Churchhill’s Pub (Original) – Savannah, GA – 1998

Almost 20 years ago I was sent to Savannah, GA on my first Business Trip for my new job (one that I still find myself in, although in a very different, and slightly elevated capacity today).  It was a spur of the moment, get there ASAP kind of thing.  I’d already heard the stories about Savannah, so I of course didn’t hesitate to get there ASAP.  I was told I should stay at either the The Mulberry (which was full), or the Hampton Inn Historic District, which is where I booked.  Once there I wandered out the front door, down the alley/parking area across the street, which led me to the next street over, Drayton Street, where I found a corner pub, which was then known as Churchill’s, that I continued my wandering in to, and the rest is, as they say, history.  I sat down at an empty stool at the near end of the bar and was greeted by none other than Mr Will Griffiths (pictured below), who I got to know very well.  In fact, over the next few years I spent more time in Churchill’s than almost any other place (with the possible exception of The Office Lounge in Tallahassee).

This past weekend I was digging through the Archives and found a tourist rag (Savannah Restaurants & Leisure Guide) from May/June 1998 which I’d saved from that first trip.  It highlights Churchill’s and its history up to then.  I’ve scanned the bits of it that pertain to Churchill’s and when I get around to it I’ll scan the entire thing and upload it as a PDF for posterity.  But for now, I present for your consideration, Churchill’s Pub propaganda, circa 1998:



Time passed, job focus changed (New York, London, Frankfurt all came calling eventually…) and I wasn’t going to Savannah nearly as much as I did at the start of my career. And one day a co-worker in Savannah sent me a newspaper clipping about a fire that had pretty much destroyed Churchill’s.  Andy, the owner, was quoted as saying they would rebuild, and in fact they did, but not on this little corner.  No, they took the insurance money and invested it in a much bigger, and blander, joint right on Bay Street, and turned our little English Pub into a Pub-style Sports Bar, thus ripping the heart and soul out of it.  Will had already moved on, as well as the other folks I’d come to know who worked there.  I should plan a 20th anniversary trip back to Savannah, and try to find those folks again, those that are still with us…


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