THE reason is very simple. It’s time.
For the last 7 or 8 years, we’ve been lucky enough to have a front row seat to what has become Savannah’s vibrant restaurant scene.
I won’t waste your time with too many tales from memory lane. But forgive me for having a chuckle when I think back to the rumors of a celebrity chef looking to open a restaurant in an old warehouse on Victory Drive that was otherwise used to park campaign signs during election season.
Yes, much has changed in the last 4 or 5 years around here. If I put my mind to it, I could likely count close to two dozen bars and restaurants that have opened since Summer 2014 — the season I usually refer to when discussing when everything began to change food-wise in Savannah.
I am regularly asked how I am able to keep track of it all. Yes, it is more than a full time job. I consider myself lucky to have it.
But for the average couple that doesn’t live downtown, it’s tough to get to many of these restaurants in a six-month span. For all your good intentions, the next thing you know months have gone by and you still haven’t made it to Restaurant X.
The times of the year when people make exceptions to those rules are during the very popular Restaurant Weeks. Restaurant Week isn’t just popular here in Savannah. They exist all over America, including New York, DC, and Miami (who call theirs Miami Spice...I find that amusing).
The one thing all of those cities have in common is their “Restaurant Week” promotions all last a month. Yes, they call it Restaurant Week, but they last a month. Go figure. Something about branding and recognition and lots of smart people stuff that is way above my pay grade.
What I do know is that for the better part of the last decade, the existing Savannah restaurant week has been welcomed with open arms by diners looking for a deal: Three courses for $30 at any participating restaurant.
I also know restaurants have been reluctant to participate the last couple of years due to increased costs on their end. They have anyway because they had no other option when it came to Restaurant Week.
Well, now they do.
We decided some months ago to move forward with our Eat It and Like It Restaurant Weeks as part of moving our show to WTOC-TV. We’ve enjoyed a larger audience in our new home and figured it would be a perfect platform from which to promote such a large culinary “event.”
Eat It and Like It’s Restaurant Weeks begins Thursday, Jan. 10 and is 24 days long, through Feb. 2: Double the existing Restaurant Week’s length.
The reason for that is simple. Once upon a time, 12 days was enough time to visit a couple of restaurants when there were only a handful on the scene. Now, with 30-50 legitimate dining options? How on earth can you even process that in 12 days?
You can’t. Now you have the time to plan it and, equally as important, budget for it.
It should be mentioned that the price point for our Restaurant Weeks are Dinner: three courses for $40. Lunch will be offered for two courses for $20 and Brunch will be two courses for $23. For the very simple reason that the price of food has not gone down in the last ten years.
You should also know that the motivation for this project is two-fold. With so many restaurants on the scene and so many more to come, we want the opportunity to welcome travelers in drive markets to come and get a taste of our city.
It doesn’t have to be Atlanta or Charlotte or Jacksonville either. Twenty four days gives our friends in Beaufort or Hilton Head Island an opportunity to make plans to come to Savannah and Eat It and Like It.
We are also thrilled to have put together such a rich group of media partners to promote this event. Yes, you are currently reading Connect Savannah, a place our work has never appeared before. We are excited to not only team up with them, but also Dick Broadcasting Group in Savannah for access to radio airwaves as well.
The reason everyone is on board is simple: to support local restaurants during an otherwise very slow time of the year. Competition is tougher than it has ever been in Savannah. This gives everyone a shot and our media partners recognize that.
We’ve built a brand new website for this project. The future home of Eat It and Like It’s Restaurant Weeks and upcoming culinary events will be tasteitsav.com. You can find all the details there.
We think we have some of the best restaurants in town participating. We have a little bit of something for everyone, from ‘special occasion’ restaurants to everyday dining in Thunderbolt and Sandfly as well.
Take a look at our list of participating restaurants. You’ve got plenty of time to enjoy the 24 days of food we are calling Eat It and Like It’s Restaurant Weeks.
See you on TV.