all at once.  I ate 12 one time!

Brain Waves

Thu, 07/10/2014 - 13:58

Find out what makes this top-notch neurologist tick.

Courtesy of Dr. James Lindley Jr. 

Dr. James G Lindley Jr.

Neurosurgeon, Neurological Institute of Savannah and Center for Spine


I use Essential Skeleton mobile app on my iPhone every day with patients and their families.  It allows me to rotate, stretch and highlight the area of medical concern in a real and interactive way that is personal to each patient.  I’d like to think that it’s fun and educational.


I was born in Key West, Fla.  As a native “conch,” I live for the sun and heat of summer!  Busy schedules can be quite a challenge, but I believe in the ongoing pursuit of a balanced life and try to spend as much time as possible with family and friends on the beautiful waters of Savannah.  I apply SPF 70 liberally—“doctors’ orders.”


Byrd Cookie Company’s jalapeño cheese biscuits are my favorite—perfect with a cold Corona on my dock in the evening.  I also am addicted to the chocolate chip!

Open Letter: Development

Tue, 07/08/2014 - 13:12

Rents are climbing downtown as funky Broughton Street becomes “B Street,” a reimagined magnet for upscale national retailers.  Hotelier and Savannah native Richard Kessler has begun a $100 million-plus redevelopment of River Street’s west end.  Homewood Suites by Hilton stands to open on the east end in early 2015.  There’s talk of Trade Center expansion—even the rumor of a Hutchinson Island casino.  But what does all this development mean for the Savannah lifestyle?  What do we stand to gain—and lose?  We’ve invited Savannahians with differing views to tell us in their open letters.

In our final chapter of the online Open Letter: Development discussion, we hear from artist Betsy Cain, who has fought an ongoing battle for the last seven years to save the precious and fragile marsh on which she lives.

Photograph by Fritz Quadratta

This aerial image taken in May 2014—highlights our extensive documentation of the ongoing impacts to our tidal basin on Wilmington Island’s Tom Creek from a state permitted 980-foot dock that was “fast-tracked” under the Programmatic General Permit (PGP0083) in 2006 and completed in 2007.  You can see more images HERE >>

The dock acts as an artificial barricade to the seasonal, natural migration on high tides of dead marsh grass, Spartina Alterniflora, which sloughs off each spring as the new grass shoots start their yearly cycle.  This dead marsh grass is an essential nutritive component to the ecosystem of Georgia’s vast salt marshes and is a biofuel for the many organisms that make up this diverse and productive habitat.

The dock collects this wrack in such quantity and density (up to over two-feet high in some years, and every year is different), that the natural ebb and flow of tidal action in the smaller, shallower creeks is unable to dislodge it.  The wrack can stay “in residence” on top of the marsh for up to six months with some fluctuations. When this happens, the healthy marsh grass underneath is denied light and oxygen and the marsh grass dies.

Depending on the length of time the wrack stays on top of the marsh, the rhizomes or roots of the Spartina can be killed, effectively denuding the area of the one sustaining life force that is so integral to the marsh’s survival.  Once the rhizomes are killed, the destabilized mud softens and is scoured by the tides.  The creek beds then collapse and silt-in. The structural support is gone. The life force is gone.  Our tidal navigation has been impaired and our flood protection from the marsh has been compromised.

Photographs by David Kaminsky

My husband, David Kaminsky, and I have created a response to this local eco-crisis by recruiting the help of a community of volunteers, dedicated friends and neighbors, whom we called “wrack wranglers.”

Starting after high tide, each person enters the creeks with rakes, kayaks, boats and invented wrack tools to pull the wrack off the covered marsh back into the creeks. We then escort it out by hand, pushing and swimming it out past the entire length of the dock to a larger tributary on the outgoing tide and send it on its way to be naturally dispersed to the ocean and beaches where it can help build dunes as well as supply its vital nutrients to the whole ecosystem.  This is muddy, exhausting work, yet exhilarating and rewarding to think we can stave off the inevitable if only for a little while.

A recent exhibition “Wrack and Ruin and the Creative Response” held earlier this year at the University Of Georgia’s Circle Gallery, College Of Environment and Design, showcases our ongoing documentation of the changes taking place in the marsh, our “wranglers” and our art.

Because of our own experience, we are advocating that Georgia’s recreational coastal docks, now exempt, be brought under the Coastal Marshland Protections Act not only to protect a critical natural resource that serves as the cradle to the ocean, but also to protect coastal homeowners as docks become more prolific.  We, unfortunately, are the poster children for what can go wrong.

We are not anti-dock.  Our particular points are that long docks should not be “fast-tracked” under the Programmatic General Permit and that more than the immediately adjacent property owners should be notified when a long dock is under permit consideration. We would like to see the criteria for evaluating the permits for these long docks to include not only potential impacts such as wrack accumulation, but also view-shed, need and the environmental costs to the marsh while they are being built.

All of these considerations lead to the question: why, when property owners build a dock to gain access through the marsh, which is held in the public trust, do they bear no responsibility whatsoever for any damage to the marsh caused directly by the result of their actions?  How long is too long?



Read Tom Kohler’s Open Letter HERE » Read Ben Carter’s Open Letter HERE » Read Karen Geriner Robertson’s Open Letter HERE »


Ossabaw Island

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 17:05
Subscribe today and help us save Ossabaw Island’s treasures.

For our Life on the Water issue, we’ll donate $1 to the Ossabaw Island Foundation during the months of July and August for every new, renewal or gift subscription .

Photo by Izzy Hudgins

An excerpt from “A Very Sandy Summer” in the July/August issue of Savannah magazine:

If you own a boat, chances are you’ve beached at Ossabaw.  You’ve breezed past Wassaw and across the sound, through bright, salty air, to relax on miles of pristine sand dotted with bleached tree carcasses and the prehistoric shells of horseshoe crabs.  Maybe you’ve even stood atop the sand cliffs, which a hurricane whipped up overnight more than a century ago.  But only the initiated may move beyond the beach.

“We’re sort of the gatekeepers to the island,” chuckles Elizabeth DuBose, the sunny executive director of the Ossabaw Island Foundation.  We’re aboard Capt. Mike Neal’s pontoon boat, headed from the beach to the North End Plantation—an hour’s drive across the island—and Elizabeth’s safari-esque attire makes it easy for me to imagine her with a machete in hand.  “Our mission is to make sure the land is protected and used according to Sandy’s agreement with the state: for research and education.”

Teachers, historians, artists and students from all walks of life may—and do—apply to use the island, and Elizabeth considers each application carefully.  She forwards scientific research requests to the Department of Natural Resources.  The outcomes of such research have benefited many.  Take, for example, the wild Ossabaw hog, whose high insulin tolerance may yield breakthroughs in the fight against diabetes.  The Barrier Island Observatory funnels high-tech atmospheric and geological data to learning laboratories all over the world.  And this summer, Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources’ Archaeology Division and the University of Georgia are hosting a field school, unearthing relics of ancient Native American and antebellum plantation life on the island’s south end.

“There are literally layers of civilization in that marsh,” Elizabeth marvels.  Right here on our path, I spot a pottery shard and a hexagonal silver button.

To read more about the Ossabaw Island Foundation, get a copy of Savannah magazine today.

Paddlin’ Man

Thu, 07/03/2014 - 16:03

Meet Zach Smith—Savannah’s very own prince of tides.

A few hundred years ago, the water was our highway.  Today, kayaks are still the best way to navigate our 378,000 acres of tidal salt marsh.  Brianne Halverson and Dan Gilbert wade into the water with a paddling pro.  Photography by Beau Kester

Zach Smith and his lovely lady friend, Colleen Heine, are best-known in these parts as half of the beloved Americana band, The Accomplices, but Zach is just as comfortable picking up a kayak paddle as he is pickin’ on an upright bass.  He’s even built his own boats.  We asked the Savannah native about his favorite way to get around.

How did your love affair with canoeing and kayaking begin?

Zach Smith:  Savannah is a fantastic place to grow up if you love being outside.  It all began with the Boy Scouts, which was really just a 10-year-old’s way of ditching the parents.  I fell in love with paddling immediately.

Did you feel at home out on the water?

There were some growing pains.  When I was about 15, my friends and I paddled out to Little Tybee.  It was perfect.  The water was flat when we headed out there to camp, but it was a completely different story on the way back.  We basically got stranded.  I’ve since learned to always check the tides before I go on a paddling trip.  And it just takes time to learn how to use the currents to your advantage.

What makes this such a great place to paddle?

Savannah has such a fantastic community of kayakers and canoers.  And it’s not just locals—there’s a huge influx of people who come in from out of town to kayak here.

It’s good place to learn because the water is so warm for much of the year.  But it’s also a great challenge because of the tide shift.  I’m not sure if everyone knows this, but we have the second most dramatic tide shift in North America, behind a place called Bay of Fundy all the way up in Nova Scotia.

Any other places you’re dying to kayak?

Alaska—which is particularly exciting because we actually get to go!  The Accomplices are playing the amazing Bearfest in Wrangell, Alaska, this summer.  Obviously, we’re going to spend a few extra days on the water.  Colleen might have to drag me back!

You have three homemade kayaks hanging on the side of your house.  Where did you learn how to build your own boat?  They’re beautiful.

Yeah, I’m pretty proud of them.  Colleen built one, too.  I spent some very special time out in Oregon in this perfect little town called Manzanita.  There’s a guy named Brian Schulz out there who builds skin-on-frame kayaks.  He teaches a week-long class, and at the end you paddle away in your own boat that you’ve built.


It’s a very early style of kayak making where the frame is covered by a material—traditionally seal skin, but now generally nylon—that is stretched over the kayak when wet.  It’s incredible.  So much lighter than a plastic or glass boat, and easier to paddle, too.

Brian is this amazing, off-the-grid kind of guy.  He really taught me to appreciate nature and the world in this way that I don’t think I could have anywhere else.  I firmly believe that everyone should experience off-the-grid living at least once.  It gives you perspective and kind of knocks you back into place.

If we’ve never kayaked before, how can we start?  You offer tours, right?

Yes!  I work at Savannah Canoe and Kayak out on Bonaventure Road and give tours and instruction most of the year.  Also, Nigel and Kristin Law, who own and run the business, are pretty much the best people in the world.

We do day trips to Little Tybee and Wassaw islands, Skidaway sunset trips, full-moon paddles, instructor certification and special training for women and kids.  And if you want to know how to make your own kayak, Brian is teaching one of his workshops here from October 26 through 31.

What’s your favorite spot to put in?

For a chance to rinse some of the salt off of your gear, there’s a beautiful, swampy paddle through cypress and tupelo trees on Ebenezer Creek.  This offers some different flora and fauna from the coastal marshes, and I enjoy gliding among the large buttresses of these beautiful swamp trees with a mirror-like stillness of the tannin-colored black water.

Make the 35-minute drive out through Rincon to the Tommy Long Landing, not far from the historic New Ebenezer settlement on the banks of the Savannah River.

What spectacular things have you seen out on the water?

We were paddling back from dinner on Little Tybee in the perfect moonlit glow and feeling, more than seeing, the waves as they pulsed underneath our kayaks.  For about a half hour or so, the bioluminescence was so intense that every stroke of the paddle was illuminated in the water and then sustained for the next five seconds or so.  Our bow wakes were streaming out a soft greenish glow, and it looked like we were paddling through a field of stars.  It’s one of those magical experiences I’ll never forget.

What kinds of creatures have you encountered?

Probably my most incredible animal encounter happened on a trip down the Georgia coast toward Sapelo Island.  We were in an area between the New Teakettle and the Mud River, when all of a sudden our group was paddling among a pod of about 30 to 40 bottlenose dolphin.  They were everywhere!  We just stopped and enjoyed watching them.  They’re so majestic.  It was breathtaking.

In the Drink

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 12:41

Photography by Izzy Hudgins

We’re on a mission to discover Savannah’s signature cocktail—and we need your help.

Local mix masters (see Where and When to Taste below) will serve tasting flights of our four finalists—all selected from submissions by Savannah magazine readers.  Each flight will come with a score and commend card that you’ll fill out and leave with your bartender.  The results will be announced in Savannah magazine’s September/October issue.

When you hit the bars, let us know!  Take a picture, tell us which drink was your favorite, and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram. #Savsignaturecocktail #SavMagCocktailQuest  You may find yourself in the next issue of Savannah magazine—and win a bottle of Savannah Bourbon’s premium Savannah 88.

Where and When to Taste » B. Tillman Restaurant and Bar at Byrd (beginning July 7)

5 p.m.-Close, Wednesday-Saturday; 12:30-3: p.m., Sunday Brunch, 6700 Waters Ave., 721-1564

Local 11 Ten and Perch

6-10 p.m., Sunday-Wednesday, 1110 Bull St., 790-9000

The Public

6-10 p.m., Sunday-Wednesday, 1 W. Liberty, 200-4045

Soho South

6-10 p.m., Sunday-Wednesday, 12 W. Liberty, 233-1633

Tybee Island Social Club

11:30-Close, Monday-Thursday, 1311 Butler Ave., Tybee Island, 472-4044

The Contenders

Meet the final four.  (With these recipes, you may just want to host a tasting party of your own!  CLICK the Cocktail Quest Scorecard to download it NOW.)

Johnny’s Ginger Julep

A spicy ode to our huckleberry friend.

  • 0.5 ounce of Peach Schnapps or a teaspoon of peach shrub (an infusion of fruit, sugar and acid; can be purchased or made at home)
  • Several fresh mint springs
  • 0.5 ounces Verdant Kitchen Ginger Syrup, or more to taste
  • 2.5 ounces of bourbon
  • A slice of fresh peach, to garnish
  • Crushed ice

Instructions:  Place peach shrub in the bottom of the glass, or pour in Peach Schnapps.  Add mint sprigs and gently bruise with muddler.  Add crushed ice and top with ginger syrup, then bourbon.  Gently stir and garnish with an additional mint sprig and place peach slice on the rim.

Honeysuckle Vine

A sweet-sour blend that recalls the scent of a Savannah summer.

  • 1 Tablespoon Savannah Bee Co. Tupelo Honey
  • 2.5 ounces 88 Premium Bourbon (or any good bourbon)
  • Splash freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Splash club soda
  • Fresh mint

Instructions: Mix the honey and bourbon in a double shot glass.  Fill the glass with ice, then add the orange juice and club soda. Garnish with fresh mint.

Savannah Gray Brick

An effervescent, citrus-infused sip in honor of the city’s building blocks.

  • 1.5 ounces vodka
  • 4 to 6 ounces grapefruit juice
  • 1 teaspoon blood orange syrup
  • Splash of club soda
  • Twist of lime
  • Lots of ice

Instructions: Mix all ingredients together and serve in a tall glass or plastic tumbler.  You can also substitute the blood orange syrup with blood orange soda, skipping the club soda.

40 Acres and a Mule

A rye nod to our city’s historic first move toward equality.

  • 2 ounces rye whiskey or bourbon
  • 4 to 6 ounces ginger beer (preferably Fentimans)
  • Squeeze each of lime, lemon and orange slices
  • Lots of ice

Instructions: Mix all ingredients together and serve in a tall glass or plastic tumbler.  Perfect on the beach for a game of bocce, cornhole or horseshoes.



Feel Good Guide

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 12:03

Our annual Health Supplement is the key to feeling your best.

From Savannah’s community-minded answer to the healthcare crisis and the uplifting story of one local woman’s race toward wellness to profiles of area doctors, our annual Health Supplement gives you the tools to make informed decisions.  Click on the image below to get the latest »

Sea Change

Mon, 06/30/2014 - 10:48

Notice something different about your magazine?

It’s just another step in our 25-year evolution.

If you’ve been paying attention over the last few years, you’ve noticed our steady commitment to authenticity.  Breathtaking imagery that captures the real Savannah.   People-oriented narratives with an “only in Savannah” feel and a discerning view behind the seen.

Like you, we live at the tide line of preservation and progress.  As flows the city, so flows the magazine.

Over time, we’ve overflowed our own format—things got to looking and feeling a little overcrowded—so we’re expanding now to give you the same breathing space the city gives you.

Imagine our hometown without Oglethorpe’s famous squares—or without our breathtaking expanses of marsh and water.  That’s the kind of luxury we’re infusing into this Life on the Water issue—and every one to come.

At Savannah magazine, authenticity is our luxury.  The stroll, the sip, the spicy sea breeze.  The wry wink and the knowing nod.

It’s not a dramatic departure; that would be unfair to our readers and untrue to a city and a magazine that have endured so much with elegance.

We know who we are.

We’re a luxury item, especially in this day and age.  You come to us for a curated escape from the chaos of daily life.  We edit and interpret today’s barrage of digital messages.  We seek the currents of culture behind the headlines.  We offer an instant vacation from the mundane.

At Savannah magazine, authenticity is our luxury.  The stroll, the sip, the spicy sea breeze.  The wry wink and the knowing nod.

We know—and you know—that our city has something utterly unique and precious to offer the world.

Our mission is to preach the gospel of the inimitable Savannah lifestyle.

Now go get baptized in that sweet, salty water.

To Subscribe NOW, CLICK HERE >>


More to Love

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 13:35

As your city magazine approaches its 25th anniversary, we’re growing to keep up with Savannah’s graceful evolution.

With our July/August issue, we’re expanding our page size to match that of our spacious sister publication, Savannah Weddings.  And we’re refreshing and refining our design template to make your reading experience a true vacation from the chaos of daily life.

Our mission is to preach the gospel of the inimitable Savannah lifestyle, and to do that, we have to look and feel as generous, thoughtful and authentic as you are.  We want to embrace the luxuries of time and space that the city naturally exudes.

Imagine Savannah without Oglethorpe’s famous squares—or without those breathtaking expanses of marsh and water.  That’s the kind of breathing space we’re talking about infusing into the new Savannah magazine.

A bigger magazine that better reflects the authentic, eccentric Savannah?  Ah … inspiring!

Elegant and relevant.  Spacious by design.  That’s your city.  And her magazine is all grown up.


Annabelle Carr


Savannah Magazine

Savannah Homes

Savannah Weddings

Sartorial Spring

Fri, 05/23/2014 - 12:40

Savannah’s fashion season finishes on a high note with the SCAD Fashion Show.

A change of venue heightens the drama of the annual SCAD Fashion Show, the senior designer showcase that gives us a window to visionary new talent.  By Amy Paige Condon  •  Photographs by Maggie Harney

The cool corridors of the SCAD Museum of Art became a haute couture catwalk as nearly 30 senior fashion design majors exhibited their capstone collections at the annual SCAD Fashion Show, May 17.  The move from Trustees Theater, where the show has been staged the past several years, allowed sartorial-minded spectators to get up-close-and-personal with the models strutting down the aisles that snaked the full length of the former 1853 railroad depot.  It was a welcome change of scene, allowing guests to luxuriate in the finer details of the more than 100 designs, which ran the gamut of laser-cut leather skirts, ’80s-style graffiti-covered neoprene dresses, shimmering metallic crazy quilts, gauzy gray gowns and doughy football-inspired menswear.

DJ Phong Dang’s pulsing soundtrack only heightened the drama, giving guests the feeling that they sitting among the glitterati at Lincoln Center, rather than in the heart of Savannah.  The vision and craftsmanship evident in the student designs proves that the South isn’t afraid to embrace the future even as we cherish the past.  A touching tribute to fashion history occurred when André Leon Talley presented longtime innovator Stephen Burrows with his namesake Lifetime Achievement Award.  Burrows’ exuberant clothes started a revolution on the worldwide fashion scene in the 1970s and were seen on the likes of celebrated trendsetters, such as Cher, Diana Ross, Jerry Hall, and his longtime muse, Pat Cleveland—who was on hand for an exclusive photo shoot earlier in the week.

Our Maggie Harney had a chance to sit down with the timelessly glamorous and enchanting Pat on Saturday morning.  To read all about it, CLICK HERE »


There’s a Story Here

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 11:58

At The Brice, it’s all in the details.  Come on a tour of a new boutique hotel-where we’re all family.

The Brice’s general manager, Mitch Linder, puts the finishing touch on the secret garden.

Amy Paige Condon takes you inside The Brice, Kimpton’s newest boutique hotel—and a first in Georgia’s First City.

Just a few days before The Brice—A Kimpton Hotel opens, I slip inside the swank lobby—living room, rather—only to hear a raucous celebration somewhere down a corridor.  Boisterous shouts and applause come in waves, always followed by laughing.  The place smells like fresh paint, and workers hang lights in what will be Pacci Italian Kitchen + Bar, chef Roberto Leoci’s Old World deli.  I settle into a plush, slate gray sofa upholstered in tufted velvet, and peruse the titles that fill an undulating white bookshelf that separates this conversation area from check-in—a bow-front lavender and pale gray desk.

Just then, Mitch Linder, The Brice’s general manager, bounds in.  He explains that he just finished hula-hooping, but there’s not a single crease in his navy suit.  His bicycle-printed Kelly green bow tie remains perfectly straight.   Kate Brown, director of sales and marketing, joins us, fresh from a dance party in her office across Houston Street.

It’s all part of the “Kimpton experience,” explains Mitch.  “(Kimpton) aligns itself with Southern hospitality.  You open the door.  You become part of the family as we welcome you into our home.”

They use words like “family” instead of team.  And they talk about what’s good for the “community,” not just their brand.  Kate points to the enclosed brick patio— glistening from a spring shower and festooned with marigold umbrella tables—as “everyone’s secret garden.”

In every detail, there is a reference to Georgia’s First City.  Kate lived in the former Mulberry Inn for four months, getting to know the city, when she first relocated from Aspen, Colo., nearly a year ago.  She explains that the Kimpton’s designers spent weeks on end, “touching things and taking pictures” to translate high design into something uniquely Savannah.

“It’s been a learning process and fun to dive into the history and the emerging cultural renaissance of Savannah,” Kate says.

It’s equally fun to explore The Brice and learn what it brings to the city.  Here’s just a sample:

I Spy.  Turn a corner and you might find Celeste, a long-lashed filly gazing at you from behind her stall door.  Rendered life-sized on wallcoverings, she’s a nod to Washington Square’s past as a livery on what was then called Firehouse Square.  A brilliant kaleidoscope of 3-D butterflies on another wall points to Savannah’s strategic spot on one of only two migratory paths in the country.  A panel from a vintage Coca-Cola cooler is inset into the concierge’s table, a sly reference to the building’s former life as a bottling plant.  “We like to create reasons for people to ask us stories,” says Kate.

Pure Southern.  The doormen greet you in seersucker suits, and all the staff don bowties on Fridays.  Mitch gives lessons on how to tie a proper bow.

High Minded.  The San Francisco-based Kimpton chain cherishes the environment by repurposing buildings, taking measures to conserve water, using earth-friendly cleaning products, providing single-stream recycling in every room, and donating unused soaps and shampoos to local shelters.

Brick by Brick.  The gray color scheme throughout The Brice–both warm and cool at the same time–references the city’s building blocks: Savannah Gray Brick.  The brick pattern is repeated in carpet patterns in bedrooms and suites, and “The Brice,” itself, is the Gaelic translation of “brick.”

Fur.  Kate’s mutt, Lady Charlotte Barkley, serves as director of pet relations and will be on hand a couple of days a week to greet four-legged, winged, scaled and non-human guests.  “They are welcome in our home any time,” says Kate.  There will be bowls, beds and special treats as part of the welcome package.

» The Brice Hotel, 601 E. Bay St.,

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Fri, 05/16/2014 - 10:59

Pres Fest shows how well preservation and progress play together.


P.J. O’Connor House

Clea Hernandez contemplates the economics of preservation.

Savannah’s got a dynamite beauty secret. Since 1955, Historic Savannah Foundation and the private patrons topping off its Revolving Fund have helped save and restore more than 360 historically significant buildings throughout Georgia’s First City.

Today, visitors can’t get enough of the nostalgic flair that makes our city peerless. Historic pride is a balm for our community—and it’s turning out to be an economic boon.

Historic Savannah Foundation’s Savannah Preservation Festival, held May 8-10, affirmed President and CEO Daniel Carey’s testament that the HSF is “as much a planning organization as a preservation organization.”

This third annual festival offered a free lecture and panel discussion on preservation economics, a tour of the awe-inspiring historic rehabilitations done by SCAD, and a tour highlighting HSF’s nationally recognized Revolving Fund projects.


The kickoff lecture posited historic preservation as a vehicle for economic development. Keynote Speaker Donovan Rypkema is principal of Washington D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm PlaceEconomics and a professor of preservation economics at the University of Pennsylvania. Becky Wade, Director of Community Development for the City of Knoxville, Tenn. enlightened the gathering with the story of her city’s rehabilitation successes. And, commercial/retail developer Ben Carter revealed his plans to bring fresh commerce to Broughton Street with stores like H&M and Sephora, while also attending the corridor’s historic integrity.

The panelists hammered down a list of preservation’s benefits with statistical and experiential proof—proof of how preservation creates jobs, raises property values, promotes tourism, exerts less impact on the environment than new builds, improves the socio-economic fabric of communities and encourages economic competitiveness.

“I wanted to show different perspectives,” says Carey. “There’s Don, with a macro, bird’s-eye view of the economics of preservation. There’s Becky, who brings the governmental regulatory and proactive perspective. And we have Ben Carter’s perspective of a private real estate developer who is on the ground in Savannah, working through the process before our eyes.

“But the ultimate goal,” Carey continues, “was to send a message to our City Council about creative ways to stem the tide of blight together; preservation is a good tool but it can’t do everything. Becky gave us that practical insight into how we can proactively stem blight through government involvement, and that blight isn’t just limited to neighborhoods, it affects our commercial areas as well.”

Preservation in Action

The HSF’s Revolving Fund has its own tale to tell America about how a city’s heritage spreads beyond its landmark district into neglected neighborhoods. In Cuyler-Brownville and Thomas Square, rich historic heritage is beginning to show through boarded windows, peeling paint, and fallen tiles as HSF works in lock-step with the communities.

You can see progress everywhere you look, particularly in SCAD historic preservation professor Jim Abraham’s historically sensitive restoration of the stately P. J. O’Connor House on Lincoln and 32nd Streets. “Just as important as the structure of the house is the life that went on inside,” said Abraham of his new home. As each long-overlooked detail reveals itself to Abraham during the restoration process, another piece of the structure’s storied past comes back to life.

As the revitalized P. J. O’Connor house takes its place as the dazzling cornerstone of HSF’s Lincoln Street initiative, the city and country will look on as Rypkema spearheads a 6-month study of the economic impacts of Savannah’s historic preservation efforts. And, according to Ben Carter, March 1, 2015, will mark the commercial rebirth for Broughton Street.



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