Savannah’s Starland District, Revived

Photo by Mary Ellen Thompson

Savor and shop in Savannah's Starland District

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The Starland District Was Once A Savannah Dairy

Savannah’s Starland District is an up and coming area centered around the location of the old Starland Dairy on Bull Street between 40th and 41st Streets.

Back in the day, Savannah was home to several dairies, Gernatt’s Creamery, John Harm’s Oakhurst Farm, Annette’s Dairy and others. The decline of the dairies had a severe impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. In the late 1980’s the Starland Dairy closed, and by the end of the 20th century more than half of the properties in that area were empty.

The Starland District experienced its resurgence in 1998 when two graduates of SCAD’s historic preservation program, John Deaderick and Greg Jacobs, purchased and began redevelopment on the former factory site. It’s the vibe that now defines Starland. You’ll find restaurants, boutiques, antique shops, art galleries, and those tucked into niches businesses, that will surprise and delight.

Breakfast and Back in the Day – Literally and Figuratively

As you know, we are all about food in Savannah, so let’s start the day at Back in the Day Bakery for coffee and breakfast. You could have a pastry with your caffeine, but if you’re going to do it up right – get something, anything, with a biscuit.

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Since you are properly fortified, round the corner and have a trip back in time in Graveface Records and Curiosities. Buy some vinyl, reminisce over a favorite t-shirt now long gone but still remembered, and consider the finer points of having a taxidermied pet – no feeding, no walking.

In this neighborhood that is ripe with nostalgia and antiquities as well as ecologically sustainable components, you will be delighted to encounter the feisty little shop, Forest and Fin. Handcrafted items by local artists and designers tempt all your sensory elements. But the must see is their Bicycle Wrap Skirt. Stop in and check it out.

A few short blocks away, you can spend some time browsing antiques, architectural elements and all manner of treasures at Picker Joe’s Antique Mall and Vintage Market. First of all, this newly renovated space is nicely lit and clean, as are the other antique shops we will visit today; no musty old granny smelling dusty motes hanging around. There are several dealers represented here, so the choices are far and wide.

Lunch and More Treasure Hunting in the Starland District

Time for lunch, so head on over to one of the local favorites, Green Truck Neighborhood Pub. This casual restaurant takes local sourcing very seriously. Try the Veggie Reuben made with their homemade veggie patty. They make their own pimento cheese, ketchup, salad dressings; desserts are made in house or from local partners. The beer and wine list changes daily. Enjoy, relax, refuel.

Just across the parking lot is your next stop, the Habersham Antique Market & Collectibles. In a neighborhood full of history, this building has its share as the former location of Smith Brothers Grocery Store (Smith Brothers is now on Liberty Street). Loaded with antiques, ephemera and collectibles, this is the place to shop for vintage tableware, some great jewelry, a new lampshade, or just about anything else you didn’t know you needed.

Take Out, Take Home

You’ve had a day shopping and flitting between past and present, so if you’re going home, grab something delectable for dinner. Stop by Russo Seafood and pick up deviled crabs, and/or crab cakes with a sauce or two of your choice, cole slaw and potato salad, and go home and have a feast. Hopefully you got some cupcakes at Back in the Day Bakery for dessert.

Every place you’ve visited today has good ambiance, a great product and outstanding customer service! But that is true just about everywhere in Savannah, so we hope you’ve enjoyed your day, Sugar. (Note: In Savannah, “Sugar” is a term of endearment; a kiss; and a refinery on the river.)

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