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Hugh Acheson to close The Florence

  • The Florence owner Hugh Acheson poses in his restaurant in Savannah in 2015. Acheson announced on his Facebook page Wednesday that the restaurant, which opened in 2014, will close on June 25. (Savannah Morning News file photo) The Florence owner Hugh Acheson poses in his restaurant in Savannah in 2015. Acheson announced on his Facebook page Wednesday that the restaurant, which opened in 2014, will close on June 25. (Savannah Morning News file photo)

Restaurateur and celebrity chef Hugh Acheson has announced that his Savannah restaurant, The Florence, will close on June 25.

Acheson broke the news on his Facebook page Wednesday evening.

“Sometimes you build something pretty with a lot of awesome artisans, you cook good food with skill and precision, you serve it with heart, professionalism and a smile, and at the end of the day it is still a financial puzzle that just doesn’t work,” Acheson’s post read.

“Thanks Flo team for all you have done.”

The announcement comes a little more than a month after Acheson told the Savannah Morning News that although the restaurant at 1 West Victory Drive was listed for sublease, the space was operating as usual, adding that essentially someone could buy the restaurant and renegotiate the lease terms.

“We’re trying to see where we stand and what our brokerage options are,” Acheson said during a phone call in early May, adding that The Florence development might have been softer than he hoped, but he was still proud of the food and what was happening there.

Acheson was traveling on Thursday and unable to be reached by phone, but did provide an emailed statement through his assistant and public relations team.

“We want to thank our terrific staff for their dedication and hard work and we are appreciative of the opportunity to work in the great city of Savannah,” Acheson said.

“Unfortunately, the restaurant is just not financially sustainable, resulting in the difficult decision to close.”

The Florence opened in what was once an ice factory in June 2014, joining Acheson’s other Georgia establishments, Five & Ten, The National and Empire State South. Acheson won James Beard Awards for his work as a chef and for his cookbook “A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen.” He is also known as a judge on the television competition “Top Chef.”

The Florence will continue to serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday as well as Sunday brunch until June 25.

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