Savannah’s bar scene has proven time and time again that while tourism is great for the city, locals really flock to places off of the beaten path to get away from the hectic crowds and elbow-to-elbow bar tops found in many well-known establishments.
A few years ago, Moodright’s opened its doors with this in mind and was an overnight success. A retro vibe, affordable drinks, and duckpin bowling combined with a friendly staff to provide the exact place for which many Savannahians had been searching.
Though Moodright’s settled nicely into being the bar that you didn’t know you needed, it did not have a kitchen, which co-owner Chris Moody saw as something that would elevate Moodright’s; however, he did not want to bring the atmosphere of the bar to the level of a neighborhood bar and grill. The conundrum of culinary and cocktail complexity proved one yearning for a deft hand, and Moody was just the man for the job.
From living in Athens, Georgia, Moody was familiar with World Famous, a hip establishment known for its approachable yet unique bar food and amazing cocktails. Thinking of what would be a perfect fit for the eatery at Moodright’s, Moody contacted David Eduardo, owner of World Famous, and had him put together a few pop-ups at Moodright’s to test the waters - note: Eduardo is no stranger to the dim glow of Miller High Life signs donning the walls of Moodright’s.
After receiving rave reviews, the two decided to partner up to bring a necessary — and delicious — twist to the Abercorn Street establishment. The conglomeration of their efforts gave Savannah more of what it didn’t know it was missing: Over Yonder.
“There is nowhere to eat in the neighborhood past 9:00 or 9:30 p.m., as you know. We are a neighborhood spot so we wanted to serve the neighborhood since we are service industry heavy,” Moody told me. Intrinsic in his statement are veins of affordability and late food service to aid in the night owl lifestyle that many industry folk live daily.
Over Yonder is situated to the left of the bar and through the hallway in the back of Moodright’s. The space was always there, but Moody thought the size of the standalone bar was perfect just the way it was. Thankfully for patrons, he bided his time wisely and waited on the perfect opportunity to build it out and he and Eduardo gave us Over Yonder as a result.
In true Starland fashion, the decor is ripe with local art, original photography, and eclectic items sourced from friends and thrift shops. Moody said that the feel “is like two different worlds coming through the hallway. That was part of the design.” He wasn’t wrong. Though the feeling of being transported into a completely different place lies just behind the door, the room makes you feel like you’re right where you need to be.
While sitting underneath the neighborhood’s original masterpieces, you can expect quite a diversion from the normal menu — which really shouldn’t surprise anyone when speaking about this duo). Boiled peanuts, pretzel bites, and fried pickled okra are some of the starters to expect, but everything is done in an original fashion. Even the hand cut french fry basket comes with bacon aioli and “cowboy ranch”. The menu still has a hamburger known as the “Doublestack”—a hand-pattied lump-o-beef on brioche with the normal lettuce, tomato, pickle,
and cheese with the option to load-‘er-up with bacon, egg, avocado smash, queso, and/or kimchi.
They also offer a fried chicken biscuit in their own way. The Southern Fried Chicken Biscuit comes stock with dill pickles, hot sauce, and cracked pepper mushroom gravy. Further down the menu you’ll find an Asian flair with the General Tso’s Tofu Box, and they’ll even let you swap out the tofu for fried chicken if soy substitutes aren’t your thing. Also hailing from the Far Eastern flavor profile is the Bahn Mi Tofu Lettuce Wrap.
My favorite and lone-standing bayou betterment is the Crawfish Etoufee Poutine. Lump crawfish meat sits in a bath of sildy etoufee sauce alongside creamy cheese curds before being poured over some salty french fries and garnished with cilantro. The over-the-top flavor is not held back by the sinful richness and makes for what may be the perfect pairing for a night of imbibing.
Moody’s penchant for best friend-like staff didn’t stop at the door of Over Yonder. He and Eduardo hired Miranda Norman as the kitchen manager to make sure patrons receive the highest quality noms from their kitchen. Moody told me that they also “have Marty Palmerly from Hotel Lougash...working in the kitchen with them for the next few months until he gets his place going.”
As huge fans of music in their own ‘Rights, Moody and Eduardo never planned on stopping at cool art and tasty eats. “We wanted to have some soft of live music and entertainment, but we are not a venue per se. We are sticking to a country/blues/bluegrass—more of that vibe.” Moody said. He is very grateful to have a place to scratch his niche itch for small shows and close-talking regulars. “We just really like honky-tonk, blues music, and bluegrass, so it works out,” he continued.
Over Yonder has the happiest of happy hours, offering a stellar 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 special from 4-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays: $1 off house drinks, $2 Lone Star & Shiner, $3 “Cowboy Toothpaste”, $4 house wine, and $5 “B&B” (Buffalo Trace & Bunkhouse).
The duo want to keep the menu as fresh and changing as possible. Rotating taco specials and different wing specials will be the hallmarks of regular diners’ fancies. Though the menu is somewhat small at the moment, it will grow as the kitchen experiments and finds pieces that fit in the idiosyncratic jigsaw puzzle that is the Moodright’s brand. Like country legend John Anderson sings: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”