Where It All Began
Alligator Soul Restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, is not the first attempt by co-founders Hilary and Maureen Craig to win guests over with their love of extraordinary Southern Cuisine. The Alligator Soul team continues the tradition of handmade dishes created with fresh and local ingredients prepared with integrity and with an emphasis on flavor.
The husband and wife team; Hilary and Maureen Craig opened their first Alligator Soul Restaurant located in Everett Washington, just thirty minutes North of Seattle, in June of 1995. That restaurant was quickly voted “The Best Restaurant Outside Seattle” in Pudget Sound by Seattle Magazine, and has consistently been on the “Best Places to Eat in the Northwest” and a top rated restaurant by Zagats for years.
Their second Alligator Soul opened in May of 1997 in the Greenlake area of Seattle. This restaurant was no different in quality from the first. Although the menu differed from the first restaurant, it also was immediately noticed by the food critics as “One of The Top Ten Restaurants” by both the Seattle Times and the Seattle Post Intelligencer in 1997, seven months after opening. The Seattle restaurant was sold before the Craigs moved to Savannah in April 2001.
It is with the utmost gratitude for each guest that restaurateurs Hilary and Maureen Craig set the example, committed to giving each guest a well-deserved, caring feeling while dining at Alligator Soul. “We care about and show that we are deeply mindful of the preferences and needs of each guest,” shares Maureen Craig. “Without words our restaurant’s staff will show you their best in their attitude, appearance and actions. Attentive, efficient service “without hovering” was one editor’s comments when dining on a Monday night, unannounced.
The Story Behind the Name
“What’s in a name?…in this name… Everything!” explains Owner Maureen Craig.
When I pass from this earth, I want to be remembered for only one thing — Integrity. That one word just about says it all. The kind of life we can lead and the legacy, hopefully, left behind.
So when naming any business, most owners put a great deal of thought into selecting a name that represents their product and philosophy. Selecting our name was no different.
The word “Soul” is representative of who you are and what you personally believe in. Individual values and the way you walk in this world. The impact you make.
The word “Alligator” is representative of any one’s physical appearance. How wrongly we are judged by our exterior appearance. The superficiality that is inherent with judging the exterior of a person, while almost forgetting the heart and soul or core values of each of us.
As my beloved late husband Hilary Craig said many times during his life, “It’s all about your integrity, and people can clearly see that by what you put on the plate.”
Colonial Cellars Provides the Atmosphere
Alligator Soul restaurant’s underground setting was once a grain warehouse (ca. 1885) — and Hilary’s experience in developing movie sets came in handy during the renovations.
Located on historic Telfair Square – one of Savannah’s first four colonial-era squares — the Alligator Soul restaurant experience begins with the beautiful ambiance of historic Savannah, Georgia, and then moves indoors for added indulgences to fulfill all the senses.
Decidedly unique among fine dining restaurants in Savannah, dinner below ground in the Colonial cellars of Alligator Soul comes with a distinct southern flair. Alligator Soul’s fine dining restaurant took root in Savannah’s Historic District in 2003, expanding the city’s limited cadre of fine dining restaurants with an emphasis on the freshest organic and local foods. Under the late Chef Craig’s leadership, the restaurant pioneered and introduced its own artisan breads, cured meats and sauces, locally produced in the Alligator Soul kitchens.