Pirate’s House – Savannah, GA
Connected to the oldest structure in Georgia, The Pirate’s House dishes up fantastic food and tales of the ghost of Captain Flint and Savannah Pirates.
When in Savannah, Georgia, there are many restaurants worth both your time and money. The food is divine in Savannah. Anything from traditional southern fare to seafood to the best steaks can be found across the city and the surrounding areas. Cooks and chefs in Savannah have had centuries of practice since the founding of Savannah in February 1733. Thirty-five families sailed down the coast from Charleston, South Carolina, and then eighteen miles up the Savannah River. President George Washington had not yet turned one year old.
Yet, there is one traditional place you will not want to miss. It is the Pirate’s House. Nothing is more traditional than this age-old location. It began in 1753 as an inn for sea travelers. It soon was overrun by carousing and blood-thirsty pirates.
Location of the Pirate’s House
When the little band of colonists arrived in the new Georgia colony in 1733, they created a public botanical garden. It was modeled after the Chelsea Botanical Garden in London, England. A diagram of this garden hangs in the Pirate House’s Jolly Roger room. One of the goals of the original garden was to grow Mulberry silk trees and have the new colony compete with China in the silk trade. The coastal Georgia soil was not compatible, and this venture was abandoned.
In twenty years, Georgia was self-sufficient and the garden was no longer needed. It was then that the Pirate’s House came into existence, building on to the original small master gardener’s cabin. This small brick structure attached to The Pirate’s House is said to be the oldest remaining structure in the entire state of Georgia.
The Pirate’s House sits at 20 East Broad Street and across from the historic Mulberry Inn, which is now a Holiday Inn owned property. The Mulberry obviously takes its name from those original Mulberry trees that were located just across the street.
Captain Flint and Robert Louis Stevenson
Be sure to visit the Treasure Room and the Captain’s Room. Here, you will find framed pages of a very early, rare edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Much of the book is said to have a historical significance in fact at the Pirate’s House. To this day, the rumor is that Captain Flint died in one of the upstairs rooms—up the narrow white staircase. Many visitors and locals say that his ghost can be seen on moonless nights. On several occasions, ghost hunting teams have offered to stay overnight, only to leave quickly.
There is an old rum cellar underneath the building which is walled up today. Apparently, this tunnel ran from underneath the Pirate’s House and straight to the Savannah River, only about a block away. Countless sailors and even locals who were drinking at the Tavern often awoke to find that had been whisked away while intoxicated to a Pirate’s ship and headed for the four corners of the world. Short-handed crews planned many a shanghai amongst these men to pad out their pirate ship crew.
The Atmosphere of the Pirate’s House
The Pirate’s House is a rambling building, with fifteen different and distinct dining rooms. Over the years, beginning in 1753, the rooms were added here and there. Engaging your waiters or waitresses is a great way to learn stories about the establishment. For example, the dining room in which we were placed had much of its original woodwork and the wooden plank floors were the originals from the 1700s. The fact that it has endured so much foot traffic over the years is truly amazing. They are beautiful. You really do come out of those rooms with a feeling of having been in an eighteenth-century tavern.
The Menu at the Pirate’s House
The food at the Pirate’s House is very good and is in the moderate to high price range. Lunch is served daily, as is a Southern-style buffet from 11 – 3 pm. The price is around $14.00 per person and this may be your best price bet. Most entrees on the dinner menu run $20 and up. Many seafood specialties are offered on the menu, as well as appetizers such as she-crab soup. You can make reservations on the website, but these are not required.
The Pirate’s House
This Is Your Georgia, Bernice McCullar, Viewpoint Publications, Montgomery, AL, 1968