Bluffton’s FARM Comes to Savannah – Feature in Eat It and Like It
It’s going to be called Common Thread and if what has been happening at Farm Bluffton for the last few years is any indication, then our city is absolutely in for a treat.
“I’m calling our shot now. This is going to be an amazing restaurant.” Says Co-Executive Chef Brandon Carter.
I’ve shared this before, but the most commonly asked question in my Eat It and Like It travels around the region just happens to be “What is your favorite restaurant?” It’s a question I believe is impossible to answer. If I’m craving casual fare, the Turkey Club at Crystal Beer Parlor is generally a go-to. If I want a burger, I probably choose something else. Pizza? A different location altogether. A favorite? That’s a loaded question in my book.
The times I have been pressed by an eager lover of food in our area, the name of the restaurant that most often comes out of my mouth is FARM Bluffton. FARM is a small, but outstanding eatery in the heart of Old Town Bluffton. The menu is Southern influenced and driven by local products, but on any given week you can find influences from all over the world there.
I have never had a bad meal there. Check that, I have never not had an amazing meal there. Lunch, Dinner or Brunch.
Now that amazing is making its way to Savannah. Common Thread is a near 2 year project that is on final approach at the corner of Abercorn and 37th Street Downtown Savannah.
“This was always the plan when we opened in Bluffton.” Carter says “We knew eventually we’d want to make a move into Savannah.”
The space he says will be beautiful. A roughly 5,200 square foot restored home directly across the street from La Scala Ristorante and one block over from Elizabeth on 37th. The house is being meticulously restored. There will be roughly 115 seats inside and another 40 or so in their courtyard.
“This is going to be beautiful. We can see the detail coming together.” he says.
A beautiful restored Southern home doing wonderful higher end food might remind you of Husk Savannah. Carter tells us this is very different.
“The only thing Southern about Common Thread is where we get our food from.” He says. “The influences will come from all over the world.”
Helping Chef Brandon in the kitchen will be John Benhase as “Co-Executive Chef.” John is one of the names behind the very good Loki Food Truck in Savannah. Together Chefs Brandon and John have locked in on a vision of creative eats influenced by anything they can find. Italian, Mediterranean, North African, Japanese. It doesn’t matter.
If you’ve had the butter beans at FARM then you’d have no trouble believing that these guys could make Vietnamese bird seed taste amazing.
Does it sound ambitious? Of course, it does, but Benhase is quick to point out that any new operation has to aspire to something. Especially if you are trying to help the city’s evolving food scene to move forward. Chefs will always get together and ‘go big’ before fine tuning into something that could appeal to most people. That’s the plan with the menu at Common Thread.
“There has to be a Field of Dreams component to any new menu.” He says.
“We do however have to listen to customers.” adds Carter. Fair enough.
As you might imagine, the challenges to get this restaurant going during a pandemic have been significant. Brandon is quick to point out that he’s never opened a restaurant during a pandemic before, all the while operating an existing restaurant as well as one of the most popular food trucks in the region. That’s both sides of the Savannah River. They’ve been busy.
“I don’t know. 60-90 hours.” he says when asked how many hours a week he’s been putting in. “I don’t even know.”
So while they are handling all of those logistics with ease, Carter is very aware that the expectations for Common Thread will be very different than when they opened FARM.
“We have a following now. We have fans now. There will absolutely be an expectation now that didn’t exist when we were an unknown in Bluffton.” Carter says.
Not to mention the bravado he clearly carries now. It’s a healthy bravado, though. You have to be confident and maybe a little bit crazy to pull off what they have in mind, especially given the state of the world right now. FARM Bluffton is roughly 40 seats. This will be nearly triple that.
Brandon is good at it. Great with it actually. The smile across his face when you ask him about this new spot is like a kid about to be given a brand new motorcycle. He cannot wait to put it on the road.
Based on what we’ve seen to this point from FARM, it’s hard not to agree with that enthusiasm.
Look for Common Thread to open their doors “Late Fall.” In the meantime, you can look them up on Instagram and Facebook.