Downtown Detroit – Savannah Blue is full of soul, from their delicious southern-style food to the undeniable style of the restaurant’s design.
“We wanted to be authentic to who we are,” explained J.D. Simpson, one of the four original owners of Savannah Blue. “We wanted to create a place that screams Detroit.”
Simpson and his partners had all been in the hospitality industry for several years and were about to hang up their hats when the economy turned around. As life was being breathed back into downtown Detroit, they decided to give it one more shot, opening up Savannah Blue in 2016. Since most of their families came from the south, they wanted to serve soul food with that good old fashioned southern hospitality, but they wanted to give it a Detroit twist.
You can see some of their Detroit influence in their decor. All around the restaurant are pictures of Detroit by a local photographer. While some feature famous sites, others are places you will only recognize if you hang out in the city. The restaurant also has this classy, chic vibe which is really put on display in their lounge area with a houndstooth couch and brightly colored pillows.
"We went to grade school, me and my partners, with all the Motown kids. So they had a certain flash and style that was connected and authentic to Detroit, and we tried to represent that style of Detroit in the restaurant, " said Simpson.
For food, they serve up soul food flavors with an elevated complexity, they call “northern contemporary soul." What that means is they take the same seasonings and flavors you are used to seeing in soul food and mix them up and add them to new things to get a whole new dish that has a sense of familiarity. A great example is their take on shrimp and grits. Yes, there are shrimp and fairly classic grits, but they cook up the shrimp with a beef andouille sausage, shitake mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes in a Cajun cream sauce.
If you want to try out Savannah Blue, they are located at 1431 Times Square in Detroit.