They've been busy at One West Victory.
"This is the one I've been most eager to get going," says Tony Seichrist, one of the partners involved in the "El Coyote" project at the intersection of Whitaker Street and Victory Drive in the heart of Savannah. We've spoken to him a few times this year already, as they have continued to roll out new restaurants (they are now up to three) in the space formerly occupied by The Florence.
The latest is his Coyote Oyster Rooftop Bar. Though he's not the sole culinary driving force behind it, by all appearances, this is Tony's passion project, modeled in large part after his already very popular waterfront Wyld Dock Bar.
"This is going to be a little different than The Wyld," Tony tells me. "This will be more of an adult version."
That's not particularly easy to decipher, especially when he admits the menu will absolutely evolve early on. There will be a few varieties of oysters, of course, including some baked oysters. There will be crudos. There will be cooked fish dishes. "You won't find a pork chop up here," he says. "Maybe at some point down the road, but not right away, anyway."
Some of The Wyld Dock Bar's more popular dishes might make their way to Victory Drive.
The "up here" Tony refers to is quite possibly the most under-utilized deck in the city. At least until now. If you've had the pleasure of sitting at the light at Whitaker waiting to turn left at Victory, then you have seen it. That second-floor deck above the street is now painted charcoal gray to make it more visible to anyone driving by.
"The idea is to keep things very different up here than what we are doing downstairs with El Coyote," Tony says, referring to the popular Mexican restaurant currently operating in the "main dining room" of the One West Victory restaurant space.
Bottom line? Land lubbers, stay downstairs at El Coyote. Want to tinker and enjoy some creative seafood dishes, craft cocktails and beers? Take your party upstairs.
"We are looking at a smaller menu to start," Tony says. "Maybe nine to 10 items tops. The goal is to do fewer things executed perfectly."
The scene Tony describes upstairs is likely to be more energetic than you will find downstairs either at El Coyote or their Ramen bar.
"We've got speakers up here. We want people to hang out, have a few beers, a few bites to eat. Not eat and run."
The upstairs space is perfect for that type of scene, too. A separate stairwell entry will allow the seafood crowd access without disrupting operations downstairs. (There is elevator access inside.) The space, which was never separately branded and utilized when it was The Florence, is finally going to get a workout.
"The previous tenant told us this should be a little more punk rock up here," Tony says.
At the end of the day, you can enjoy indoors or outdoors when the weather cooperates. You can sit at their bar or you can bring a group to a table. Either way, it is up to you.
What you will enjoy is fresh seafood. Tony has demanded it almost from day one at The Wyld Dock Bar, and the philosophy will extend to this second-generation creation in the heart of the city.
"We've got lots of things we'd like to do here, but we want to walk before we run," he says. "We think everyone will enjoy it."
As of this writing, Coyote Oyster Rooftop Bar is set to open at 5 p.m. Oct. 3 — eat it and like it.
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