Breaking news: It gets hot in Savannah during the summer.
Really? Yeah, really. We need not discuss the finer details of humidity in this area during June, July and August (although this past weekend was nice). We all know that unless you are willing to make the drive out to Tybee Island during the dog days, then your BFF for the summer is likely the one that has the pool.
I've certainly heard the stories back in the day of downtown residents making friends with the right people at an unnamed hotel so they could stroll down the street and have free access to that hotel's pool. I am certain it still happens in a town of this size, but this summer, you have an option that doesn't require sneaking around. It's called "Skip Friday," and it takes place every Friday during the summer at the Andaz Savannah hotel in Ellis Square.
I can't really say I am surprised. While the pool itself is a bit on the small side, (if you compare it to, say, the Westin Savannah Harbor) the pool deck area is quite large and incredibly inviting for an afternoon of munchies and cocktails, even if you are not a hotel guest.
"We wanted to give something to the community," said Garron Gore, food and beverage manager at Andaz. "What better way to beat the heat than with a swim?"
Can't really argue with that. The best part is that is totally legit. There is no sneaking in through the hotel lobby to get up to the second floor. It's a party with food, music and drinks, and it's wide open to the public.
"No more sneaking to other pools." Gore said. "We want you here."
Of course, what is the saying? No such thing as a free lunch? Yeah, sorry, it applies here, as well.
Gore tells me: "We charge $20. That includes pool access, one free cocktail and live music between 4-7 p.m."
OK, before you wad up this paper or toss your handheld device across the room, think on it.
If they charged $5 to get in, it would be too crowded and certainly less enjoyable. There has to be a cost as a deterrent to large crowds. Not only that, but they have hotel guests who may want to enjoy the pool deck.
I don't think they'd appreciate being overrun by a Las Vegas-style pool party like "Rehab" at the Hard Rock complete in all it's clothing-optional debauchery.
No, not here in lil' ol' Savannah. Won't happen, captain.
Chef Lauren Teague has a great time with the pool-side grill, as well. She's been known to roll out Hunter Cattle ribeye sandwiches and vegetarian options. I've enjoyed roasted chicken flatbreads, shrimp skewers and tasty cocktails, as well.
That 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Beer I talked about ast week? That was the first place I had it. In a can. They keep the drinks and munchies light for the summer.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the pool area at the Westin, especially on Friday night oyster roast nights, which is one of the best parties in town when the weather cooperates.
This one is right up there, though. For starters, it's on this side of the bridge and convenient to most anything after you park the car. It's been going on for a few weeks now, but it is most certainly growing.
"There has been lots of word of mouth. It continues to grow every week," Gore said.
So, whaddaya waiting for? Fourth of July weekend in downtown Savannah? It's hardly a "Skip Friday" because most of us are off anyway, but it's a good place for a dip, a sip or a bite that you more than likely will Eat and Like. Here's to a safe holiday weekend! Cheers!
â€¢ We talked about it a few weeks ago, but the new menu at Belford's in City Market rolls out this week. Chef Chris and his crew have been working almost non-stop to give their menu a new look and feel. Tell them Eat It and Like It sent you.
â€¢ Speaking of "sent you's," last week, I told you all about the Hell or High Watermelon Beer at World of Beer. It's a wonderfully light wheat beer with a "kiss of watermelon." Well, I tried to get one (to go) on Friday night and they were sold out. The bartender told me they sold a ton of it on Thursday, and by Friday it was all gone. I may have to stop sharing my secrets with all of you if you don't save one for me! (Of course, I kid.)
â€¢ We've come across another treasure in the area that you should try, Eat and Like if you haven't already. Pie Society in Pooler is turning heads like no one else. Read all about them right now at eatitandlikeit.com.