Basil’s is still the same family friendly pizza parlor many Wilmington Island residents know. But now it has more beer.
Amanda and Ryan Grady, who operate Basil’s Pizza & Deli at 216 Johnny Mercer Blvd., have recently added a full-service bar.
“We’ve been known forever as the place to take your kids,” Ryan Grady said. “But we’ve always had really good wine and a lot of craft beer to choose from.”
While always popular with families, the Gradys said they had received feedback from customers who said they would like more options for folks without kids.
So a few months ago, they began dismantling the portion of the restaurant that had been used for a frozen yogurt shop, compartmentalizing that portion of the business and moving it next to the lobby.
In the newly cleared space, they began building a bar.
“This side is for when you don’t have kids or you’ve got a babysitter,” Ryan Grady said. “And the response so far ... has just been fantastic. The most common thing you hear is how we really needed something like this on the island. That’s what we were thinking.”
The bar stocks liquor, wine and about 50 beers.
Beers from Savannah breweries such as Service and Southbound are stocked, as well as Eagle Creek in Statesboro and some choices from Macon and Atlanta. There are 16 beers on tap, and the draft list rotates every few days.
The Gradys stressed Basil’s is still plenty friendly for kids. The dining area has been redesigned a little bit, frozen yogurt is still available and there’s still a kids’ dining room with a monitor.
Family’s in the eatery’s origin, after all.
“Basil’s is named after my oldest,” Amanda Grady said. “It’s his baptismal name.”
The family operated establishment has come a long way in the 15 years it’s been open. When it started, it was more or less a pizza to-go operation with a few tables near the lobby. In 2005, the business expanded into a full-service restaurant after leasing two additional units of the five-unit strip mall in which it’s housed. Then, in 2011, the Gradys bought the building.
Thirty-six employees staff the roughly 4,000-square-foot restaurant that has a capacity of about 200, including outside areas and the bar.
The Gradys have added some outside tables near the bar and an area for people to play cornhole, and they’ve also started to schedule live music on Saturdays.
The bar at Basil’s stays open after the main dining area closes, and the kitchen serves a limited menu. Amanda Grady said a good rule of thumb is the bar stays open until about 11 p.m. on weeknights and about midnight on weekends. Sometimes it will stay open later depending on how busy things are.
The bar area has TVs and will show sports as requested by customers, and the Gradys have been promoting various deals and appreciation nights via the Basil’s Facebook page.
“This is a locals’ place,” Ryan Grady said. “This is not a touristy place. We know that the people who come here are going to come back, or we hope that they’re going to come back. Here we’ve got to keep our locals — they’re the ones who have kept us in business.”