It hasn't taken long at all for Fork & Dagger to catch on in Savannah's Victorian District. The neighborhood sandwich shop opened in April of last year to rave reviews. The unique blend of Spanish flavors mixed in with Southern cuisine has been popular enough to develop a very loyal following.
"We've grown a lot faster than I thought we would," says Brian Torres, who along with Sky Hoyt are the creative forces behind the popular Abercorn Street shop. It hasn't been all that long that they've been on the scene, but already they are looking to build on their initial success. How do you do that?
With a second location, of course.
Beginning Sept. 10, Savannah is getting a second Fork & Dagger spot, with a few twists. Brian and Sky have agreed to take over the Savannah College of Art and Design-owned Bobbie's Diner spot at Habersham and Anderson streets.
"Earlier this year a gentleman came in asking us if we'd be interested in adding another location," Brian says. "I had no idea who he was."
A second location was about the last thing on their plate seven months after opening a first, but a brief discussion about what the man was looking for got their attention. "It was a brief talk. Then he left," Brian says. "I spent weeks waiting for him to come back because I had no idea who he was, or how to get a hold of him."
It turns out the mystery man was Glenn Wallace, senior vice president for college resources at SCAD. His wife? Mrs. SCAD herself, Paula Wallace. The former was certainly in a position to discuss a SCAD-owned property. Once Brian learned that, he and Sky knew this was not only serious, but also a great opportunity.
The partnership was sealed and delivered last week. Beginning Sept. 10, Fork & Dagger at Bobbie's will be open for business. Another neighborhood spot filling in Savannah's red-hot Victorian District.
"The primary interest was offering students a place near their classes," Brian says. "We are required to accept SCAD cash, of course, but also stay open beyond their final class for the day at 7 p.m."
The menu is a work in progress as of this writing. Sky spent a little bit of time in the kitchen at Bull Street's Foxy Loxy Cafe. She is familiar with the kinds of things SCAD students are looking to eat. "We will have a couple of the more popular items from here at our original Fork & Dagger," she says. "But ultimately there will be a little bit of everything over there."
The plan is attract more of the neighborhood than just students. Habersham Street offers a few now north of Victory Drive: Green Truck Pub, Cotton & Rye, Blowin' Smoke Southern Cantina and now Fork & Dagger at Bobbie's.
Also in the works three blocks north of Bobbie's is a yet-to-be-named pizza restaurant being built out by Joshua Yates, the man behind Green Truck Pub. There isn't a timetable on that project at Habersham and Duffy streets just yet, but if you believe a high tide raises all ships, then Fork & Dagger at Bobbie's has positioned itself beautifully to ride the wave along the ever-developing Habersham corridor.
Let us not forget that Leopold's Ice Cream's flagship location will eventually open at Habersham and Gwinnett, few blocks to the north of all the activity we have discussed.
Back at Fork & Dagger, Sky and Brian laugh when I ask how many hours they are going to be working now with two locations. Fortunately, they are only a few blocks apart, so they will attract two different micro-neighborhoods. "We need help, I can tell you that," Sky says. "We are looking for a few people to help us with this."
The next few weeks will be a blur. Of that, there is no question. They are contractually obligated to open Sept. 10 for fall classes at SCAD. There are no plans for delays for inspections and approval from the city. The space has been there for years. There are no dramatic changes in store. Just line up a menu, get it ready to roll and invite you in to eat it and like it.
See you on TV,