[Fig. 7] The former Ellis Square, one of the oldest squares in Savannah, was the site of Old City Market, established in the eighteenth century. In the 1950s, developers decided to demolish the market and build a parking lot. Preservation forces rose up and fought the plan, but lost the battle. This started a long and ultimately successful effort by activists to save the remainder of the area, which today is four blocks of bustling restaurants, nightclubs, shops, and art galleries that capture the atmosphere and character of the eighteenth century marketplace.
The City Market Art Center, located in the upstairs level of the market, contains the working studios of 35 of the area's finest artists, including sculptors, potters, painters, photographers, wood carvers, and glass designers. A fine selection of restaurants is found here offering everything from pizza to French cuisine, with indoor and outdoor seating. Dance clubs are located between here and River Street two blocks away. A vibrant strip of night life options, including restaurants, pubs, live music venues, dance clubs, and a billiard hall, is located on the south side of City Market along Congress Street, Savannah's former red-light district. Events are held in City Market throughout the year.
Sapphire Grill. 110 W. Congress Street. Seafood is acclaimed in this popular newcomer, but steaks and lamb entrees are very good. Dinner. Moderate. (912) 443-9962. Trattoria Rivazza. 116 W. Congress Street. This Italian restaurant has a strong local following. Delicious pizzas, pastas, and appetizers. Lunch and dinner. Moderate. (912) 234-7300. Garabaldi's. 315 W. Congress Street. Delicious Northern Italian cuisine in a lively restaurant. Great place to take a date. Dinner. Moderate. (912) 232-7118. Bistro Savannah. 302 W. Congress Street. Gourmet, inventive entrees with a Southern flair, such as pecan-crusted chicken and tasso ham. Fine dining and casual dress make this one of Savannah's most popular restaurants. Moderate. (912) 233-6266. Vinnie Van Go-Go's. 317 W. Bryan Street. A pizza joint that's popular with the younger, hangout crowd. Lunch and dinner. Inexpensive. (912) 233-6394. Seasons. 315 W. St. Julian. A hot restaurant with delicious seafood creations, lamb, and other options. Highly recommended crab cakes. Lunch and dinner. Moderate. (912) 233- 2626.
Malone's. 27 Barnard. This City Market mainstay has three levels to explore, where one may watch sports on TV, grab a bite to eat, drink a frozen daiquiri, play pool, or meet a member of the opposite sex and tear up the dance floor. (912) 234-3059. Velvet Elvis. 127 W. Congress Street. Savannah's best live music club. Open 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. (912) 236-0665. The Zoo. 121 W. Congress Street. With three floors of dancing action, if you can't dance here, you can't dance. (912) 236-6266. Cross Roads. 411 W. Congress Street. Savannah's live blues club. (912) 234-3636. The Rail Pub. 405 W. Congress, once a bordello in Savannah's red-light district, this is a good place to grab a beer and talk to some locals. (912) 238-1311.
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