Best of Savannah 2015
of savannah 2015
Citizens of the seaport, Garden dwellers, uncompromising arbiters of Good and Evil!
It’s time for the “reveal” we’ve all been waiting for.
You voted. We counted. Then we wrote 25-word odes for each winner in honor of our 25th anniversary.
(And then we wondered what on earth possessed us to punish ourselves like that.)
Without further ado, the winners of the 15th annual Best of Savannah reader awards are…
(Turn the page—the suspense is killing us!)
IZZ Y H U D GINS
By the readers of Savannah magazine
With homilies by Annabelle Carr and Zach Powers
Profiles by Zach Powers and Florence M. Slatinsky
SE P T EM B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5
New restaurants and bars seem to spring up in this
tourist town every day, but the ones with staying power are
the establishments that strive for excellence and take good
care of our own. Savannah magazine readers are nothing if
not brand-loyal. So where will you go for date night or Sunday
brunch? Use this list of local favorites to jog your memory.
Want some tasty tidbits to go
with your ’tini? Our readership
of invested Savannahians keeps
coming back for the small plates at
Jazz’d Tapas Bar.
Runner-up: Tybee Island Social Club
When carb cravings strike, this
magazine’s most outspoken eaters
turn to sweet Savannah celebrities
Cheryl and Griff Day and their
Back in the Day Bakery.
Runner-up: Baker’s Pride Bakery
Pork, brisket, chicken and all the
delectable sides. When it comes
to doing the ’cue, our readers
agree that Sandfly BBQ has the
Runner-up: Wiley’s Championship BBQ
There’s more than one way to
combine hops and barley—and
World of Beer offers more proof
of that truism than most local bars
Runner-up: The Distillery Ale House
We’re told it’s the most
important meal of the day—and
our readers like it best at the
Liberty Street icon known as
Runner-up: The Breakfast Club
It’s a little bit breakfast and a little
bit rock ’n’ roll. Our voters have
their brunch—and eat it, too—at
B. Matthew’s Eatery.
Runner-up: The Funky Brunch Café
Let’s make a meal! Midtown’s
strategically situated epicurean
hideaway, the bustling Toucan
Café, serves creative dishes to
doctors, bankers, wheelers and
dealers on the daily.
Runner-up: Soho South Café
We Savannahians famously prefer
our alcohol alfresco—and the
view from Rocks on the Roof at
the Bohemian Hotel Savannah
Riverfront sure doesn’t hurt.
Runner-up: Jen’s and Friends
courtesy the gre y re staurant
Even with all the new talent in
town, the Savannah magazine
reader still “hops” to attention for
the familiar flavors of Moon River
Runner-up: Southbound Brewing Co.
What’s the only thing sweeter
than the creative confections
local franchise Gigi’s Cupcakes
smothers in sugary icing? The
charming personality of owner
Bethany Nichols Shantz.
Runner-up: Back in the Day Bakery
Ethics: Reader votes—and only
reader votes—determine a Best of
Savannah winner. As with all of our
editorial, there is no pay for play.
Tradition: As part of the area’s
largest news organization, we
strictly limit our role to tallying and
Procedure: We only accept one
ballot per person. Duplicate ballots
and those without a verifiable name
and address are automatically
Disclaimer: We can’t control how
individuals campaign for Best of
Savannah; we can only control how
accurately the votes are counted.
Manager and latte artist,
Back in the Day Bakery
How do you make your lattes so delicious?
Wow, thank you! I wouldn’t say
that I make better lattes than anyone
else at the bakery. The secret is in the
ingredients. Cheryl and Griff did tons
of research before choosing a product.
We use a local roaster: Cup to Cup
Coffee Roasters. James Spano sat
down with Griff and they decided what
flavors would pair well with the baked
goods. So we have a custom blend. I
really like our lattes with the honey
lavender syrup that I make myself.
What baked treat pairs best with a
steaming cup of milk and espresso?
That’s the beauty of our lattes—
they pair well with everything! I’m
partial to our vanilla old fashioned
BEAU K ESTE R
You have such a signature style. Can you
share a beauty secret?
We have to wear denim at the
bakery, so I always look around,
thrifting. That’s where I get most of
my pieces. My sisters call me “African
hippie.” I don’t know what that exactly
means. I guess I’m attracted to loose
fabrics, bold patterns and bright
colors. The customers usually point
out my purple eye shadow. I don’t
have any beauty secrets, though. I just
moisturize and sleep with vitamin oil
on my face.
“Wyld Dock Bar is a new local
spot with a nice view. They’re a
tapas-style restaurant, so it’s shareable portions and delicious drinks
with a Southern edge.”
★ “I like spending my time around
nature, so The Coastal Georgia
Botanical Gardens is a nice spot
were you can pick fruit and walk
through many different gardens. I
love their water garden and koi pond.”
“Skidaway Island State
Park is also nice. I go on my days off
for a nice hike. My favorite people
would probably be my coworkers at
Back in the Day Bakery. We spend so
much time together and pretty much
are a family. We try to have a familystyle dinner together once a month.”
What’s your life like beyond the bakery?
Any secret interests or hidden talents?
I’m a speech therapy major at
Armstrong State University and I’m
a licensed Zumba instructor. I teach
classes at Armstrong—and, hopefully,
soon at a studio. I’m excited!
“When people take pride in their
town, the results show. With more
local shops, there will be a better
sense of community.”
SE P T EM B E R / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5
Many local restaurants try to curry
favor with our spiciest readers, but
only Ele and Sean Tran’s The King
and I brings home the votes.
Runner-up: Taste of India
Three atmospheric options await
duos who dine at The Olde Pink
House, where our voters go to
turn on the charm. Two words:
Runner-up: Circa 1875
Counting calories? Our readership of invested Savannahians
suggests you steer clear of Lulu’s
Chocolate Bar—leaving more
delicious artisanal treats for the
rest of us.
Runner-up: Back in the Day Bakery
For fans of such delicacies as
“glutinous rice balls,” “chicken
on the stick” and “simply zong,”
Fire Wok Chinese Cuisine offers a
surefire stir-fry alternative.
Flawless crispy scored flounder?
Check. Creamy, zesty she-crab
soup? Check. Friendly, solicitous
waitstaff? Check. It must be
another scrumptious dinner at
The Olde Pink House.
Runner-up: Elizabeth on 37th
K EVIN BAN K ER
Why “bock” tradition? Our
readers have declared the five
generations of Mrs. Wilkes’
Dining Room to be the unrivaled
champions of this Southern-fried
Runner-up: Sisters of the New South
It’s mind-altering, it’s sold by
the ounce, and it’s 100 percent
legal. Invested Savannahians
are day-tripping to the festival of
flavors that is Lovin’ Spoons.
Runner-up: La’ Berry Frozen Yogurt
Girls’ Night Out
A mad martini list, a welcoming
atmosphere and a central location
near Johnson Square make Jen’s
and Friends a favorite first stop for
Runners-up (tied): Rocks on
the Roof at the Bohemian Hotel
Savannah Riverfront and Jazz’d
There are burgers and then there
are locally sourced, grass-fed
Hunter Cattle Co. patties, served
with all the fixin’s at Green
Runners-up: B and D Burgers
(Continued on page 136)
TER ESA EARNEST
You’re running a business and
mothering twin infants after beating
a leukemia diagnosis just three years
ago. And yet you have a huge smile
on your face. What’s your secret?
Coffee! I don’t know; you just
keep going. Some days I don’t
know how I’ll take another step, but
they’re such a blessing and miracle
that it doesn’t matter how hard it
is. And I have Gigi’s, which is great,
because I get to go and be a working
person and then come home and be
★ “Take the long way home.
I love to drive down Abercorn and
see the azaleas blooming or go down
LaRoche, where I see the marsh and
the beautiful view of the water. And
my husband is always giving me
updates on the tides!”
★ “Julie Wade: When we moved
here, she suggested we join the
Telfair’s William Jay Society and that
was a great way to meet people.”
“The Collins Quarter and the
Ele and the Chef restaurant group
are some of my favorites. Every
time you go, you see those owners,
checking on things and making sure
you’ve had a great experience. We
eat at one of Ele and Sean’s restaurants at least once a week, and I think
there’s only been one time when we
didn’t see them.”
What do you love about life in
Savannah? What has surprised you
about living here?
I love the relationship and the
personal touches in every single
thing we do here. No matter
whether it’s a doctor’s office or a
restaurant, we get the most amazing
attention and love—a personal
connection that you don’t get in
Opening a business here went as
smoothly as possible. I had no idea
what I was doing, but everyone was
so helpful and bent over backwards
to help us. All of our experiences in
Savannah have been so wonderful;
the care we’ve received here through
the business and in our personal life
has just been so amazing.
I thought I would have to leave
Savannah to get medical treatment,
but I got the best care here and the
most wonderful doctors who were
willing to take risks and do things
that hadn’t been done before.
“When we lived in Nashville, there
were a lot of events in the park and
local businesses would come out
and participate. A lot of Gigi’s franchises have food trucks now, so we
would love to be able to participate
in something like that.”
Bananas Foster, birthday cake,
blood orange. Those are just
the Bs on Jen Burch McEvoy’s
hundred-strong martini list at
Jen’s and Friends. Five o’clock yet?
Runners-up: Tequila’s Town
Leopold’s Ice Cream is the
hands-down winner in this
category. Need proof? Try
Savannah magazine’s signature
flavor, the Socialite: rich, boozy,
nutty and fun.
Runner-up: Cold Stone Creamery
The perfect java joint is a robust
blend of location, atmosphere,
service and good, strong joe. Jen
Jenkins’ flagship, Foxy Loxy Café,
has it all.
Runner-up: The Coffee Fox
When the moon hits your eye
like a big pizza pie and the
world seems to shine like
you’ve had too much wine—
Bella’s Italian Café.
NI COL E RUL E
You don’t need us to explain this
win by McDonough’s Restaurant
and Lounge. Admit it: You’ve been
there. You’ve done that. And
you’ll be back.
Runner-up: Bay St. Blues Bar
Islands inhabitants came out in full
force to vote Basil’s Pizza and Deli
the best place to entertain young
eaters. The wine list helps, too.
Runner-up: Molly McGuire’s
Is it the hamburger au poivre?
The handlebar mustache? The
dark wood cloister for two? No
matter; Circa 1875 is the place to
Runner-up: The Rail Pub
A steady-rocking lineup of
musical acts—from the obvious
to the obscure—makes The Jinx
a reliable, raucous source for
edgy earworms and well-earned
Runner-up: Wild Wing Cafe
Which chic canteen at The Grey
Restaurant did our readers intend
to honor? The street-facing “bus
station” or the Art Moderne
masterpiece? Hmm. Try both?
Runners-up: Treylor Park Savannah
Tangerine Fusion and Sushi Bar
Flying Monk Noodle Bar
It’s pronounced “fa,” it’s good for
what ails you—and, according
to the voting majority, this soup
is slurp-worthiest at The Flying
Monk Noodle Bar.
Runner-up: Saigon Bistro
Who can turn dough, sauce,
cheese and toppings into a flavor
that’s bigger than the sum of its
parts? Vinnie Van GoGo’s Pizza,
Runner-up: Mellow Mushroom
A good public house is equal
parts atmosphere, food and
J OL ENE ESPOSITO
You don’t need our readership of
invested Savannahians to tell you
that Mashama Bailey is cooking
up 50 shades of good at The Grey
Runner-up: Treylor Park Savannah
At the east end of Broughton
Street, Cha Bella continues to
attract eat-local aficionados to its
twinkling flagstone patio for farmfresh dishes and flavorful wines.
Runner-up: Green Truck Pub
The vast City Market patio at B
and D Burgers accommodates all
the necessary game-day shenanigans—with a projection wall and
tasty fare to boot.
Runner-up: Cha Bella
Shall we dance? (One, two, three
and...) The King and I is both a
marvelous musical and a tasty
Midtown noodle mecca. It’s a
ER IN ADAMS
ice-cold beverages—all of which
our winner Churchill’s Pub and
Restaurant serves up in spades.
Runner-up: Six Pence Pub
With creative flavor combinations
and greens so fresh you can feel
each cell burst in your mouth,
thank goodness Kayak Kafé added
a Midtown location.
Runner-up: Toucan Cafe
From peel ’n’ eats and blue crab
to crawdads and Lowcountry boil,
readers say it’s tough to beat
the The Crab Shack’s “Shack
Runner-up: Pearl’s Saltwater Grille
Sometimes the name just says it
all. With multiple locations and
a host of healthy flavor options,
Smoothie King takes home the
golden blender again.
Perfect for watching the Dawgs,
the World Cups and even political
debates, Coach’s Corner has the
hot wings, cold beers and big
screens we crave.
Runner-up: Wild Wing Café
Knives and forks in hand! When
it comes to thick, juicy cuts of
prime beef prepared to perfection,
Ruth’s Chris Steak House has our
Runner-up: Toni Steakhouse
The Southside’s tucked-away
gourmet gem, Tangerine Fusion
and Sushi Bar, welcomes guests
to artful maki, nigiri, sashimi
and cocktails in a sleek, modern
Runner-up: Sushi Zen
Some of Savannah’s most
authentic Mexican food turns
up on the city’s outskirts, but
Downtown’s Tequila’s Town wins
the prize for tasty tacos de la casa.
Some winners are shoo-ins for very
good reasons. For Zunzi’s Take
Out and Catering, those reasons
include South African sausages,
savory roasts and fresh salads.
Runner-up: Carey Hilliard’s
Quick, name the capital of
Djibouti! If you knew the answer
was Djibouti, then maybe you
should bring your big brain to
trivia at Molly McGuire’s.
Runner-up: Mellow Mushroom
An anchor on ever-changing
Broughton Street—and now
midtown, too—Kayak Kafe serves
up boatloads of good greens and
vegetables fresh from the farm.
Runner-up: Cha Bella
With so many shores, banks,
and marshes to choose from, our
readers recommend Vic’s on the
River for its high vantage over
Savannah’s eponymous waterway.
Runner-up: AJ’s Dockside
Whether you enjoy a full meal in
the bistro or a snack in the pub,
Circa 1875 can pour the perfect
wine to complement your culinary
Runner-up: Elizabeth on 37th
K EVIN BAN K ER
Owner and bartender,
Jen’s and Friends
BEAU KEST ER
What’s new in the world of Jen and
September 5th is our 10-year
anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been
a decade. How this city gave me a
liquor license when I was only 16, I’ll
★ “I love rooftop bars like the Top
Deck at the Cotton Sail Hotel
and Rocks on the Roof at The
Bohemian. I live downtown, but I
always drive to work because I have
to stop at the grocery store and pick
up things for the bar. When you drive
from point A to point B, you just don’t
notice the beauty of Savannah around
it’s good to relax and overlook
1 4 2 So
River Street and the Talmadge Bridge.”
★ “And pedicab rides! When I take a
Savannah Pedicab home and they
go around all the squares, I see all the
buildings, and I just go, ‘Wow.’ This
place is just so beautiful.”
“I’m a big eater. I love A.lure.
I love 45 Bistro. I just had a long
conversation about A.lure’s meatloaf.
If you put meatloaf on your menu it’d
better be damn good meatloaf, and
that’s damn good meatloaf. I love Co
Asian Cuisine, too. They’ve opened
the bar upstairs as well, and it’s really
If you were to mix a “Jen” martini,
what ingredients would you include?
Well, my signature is the Rice
Krispies treat martini. We started
making it in here about seven years
ago. It’s the bestselling martini
we’ve ever had, and it’s my favorite.
It’s like breakfast with booze. But
I didn’t even grow up liking Rice
Krispies treats. It’s funny, too, that
the first martini we ever did was the
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, and I
don’t even like chocolate and peanut
butter together. I don’t drink that
one myself, but that was the one that
started this whole entire concept.
My favorite drink is actually not
a martini. It’s one of our specialty
cocktails: pickled jalapeños, cilantro,
cucumber, homemade chili-pepper
simple syrup, gin, sour and a little bit
of Sprite. I don’t usually drink liquor,
but this is my favorite drink in the
I guess I like it so much because
it’s everything I love. I love cilantro.
I love the freshness of it. The pickled
jalapeños give it that kick and that
spiciness. Maybe that’s more
“The hard thing is that there are
a lot of small businesses opening
that aren’t making it. I know they’re
supposed to be the competition, but
I’m friends with them. It’s always
better to support local, and I think
Savannah does a great job of that. I
just want everybody to succeed.”
A lot goes into living the authentic Savannah lifestyle. We’re
style icons, not trend victims; leaders, not lemmings. You’ve
heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it
takes a city of skilled experts to raise our quality of life to its
posh pinnacle—and our readers are very vocal about their
Now in its 25th year, the firm
of Robertson and Markowitz
Advertising and Public Relations
knows one of the keys to a good
brand is consistency.
Runner-up: Monroe Marketing Inc.
Where’s the best place to claim
a piece of Europe? Jere Myers of
Jere’s Antiques uncrates a new
container of Old World treasures
every couple weeks.
Runner-up: Two Women and A
Art Gallery (TIE)
Go to Kobo Gallery if your tastes
trend toward the abstract. The
Ray Ellis Gallery is the best
source for the late painter’s lush
Runner-up: Friedman’s Fine Art
When it’s time to enjoy the fruits
of their labors, our readers opt for
the caring Southside community
at Savannah Square Assisted
Runner-up: Summer Breeze Senior
When you’re ready for the spotlight, Stage Front Presentation
Systems will set it up for you,
along with AV for almost any
Runner-up: Capital A Productions
Is your car going thunk when it
should go whir? The specialists
at Savannah Tire have been diagnosing and repairing ailing autos
Runner-up: Hollingsworth Auto
Before your next play date, toddle
on over to Punch and Judy in
Habersham Village and let owners
Linda and Eric Karpf dress your tot
to a T.
Runner-up: Sara Jane Children’s
Treasure chests just aren’t what
they used to be. Our pirate days
long over, Wells Fargo Bank is
now Savannah’s preferred place to
Runner-up: Sea Island Bank, a division of Synovus Bank
We wouldn’t yank your chain. Our
readers turn to Quality Bike Shop
when they’re looking for a new
two-wheeled ride or need repairs
to an old one.
Star Bike of Savannah and Bicycle Link
From the river to the rooftop, the
Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront
offers posh lodging, drinks and
dining for travelers and locals alike.
Runner-up: Planters Inn on Reynolds
Tying the proverbial knot? The
“something blue” local brides prefer
is BleuBelle Bridal, a boutique
with gowns for the bride, bridesmaids and the Notorious M.O.B.
Runner-up: Ivory and Beau Bridal
Craving a little sugar? Find a
confection for every appetite—
including the iconic Savannah
praline—at River Street Sweets,
riverside or in Habersham Village.
Runner-up: Savannah Sweets
We wouldn’t trust just anyone
with our little darlings, so we
asked our readers for their referrals—and Savannah Christian
Preparatory School got top marks.
Runner-up: The Sanctuary Child
Greg Parker’s many Parker’s locations have a lot going for them:
wide open spaces, bright lighting,
quality products—and a host of
community service initiatives.
Runner-up: Chu’s Markets
A calming oasis in the center of
the bustling historic district, Spa
Bleu offers everything from lunchbreak massage sessions to all-inclusive pampering experiences.
Runner-up: Milan Day Spa on Broughton
The Curry family has been caring
for Savannah’s designer duds for
more than 70 years, and Curry
Dry Cleaners keeps our voters
coming back for more.
Runner-up: David’s Dry Cleaners
Our readers need only one letter
to name their favorite gym: the
Y. And YMCA of Coastal Georgia
has 11 convenient locations
throughout the region.
Runner-up: Planet Fitness
For affordable fashion, Red
Clover Boutique stands out in the
field. For date-night dresses and
on-point accessories, this sweet,
chic shop is a smart stop.
Runner-up: Fab’rik Savannah
It’s always springtime in Midtown,
thanks to John Davis Florist.
Davis’s own Savannah roots run
deep, with a local pedigree dating
back more than two centuries.
Runner-up: Kiwi Fleur
K EVIN BAN K ER
Owner, Canewater Farm and collaborator, Forsyth Farmers’ Market
BEAU KEST ER
What’s new in your world?
What are you growing and what are
some developments in the local farming
The Forsyth Farmers’ Market is
launching a mobile food market that
will go to food deserts in our community. Getting local, fresh produce out
further into the community is really
And Canewater Farm will be selling
sorghum in the fall. Traditionally,
sorghum was used as a sweetener
before corn syrup became popular.
It’s a plant that we harvest in north
Georgia and we take it to the mill,
where it’s pressed and then boiled into
syrup. It’s an incredible sweetener.
We’ll also be selling local oysters,
which we’re raising from seeds the
University of Georgia has given us on
beds near Sapelo Island that we’ve
leased from the Department of Natural
In October, we’ll be growing salad
mix, fennel, kale, radishes, turnips,
winter squash and garlic. We’ll continue
to produce those all winter.
“Captain Gabby—the Georgia
Coast mothership—is a retrofitted
shrimp boat that can be chartered
for day or overnight excursions to
local barriers islands or the Altamaha
River. Staff can plan fishing, kayaking
or birding adventures as well as cook
your meals on board.”
★ “Sapelo and BlackbearD
Islands. My wife and I moved back
to this area because of the natural
beauty of Georgia’s coast, and these
are two of our favorite islands. We go
there to fish, crab or throw the cast
“The Florence, The Grey and
The Wyld are great new restaurants
that are supporting the local, organic,
artisan movement—and that’s really
We’re talking about the best, but what,
in your opinion, is the worst about the
Savannah region? What challenges do
The bugs and the heat make
farming tough. Combating the sand
gnats requires a special suit that you
wouldn’t believe! Those conditions
can be frustrating, as can the lack
of environmental protection for our
wetlands. This is such a beautiful area
and it’s essential that it’s protected.
We have an incredible coast and what
gets dumped in those rivers affects all
of us. The amount of toxic discharge in
the Savannah River is appalling.
“Savannah is a great place to be part of
the food scene because so many chefs
are coming here and we’re seeing so
many new restaurants. The Farmers’
Market has really taken off and we’re
seeing more appreciation for local
Every Saturday morning, the south
end of the park sprouts a little
extra green as the vendors of the
Forsyth Farmers Market share
their Georgia-grown flavors.
Runner-up: Davis Produce
Knowing locals head to Broughton
Street for shopping, dining, and—
hair styling? Yes, B Street Salon
is back as our readers’ “mane”
Runner-up: Towne Beauty Salon
Why settle for a handbag that’s
not handmade? Elizabeth Seeger’s
talented team at Satchel easily
shoulders the accolade of best
bags in and from Savannah.
Runner-up: Red Clover Boutique
Custom electronics design is the
name of the game at Rodys Audio
Warehouse, where the staff has
three decades of expertise in
sound and screen.
It’s new in town, but readers
consider The Brice, A Kimpton
Hotel to be a paragon of modern
Southern luxury. And, oh, those
Runner-up: Mansion on Forsyth Park
E. Shaver Booksellers recently
celebrated 40 years in Savannah,
and when our readers aren’t
perusing yours truly, they turn to
Shaver for fresh pages.
Runner-up: The Book Lady Book Store
Looking for a weekend getaway
right in the heart of things?
Presidents’ Quarters Inn offers
the amenities of a B and B—steps
away from downtown action.
Runner-up: The Gastonian
Hoping for the best but planning
for the worst, our readers trust
local State Farm Insurance agents
to make bad days a little bit better.
Runner-up: Allstate Insurance
No matter which street corner
their store calls home, Levy
Jewelers has remained a celebrated Savannah landmark and
family business for 115 years.
Runner-up: Zia Boutique
More Scotch than you can shake a
stirrer at! Invested Savannahians
agree that Habersham Beverage
Warehouse has the city’s most
spirited selection of booze.
Runner-up: Johnnie Ganem’s
Package and Wine Shop
e rin adams
With two convenient locations
and more than 200 colors of nail
polish to choose from, Crystal
Nails Salon is the clear choice for
Runner-up: Spa Bleu
Glow Medical Spa and Beauty
Boutique is sitting pretty. For the
seventh straight year, Savannah has
chosen Courtney Buntin Victor’s
opus for this beauty-licious honor.
Runner-up: Genesis Medical Spa of
From boat shoes and bow ties to
seersucker suits, J. Parker Ltd.
on Broughton Street has been
decking out Southern gentlemen
in quintessential styles since 1972.
Runner-up: John B. Rourke
Don’t start an Odyssey to find a
ride that Fits. Just Pilot your old
car to Southern Motors Honda
and reach an Accord with our
readers’ favorite salespeople.
Runner-up: J.C. Lewis Ford
Furry friends, get fresh and
fabulous! Our animal-loving
readers turn to the team at Case
Veterinary Hospital for fluffing,
buffing, shampooing and style.
Runner-up: Top Dog Grooming Spa
If the fluffiest members of your
family have to stay behind when
you take a vacation, Catnip-nBiscuits can be your pets’ home
away from home.
Runner-up: Savannah Pet Sitters LLC
Get all the supplies you need
to please your furry family
members—and connect with
a community of pet lovers—at
TailsSpin’s multiple locations.
Runner-up: Canine Palace
Public Relations Firm
Have you heard the news?
Abshire Public Relations is our
readers’ choice for getting the
word out about your business or
Runner-up: Carriage Trade/Marjorie
Young Public Relations
For a fresh catch, locals are lured
by an old pro. Family-run Russo’s
Seafood has been hooking patrons
with sea-to-fork favorites since 1946.
Runner-up: BoBo Seafood Market
If you haven’t tried Globe Shoe Co.
on for size, just know that this family
dynasty has kept locals in step with
style since the 19th century.
Runner-up: Copper Penny Shooz
Are your cravings all-natural and
organic? For Brighter Day Natural
Foods owners Janie and Peter
Brodhead, better food isn’t just a
business, it’s a passion.
Runner-up: Smith Brothers Butcher
Before you escape to the great
outdoors this weekend, you can
stock up on all the clothes, gear
and gadgets you need at HalfMoon Outfitters.
Runner-up: Rivers and Glen Trading Co.
Dear Invested Savannahian: We
hope this note finds you well.
Thank you for recommending La
Paperie for those handwritten
moments in life. Best wishes,
Runner-up: Emily McCarthy Shoppe
What’s in a name? Old Savannah
Tours is as much a part of its
namesake city’s history as the
tales spun by its tour guides.
Runner-up: Old Town Trolley Tours
K EVIN BAN K ER
When it comes time to trade in
your trusty steed for something a
little younger, Southern Motors
Honda is the voters’ choice for
helpful, knowledgeable sales.
Runner-up: J C Lewis Ford
Dr. Carla Case McCorvey is the
latest in a line of Cases who have
cared for Savannah’s pets for more
than a century at Case Veterinary
Runner-up: Island Veterinary Clinic
New digs for the best old digs!
Fans and fashionistas: Civvies
New and Recycled Clothing
has moved two doors down on
Runner-up: Hello Again
The fact that Red Clover has taken
over this category implies that
fashion value is trumping status
symbols in the Hostess City.
Discuss amongst yourselves.
Runner-up: Gaucho Women
A bright space and positive, energetic teachers make Savannah
Power Yoga a new favorite place
for locals to heal both body and
Runner-up: Savannah Yoga Center
You left careers as an actor and an editor
in Hollywood to come to Savannah. Why
Jusak: Family. We wanted to be
closer to our family in Georgia and near
the ocean like we were in Los Angeles.
Once we visited, we were hooked.
Savannah has this great energy that
attracts people; it creates such diversity and brings in people from all over
Jeffrey: And it’s also gay-friendly,
which was important. During our
research we found Gaysavannah.com,
which was a sign that Savannah was
very progressive; it made assimilating
so much easier.
BEAU KEST ER
Did you move to Savannah knowing that
you would open a pet store?
Jusak: It all started with our dog,
Kai. We adopted her in L.A., but she
had terrible allergies. When we moved
here, we couldn’t find the food she
needed. We felt it was a sign to open
jeffrey and jusak's best
★ “First City Network,
Georgia’s oldest LGBT organization,
hosts a monthly social that’s a great
way to meet people. You go and—
boom—you’ve met 30 people.”
“The dog park in Daffin Park.
We worked with the city for more than
two years to get it open. We used to
take our dog to the park in L.A. and,
based on that experience, we were
able to work to bring it here. It’s three
acres surrounded by pine trees—an
L.A.-sized dog park in Savannah!”
“Noodle Bowl on Hodgson
Memorial has great Indonesian food.
Jeffrey is Indonesian so we were
thrilled to find that the owners are
Indonesian, too—as are the owners
of Henry’s, another of our favorite
What if any lessons from Hollywood
translate to your business?
Jeffrey: In the entertainment
industry, you’re only as good as your
last job, which is so important to
remember while you’re building your
business. [In Hollywood], it might not
be called customer service, but we
learned that you have to do your job
very well in order to be successful. We
also ran nonprofits in L.A., and that’s
why we give back in a big way to this
community. Our suppliers have to be
part of our efforts to support the local
pet shelters or we won’t carry them.
“When we wanted to open a business, we got huge help from the Small
Business Development Center (SDBC)
and the Small Business Assistance
Corporation (SBAC). If it wasn’t for
their help, our business wouldn’t be in
The heart and soul of this city is her people—all 136,286 of us
(estimated within city limits). But for Savannah magazine
readers, some individuals and groups stand out for their
contributions to city culture—whether by pouring the perfect
Pimm’s cup, painting a stunning sunrise or just giving us a
cause worth volunteering for. And, as usual, y’all were very
generous with your opinions.
A long-time champion of
Advocacy and Emergent Savannah
mainstay, native Tom Kohler dedicates his “free” time to supporting
local art and music.
Planning a party and want
to impress your guests?
Consummately Southern staples
by Susan Mason Catering are a
must-have for many Hostess City
For Bellamy Murphy, success
is simple: paint what you know.
This motto works just fine for our
readers, too, who favor her coastal-themed paintings.
Runner-up: Lori Keith Robinson
It’s no crime to be a fan of
Savannah’s own Accomplices,
even if they break all the rules of
what a bluegrass-style quartet
Runner-up: Velvet Caravan
Whether serving spuds, slinging
drinks or lending a sympathetic
ear, Summer Ivanowski makes
sure the bar at Spanky’s is like a
second home for her customers.
Runner-up: Kelly at Bonefish Grill
Joye Dur h a m
Runner-up: Chef Nick Mueller and Co.
With so many great causes, what
sets the Kiss-A-Pig Campaign
apart is the fact that prominent
Savannahians have to put their
money where their mouth is,
Runner-up: The Telfair Ball
The 17 Hundred 90 Inn and
Restaurant building may be almost
two hundred years old, but Chef
Jim Deja’s menu is always fresh—
Runner-up: Roberto Leoci at Leoci’s
Trattoria and Pacci Italian Kitchen
After a mild stroke, Savannah
Morning News Editorial Page Editor
Tom Barton is back in the mix. In
his own words, “Everyone likes a
Runner-up: Mark Murphy
Company to Work For
Employees of Gulfstream
Aerospace Corporation are flying
high! This producer of premium
planes always seems to have the
most satisfied staff in Savannah.
Runner-up: Georgia Ports Authority
The city swings to life every
spring, thanks to the thriving,
eclectic Savannah Music Festival,
a world-class collection of
concerts covering all tastes and
Runner-up: Savannah Jazz Festival
Fore! Bacon Park Golf Course
has long been a favorite fairway
among locals, and it’s now in
better shape than ever, thanks to
Runner-up: Savannah Golf Club
Calling all animal lovers! The
Humane Society for Greater
Savannah always needs helping
hands—preferably skilled in the fine
art of scratching behind the ears.
Runner-up: Hospice Savannah Inc.
When our readers find themselves
in a spot of bother, they take their
legal woes to a local man by the
name of David Eichholz.
party, Sebrell Smith of Sebrell
Smith Designer Events has
earned a reputation for class and
Runner-up: Posh Petal and Pearls
Telfair Academy is the oldest
public art museum in the South,
one of the first 10 in America, and
the first founded by a woman.
Runner-up: Owens-Thomas House
Renee Grotheer founded LIVFIT
as an alternative to giant gyms.
Her person-by-person approach
to fitness offers a healthy helping
of hands-on attention.
The designer of last year’s
1,500-strong Best of Savannah
Jamie Weaver of Dream Weaver
Photos wants to make sure your
memories last a lifetime—and so
do a host of local voters.
Runner-up: Christine Hall, Christine
When it comes to elite education
with a fervent focus on the future,
Savannah Christian Preparatory
School takes home this year’s
readers’ choice award.
Runner-up: Hancock Day School
From the oft-photographed
fountain to the south end’s grassy
“SCAD Beach,” Forsyth Park is
where downtown residents gather
when the weather’s warm and
Runner-up: Daffin Park
courte sy savannah christian pr e paratory school
President and CEO, Parker’s
What’s the story with your Keep
Savannah Clean initiative?
It’s the first comprehensive, citywide collaboration to fight litter in our
Our goal is to reduce litter in
Savannah by 50 percent within one
year through a strategic, grassroots campaign. We’re determined
to change behavior. I believe this
campaign can be a national model.
BEAU KEST ER
What can individuals do to help?
First, throw your trash away and
take that extra step to dispose of any
litter you see on the ground around
Savannah. Second, join Savannah’s
growing anti-litter brigade. If you
see someone littering, snap a photo
or shoot a video and post it on social
media with the hashtag #littercrew.
I’m also passionate about education. Parker’s donates one cent of
every gallon of gas purchased on
the first Wednesday of the month to
area schools through the Fueling the
And I’m committed to making sure
high-quality healthcare is accessible to
everyone, 24/7. That’s why I’m a big
supporter of the Parker’s Emergency
and Trauma Center at Memorial.
“PICNIC IN THE PARK is a signature Savannah event. There’s nothing
better than an evening of live music
under the stars at Forsyth Park with
family and friends.”
Collins Quarter or Perch. We
can sit outside 10 months out of the
year and enjoy incredible food and
a cold glass of chardonnay. To me,
that’s heaven on earth.”
“I love eating outside at The
Public, The OldE Pink House,
★ “I love people who give back to
the community, and no one understands the importance of leaving a
legacy better than John Cay. He
has been a vital force behind the Ellis
Square revitalization, development on
Hutchinson Island, Savannah Country
Day School, the Jepson Center and
so many important local projects.
I’m inspired by his commitment to
Savannah and have learned so much
from him over the years.”
I hear your new office is quite a restoration. How does this project speak to
your values as a Savannahian?
I believe we’re only temporary
guardians for Savannah’s historic buildings. Our new corporate headquarters
is in the Philbrick-Eastman House, one
of Savannah’s most iconic buildings. We recently earned a Historic
Savannah Foundation Preservation
Award for our restoration.
“Savannah is becoming more progressive and collaborative. Through the
Mayor’s Roundtable, I’m determined
to help. In the past two years, we’ve
moved from 175 to 78 on the Forbes
list of the Best Places for Business and
These kids are talented!
Savannah Arts Academy students
are as comfortable on a stage or at
an easel as they are behind a desk.
Runner-up: Savannah Classical
It’s called pop music for a
reason. 97.3 Kiss FM keeps our
readers buzzing all day long with
America’s top tunes.
Runner-up: 105.3 Quality Rock FM
In the market for an historic
Savannah home? Cora Bett
Thomas of Cora Bett Thomas
Realty has spent more than 30
years turning lookers into buyers.
Runner-up: Celia Dunn, Celia Dunn
Sotheby’s International Realty
Are your hems dragging? Is your
suit sagging? Are you tired of
being told to “XYZ?” The alterations department at Curry Dry
Cleaners can help.
Runner-up: Sun Alterations Shop
Special Event Facility
From our annual Best of Savannah
party to concerts and weddings,
the Charles H. Morris Center
usually has a dance card full of fun
Runner-up: Savannah Station Inc.
We’ve heard the down slope
is tougher than the climb, but
that doesn’t stop runners from
attacking the Talmadge Bridge
each year in the Enmark Savannah
River Bridge Run.
Runner-up: Savannah Hockey
I said a BOOM-chicka-boom! Last
year alone, YMCA of the Coastal
Empire hosted more than 2,500
kids at day camps in ten different
Presbyterian Church Day Camp at
The consummate Southern emcee
may have said goodbye to life in
front of the camera, but Sonny
Dixon goes out on top as many
voters’ favorite newsman.
Runner-up: Jody Chapin
With his seersucker suits and
trademark bowtie, Savannah
Dan might be the only local guide
who’s as much a landmark as the
sites he shows.
The more things change, the more
they stay the same. Even with
several new faces on the news
desk, WTOC continues to lead the
Runner-up: WSAV T