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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Balish family to re-open Anson, launch Farmers & Exchange restaurant

Charlie's Little Bar to become Farmers & Exchange Restaurant

Posted by Eva Fedderly on Sun, Sep 21, 2014 at 10:31 AM

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Last Christmas Eve, a kitchen fire shut down Anson Restaurant. While no one was hurt, the fire forced the restaurant to close for what will now be all of 2014. Now, we've learned the Balish family are planning to re-open Anson in February 2015.

For the opening, Anson is getting a makeover. The new restaurant will have an equestrian look, equipped with portraits of polo players and fox hunters in the space at 12 Anson St. The menu will be modern Southern and ingredient-driven. Executive Chef Jeremy Holst says, “What’s best in the marketplace is what we’ll be using. It might be as simple as a deviled egg or as complex as a chicken roulade.”

While Anson will primarily source from local purveyors and focus on fresh, local cuisine, Holst notes he’ll also be using more exotic ingredients, such as uni, truffles, and black trumpet mushrooms.
click to enlarge 141 East Bay has sat empty for years, but not for much longer - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
  • Google Street View
  • 141 East Bay has sat empty for years, but not for much longer

But that's not all. The Balish family has another new addition to their stable of Southern offerings, among them Savannah’s The Olde Pink House and Garibaldi. The new restaurant will be called Farmers and Exchange restaurant, and it will open in late 2015 in the historic brownstone at 141 East Bay Street — that's right, the former Charlie's Little Bar and Saracen Restaurant space.

Purchased by the family five years ago, the building was built in 1853, and the structure originally stood as a bank. However, the last time any patrons were in it was before the upstairs bar closed in 2005.

Designed by brother-and-sister design duo, the DeLoaches, Farmers and Exchange is inspired by the Hollywood favorite, Casablanca. Underneath a tall ceiling are cathedral-like windows and large candelabras. A grand piano will be highlighted in a corner where music will be played nightly. Donna Moeckel (formerly Donna Balish) says of Farmers and Exchange’s interior, “It’s like a Moorish wedding cake.” Moeckel also adds that an extensive bar, handcrafted cocktails, and a well-crafted menu are being planned to match the interior aesthetic.


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