Southern Exposure with Black Southern Belle: The Grey

the grey restaurant savannah

Restaurant The Grey in Savannah, Georgia was founded in 2014 by John O. Morisano and Executive Chef Mashama Bailey. Located at 109 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., the building is inside Savannah’s old Greyhound bus station. It has been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places due to its architecture and role in transportation during its “period of significance,” which is listed from 1938 to 1965. To African American Chef Mashama Bailey the space serves as a daily reminder of how far African American chefs have come since the days of legal segregation.

Beyond a historic destination Chef Bailey will fill your belly and palette with Port City Southern, a fusion of southern ingredients with European influence. Mashama was born in the Bronx of New York but also spent time with family in Georgia where she learned the art of Southern cooking. The master chef reminisces about one of her favorite memories of her grandmother cooking “country pasta” which is essentially spaghetti with cheddar cheese. She emphasises that memories like that and “cooking love” are what inspire her and all of her dishes.

the grey savannah georgia

Another phenomenal quality about The Grey is their herb garden located right on-site of the restaurant. Before the restaurant even went into construction the founding partners found a fig tree that had been there for centuries. An AH-HA moment sparked the duo and they then added an herb garden to give their guests a true farm to table experience.

So whether you are a southerner who loves their “Sunday Dinners” or in search of great Southern cuisine, visit The Grey. Because even though the restaurant runs every day, Chef Mashama Bailey creates dishes that are deep, layered, and soulful in their flavors. Just like your families Southern Sunday Dinners!


Michiel Perry is the founder of Black Southern Belle, and a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of her work here!

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