Georgia chef Hugh Acheson will open his first Savannah restaurant, The Florence, in a restored historic ice factory sometime next summer. The project — which will blend Italian and Southern flavors — is named after both the Italian city and Savannah's famous Waving Girl statue. According to a press release, the menu will feature "vegetable courses, locally caught seafood, pastas and pizza" and will have a bar, patio and beer garden. Acheson has been teasing this restaurant for some time, but this is the first confirmation that it will be called the Florence.
Acheson has restaurants in Athens and Atlanta already. He recently moved his Athens restaurant Five & Ten to a new location; the old location will be transformed into a Mexican concept called Cinco y Diez. Below, a press release for the Florence.
One West Victory Signs Lease with Hugh Acheson
Renowned Chef Tenant
Savannah multi-use development to house chef-driven restaurant in March 2014
ATLANTA (August 9, 2013) –Jamestown announces One West Victory, the latest urban residential community in Savannah, Ga., will welcome James Beard award-winning chef and "Top Chef" judge Hugh Acheson's Italian restaurant venture, The Florence, to the new development. Fostering its commitment to enhancing and restoring existing neighborhoods, Jamestown's One West Victory will comprise a sustainable community lifestyle encompassing walkability and chef-driven food with the later addition of creative amenities and modern residences.
Located on the site that once served the historic Savannah Ice Factory, the development broke ground on Thursday, May 23, 2013, with the help of local dignitaries and special guest Dr. Estella Shabazz, a member of Savannah's City Council, addressing the positive community impact of the property revitalization.
"Chef Acheson's commitment to a sustainable food culture that thrives on local participation is one that strongly aligns with Jamestown's mission in Savannah," said Michael Phillips, chief operating officer of Jamestown. "One West Victory will combine innovative green design, destination dining and the authenticity of historic structures and neighborhoods into a new, cultural focal point for all of Savannah."
Chef Acheson's 7,000 square-foot, two-story Italian kitchen and café will service all of the Savannah community in the project's refurbished "yellow building." As an author, restaurateur, television personality and decorated chef, Acheson believes in the simplicity of Italian-style cooking and sourcing fresh, local ingredients. The Florence will offer vegetable courses, locally caught seafood, pastas and pizza made with Double Zero flour as well as a bar, patio and biergarten.
"The key for me is to blend the beauty of the South with the rich flavors of Italy," said Acheson. "The philosophies of One West Victory align with my respect for the region's historical roots, and I am honored to be a part of this next great urban experience."
Author of the James Beard Foundation award-winning cookbook A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen and chef-partner of the Athens, Ga.,-based successful restaurants Five and Ten and the National as well as Atlanta's commended Empire State South, Acheson has been named Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation and one of Food & Wine magazine's Best Chefs. He competed in Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" season three and stars as a judge on "Top Chef."
One West Victory will feature 114 chic, fully furnished one-, two- and four-bedroom residences designed by HKS Architects and artist Cortney Bishop in addition to 5,500 square feet of amenities including a fitness center, art studio, media center, study areas, outdoor patio and courtyard space. The development boasts an eco-friendly focus with green features including bicycle parking and servicing station with construction targeting LEED Silver Certification.
Scheduled for completion in summer 2014 where four historic Savannah neighborhoods meet, One West Victory will be located at the intersection of Victory Drive and Bull Street and will offer creative and diverse amenities for its residents to cultivate community interaction.