Savannah Culinary Institute @ 7 West Bay Street
With support from the Savannah Technical College Foundation, the College has purchased 7 West Bay Street as the new downtown location for an expansion of its Culinary Arts program.
This purchase was one of the top five strategic priorities for the Foundation’s capital campaign that raised $7.2 million. The Foundation is raising $4 million to renovate, equip and furnish the building. Renovation has begun with demolition of all interior spaces.
With only 3,000-square-feet of classroom, lab and cooking space, Savannah Tech has had extremely limited resources at the Savannah campus. The kitchen operates 16 hours a day Monday through Thursday, plus four hours on Friday. Four years ago, the College designated one classroom on the Savannah Campus as sugar and chocolate lab, allowing additional space beyond the kitchen to be dedicated to culinary arts instruction. With the success of the Baking & Pastry Arts program, classes are full, and the College is unable to offer enough sections to meet demands.
The expansion will more than double the available instructional space for Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts. Senior level (second year) students will take classes and work in the bakery and restaurant. Entry-level (first year) students will continue to take courses in the teaching kitchen and classrooms at the College’s campus on White Bluff.
Recent media coverage:
- Game Changer for Savannah Hospitality/Culinary Workforce: Adam Van Brimmer podcast with Savannah’s Tourism Leadership Council President/CEO Michael Owens (11:58 – 14:22)
- Savannah Technical College news release: Savannah Tech to Expand Culinary Arts Program to Downtown Savannah
- Savannah Tech to open culinary institute downtown (front-page news article in Savannah Morning News)
- “A Recipe for Success” from Eat it and Like It
- Savannah Tech to open new culinary arts program downtown (Fox 28 – WTGS-TV)
- Savannah Tech expands culinary to downtown location (WSAV-TV)
- Chef Jean Vendeville and Gail Eubanks on Mid-Morning Live (WTOC-TV)
Before photos + Plans for 7 West Bay Street:
Here’s a look at 7 West Bay upon purchase in June 2018 along with plans for the future. Renovation/construction is projected to take a minimum of ten months. Photography by Stephen Morton. Line drawings by STC Drafting Instructor Bryan Mossing. Floor plans by LS3P. Click images to see a larger, full resolution image.
The bakery pictured above will fill the east half of the first floor. It will feature artisan breads and pastries for breakfast and lunch with a grab-and-go counter near the Bay Street entrance. The bakery will also include space for STC Baking & Pastry students to do finishing work that the public may watch (along the east wall).
The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner and will be located on the west half of the first floor. It will have a wood fired oven, seating and a theatre kitchen on what is now the dance floor stage (not pictured). The restaurant will be staffed by Culinary Arts and Hotel, Restaurant, Tourism Management students and faculty, hospitality interns and students as a part of their instructional programs. The menu is projected to be set daily in keeping with classroom instruction.
The hands-on, real-world experience in the restaurant and bakery will allow students the opportunity to apply techniques learned in the classroom to practical use, complete a required field placement, and gain first-hand experience in running a restaurant and serving the general public.
The former dance floor will be used for seating and the stage will be the new home of the restaurant’s theatre kitchen featuring students at work.
The west half of the second floor will be converted into the Maura and David Sovchen Demonstration Kitchen for master classes. This will feature classes that are open to the public. To register for current master classes with the Savannah Culinary Institute visit Bistro Savoir Educatif for classes now held at the Savannah campus (5717 White Bluff Road).
Our vision for the east half of the second floor includes a hanging herb garden in a library for students. This will also be the location of the elevator.
The other half of this area on the east side of the second floor will be used for the Culinary Arts faculty office suite.
The third floor will be used as classrooms for Culinary Arts and Baking & Pastry Arts students as well as a conference room:
The basement will be transformed into two kitchens with one for Culinary instruction and the other for Baking & Pastry instruction, along with a dishwashing area, storage for dry and cold goods and expanded bathrooms for students.
Plans drawn by LS3P
- Instructional kitchen 2,500 sq ft
- Half will be used for Culinary/Half will be used for Baking & Pastry
- Both kitchens will be used for classes and to support bakery/restaurant operations
- Bakery 1,000 sq ft (grab-and-go counter, seats 20, breakfast and lunch)
- Bakery will have a finishing room for students to work where the public may watch
- Restaurant 2,000 sq ft (seats 60, lunch and dinner)
- A wood-fired oven and theatre/show kitchen will be featured in the restaurant
- Demonstration kitchen 1,500 sq ft (continuing education/demo and event space seating for 25-40)
- Faculty office suite
- Student library with hanging herb garden
- Classrooms 1,800 sq ft (lecture style)
- Conference Room