Ex-Alinea Group chef Andrew Brochu and wife Sophie Brochu recently opened neighborhood restaurant Brochu’s Family Tradition (2400 Bull Street) in the Starland District of Savannah. The menu focuses on Andrew’s acclaimed fried chicken and fresh seafood from the Lowcountry coast, emphasizing oysters with several preparations: raw, steamed, grilled, roasted, and casino. There’s also innovative takes on East Coast favorites, like the peel-and-shrimp with grilled butter lettuce or dirty rice with egg yolk. The food is a throwback to the backyard gatherings and family dinner parties of Andrew’s youth.
In 2020, Andrew was set to open his own restaurant in Chicago, after departing from Michelin-starred restaurant Roister, where he created legendary fried chicken. But, due to pandemic complications, he lost the lease on his spot in the West Town neighborhood.
The Brochus decided to move to Savannah to work remotely; Sophie is from Savannah and still has family in the area. They weren’t sure what they were going to do about the restaurant, until Andrew stumbled upon an empty 1930s grocery store on Bull Street and knew he wanted to turn the space into Brochu’s Family Tradition. And it really is about family, as Dave Baker (executive chef) and Georgia Vinzant Baker (pastry chef) joined the team from Chicago, and Andrew’s sister Jessica Kimbrough and brother-in-law Ben Kimbrough moved from Atlanta to help with operations.
The restaurant is nestled behind the storefronts on Bull Street, so customers enter on 40th Street. There’s a cozy patio in front of Brochu’s, and diners can order drinks and food from a takeout window. Inside, the space is full of mismatched tables, vintage art on the walls, cheeky wallpaper in the bathrooms, and motors on display from old family boats. The Brochus built the space to be casual and welcoming.
“Ultimately, we want to be a neighborhood restaurant,” says Sophie, “Of course we want to draw visitors from out of town, but it would be amiss if our neighbors weren’t coming in on a night basis too.”
Brochu’s is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.