East End Provisions — a sharp addition to the downtown restaurant scene — opened last month at 420 E. Broughton St. in the space that was occupied for over 20 years by Juarez.
The building at the corner of Broughton and Price streets has been beautifully reimagined by the Gaslight Group, which also operates The 5 Spot, Blowin’ Smoke Southern Cantina, B. Matthew’s Eatery and Abe’s on Lincoln.
The historic corner door opens into an airy space with a gracious U-shaped bar with comfortable seats and lots of elbow room. I often sit at the bar when I’m checking out new restaurants, but on my first trip to East End Provisions I sat with a friend at a comfortable table in the main dining area.
There isn’t anything flashy about the dining room at East End Provisions, but I was immediately struck by the space between the tables and the excellent acoustics. If you actually enjoy talking to your dining companions and if you don’t want to eavesdrop on others, East End is the spot for you.
We started with the cheese board ($17, market price varies), a beautifully presented mix of one ounce servings of seven local cheeses, and then had the Caesar salad ($9).
For my entrée, I opted for the Duck Trio ($26), which included three different duck preparations –duck breast, pulled duck confit and foie gras bread pudding – and a wonderful, fresh succotash.
My dinner companion tried the seafood pasta ($23), a rich combination of lobster, shrimp, clams and mussels. We arrived a little too late to try the venison special of the day.
East End Provisions’ dinner menu also offers entrees such as pork tenderloin from Savannah River Farms ($25) and ribeye steak ($31) from Hunter Cattle Company, but there are a number of less expensive, more casual menu options priced under $15, including a burger and flatbreads.
East End Provisions offers a tempting menu of specialty cocktails, but on this first trip I stuck to a special ale made for the restaurant by Moon River Brewing Company. It was a lovely accompaniment to all three courses.
The lunch menu includes the burger and flatbreads in addition to several other sandwiches and entrees, all priced under $15.
The space also has a more casual basement bar called Lot 33 — it’s billed as a “speakeasy” – that has televisions, darts and specials on wings and draft beers.
East End Provisions is a few blocks from the nearest hotels and seems poised to become a popular spot for locals. Many residents of the Historic District are within easy walking distance, plus the restaurant has its own parking in a lot across Broughton Street that was formerly used by Southern Motors.
Patrons will also find considerable on-street parking in the immediate neighborhood at many times throughout the week. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
East Broughton faces parking enforcement, poor connectivity
If you’re accustomed to parking on the street, you probably already know that the city of Savannah will soon extend meter enforcement north of Liberty Street to Saturday and to 8 p.m.
The extended hours of enforcement might spur productive turnover of on-street spaces in busier parts of the Historic District, but the policy change will likely hurt businesses in quieter areas where parking is relatively easy to find, including the east end of Broughton Street.
And the east end has been especially quiet since city officials decided to block northbound traffic on East Broad Street from turning left onto Broughton. In fact, the relatively new permanent barrier divides the 500 block of East Broughton Street from the 600 block.
I have written many times in this column about the economic advantages of good connectivity for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. By blocking off many drivers’ easiest access to Broughton Street, city officials have reduced connectivity and added an obstacle to continued rejuvenation of the corridor, which has a several large underutilized lots in addition to the soon-to-be redeveloped Southern Motors properties.
Yes, blocking left turns from northbound East Broad Street has facilitated better flow for traffic between President Street and Bay Street, but the new traffic pattern hurts the blocks of Broughton Street both east and west of East Broad.
City Talk appears every Tuesday and Sunday. Bill Dawers can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. Send mail to 10 E. 32nd St., Savannah, Ga. 31401.