Jepson Cafe opened inside the Jepson Center back in August to rave reviews. I have yet to hear anything even close to negative about anything the guys are doing in there. The guys are Michael Clee, Matthew Baldwin and David Hamer, three talented men who put in the time working around Savannah with plans of doing their own thing some time. Well, they are doing it and doing it, and doing it well, and they are just getting started. The master plans are beginning to roll out now.
If you are old enough to know, then you are old enough to know things are not always what they seem. That applies to many aspects of life. Some may argue all of them, no?
We'll leave the philosophy for another time, but I bring that up because one of the most fascinating things I have learned since I started sharing the tales we've come to know as Eat It and Like It is that the people who feed you come from so many different walks of life: Corporate attorneys turned bakers, fine-dining chefs turned short-order cooks.
I have seen quite a bit, and again find it fascinating. Well, there are some guys in downtown Savannah who recognized that and are giving some of these very talented people a stage (or in this case, kitchen) on which to operate for a night.
If it goes as planned, we are all in for a treat.
"We've had lots of ideas for different things we'd like to do with the cafe to make it fun and different," says Clee, co-owner of the Jepson Cafe. One of those things is their "Guest Chef" series, which will feature local chefs (yes, from other restaurants) who will come showcase their talents for two hours in a different venue.
Undoubtedly, you've heard of Angel's BBQ, tucked away back there in the lane near Chippewa Square. But did you know Andy Trice has extensive culinary training beyond barbecue? He is set to appear, as are a great many creative culinary minds from around town, all looking to do something fun.
More times than not, chefs are subject to their menus. Sure, sometimes they can do something different, but for the most part, they pretty much do the same thing every day.
"This gives them a chance to do something different and have some fun," Clee says.
The dinners will vary in cost and run from 6-8 p.m. Thursdays. The plan right now is for three courses paired with wine. Sounds like it will be a great time once all details are ironed out. I'll keep you posted.
In addition to that series, there will also be "Art on Tap," a partnership with local breweries in a "happy hour type setting," Clee tells me. "For $10, guests get one drink and we put out some food to enjoy the beautiful space we have."
A beautiful space it is. Southbound Brewing Co. will take part, as will a number of others.
"Part of us taking over the cafe was to make the Jepson the place to be on Thursday nights," he says.
It sounds like they are on the right track.
Thursday nights, especially this time of year when there isn't a whole lot else going on, seem like a perfect time to roll out these great ideas. It's worth repeating: The food at Jepson Cafe is some of the best in town for a quick, casual lunch. Our Eat Squad reviewed them a few weeks ago, and I had people tell me they went straight over there upon reading it and were equally as impressed.
You don't have to pay to get into the museum to enjoy the lunch. If more people realized that, I believe Jepson Cafe would have a wait list. Yes, it's that good.
Either way, lunch or Thursday nights, make some plans to join them. You won't be disappointed.
See you on TV.