I am genuinely tired of having to report news symptomatic of our economic woes, but yet again, I must. As many of you know, a member of our restaurant community closed their doors last week.
Considered an institution by many Savannah restaurant goers, Carey Hilliard's was unable to make a go of its Statesboro restaurant located in Statesboro Crossing after a two year effort.
As saddened as I was to see Carey Hilliard's close its doors, I was even more saddened by an email from Dr. Richard Marz. According to Marz, owner of the Midtown retail development on South Main Street, Christopher's Restaurant will close at the end of this month.
"Unfortunately, overall economic conditions present challenges that we couldn't meet, so it has become necessary to cease operations," Marz said. "On behalf of Chef Stephen Campbell and me, we want to offer our most sincere thanks and well wishes to all those customers that frequented Christopher's and were so supportive. It has allowed the best gourmet food in the area to come out of downtown Statesboro."
I will truly miss this restaurant, and frankly the vision that Marz had. From the coffee shop, the fancy food item store, to Christopher's, Marz really tried to bring gourmet options to Statesboro foodies, and I applaud him for that, and will miss his innovative spirit.
While two restaurants are leaving the fold, one was just remodeled in three days. The Statesboro Applebee's closed on May 29 for its transformation, unveiling its makeover on June 2 - only three days later.
The changes include a remodeled interior and exterior with warmer color tones, contemporary design; features unique to Statesboro, including murals of the Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair and local sports teams and photos; service enhancements; and new food and drink selections.
"We're breathing new life into our restaurants, giving them stronger connections to their individual neighborhoods and providing our guests with exceptional experiences," said Mike Muldoon, brand president for AmRest Applebee's, owner of the Statesboro restaurant.
"Our customers' commitment to us over the years and our desire to reciprocate with high levels of food quality and service were the leading reasons for us to make this significant investment in Georgia. We anticipate that our neighbors in Statesboro will surely appreciate the fresh new look and approach we are bringing to the neighborhood."
According to Muldoon, some exterior work preceded the closure, but was conducted overnight as to not intrude on the guests' experience. The most noticeable changes at the revamped restaurant include the replacement of the exterior striped awnings with oversized, contemporary ones that elongate the building and highlight the façade.
"Getting the work done in three days was an aggressive schedule but we did significant work in the planning phases with our architects, contractors, facility managers and local managers to ensure that the process went smoothly," Muldoon said.
I can only say this. Please support our businesses as much as you can. A little here, a little there, really does add up.