Save the Crystal Beer Parlor!

The "oldest restaurant in Savannah" needs your help! Learn more about how you can help and donate to the Crystal Beer Parlor GoFundMe!

 As the “oldest restaurant in Savannah”—having opened during the Great Depression—Crystal Beer Parlor has persevered through economic hardships before; however, this one may prove fatal without the help of fellow Savannahians.

John Nichols, only the third owner to take the reigns at Savannah’s oldest restaurant and owner for the last 11 years, has reached out to the community for help. At this moment, they’ve raised $36,535 of their $150,000 goal. Since reopening in August, business is down 46 percent on last year. Crystal Beer Parlor is a Savannah institution and a beloved part of the community and famed stop for visitors.

Please find owner John Nichols open letter below, and lend a helping hand by donating at the GoFundMe Link HERE.

From John Nichols via GoFundMe:

The Crystal Beer Parlor is part of Savannah’s rich and colorful history.  Opened in 1933, the Crystal has had three owners. John Nichols, the current owner has been serving Savannahians and her visitors for the last 11 years.  Many locals remember having their first beer at the Crystal with their fathers, their first date, or got engaged over a cup of crab stew and a burger.

In August of 2019, we were ordered by the Department of Health to replace our kitchen floor and install a new 1,500-gallon grease trap.  We closed the restaurant for three weeks for the renovations.  I used what emergency funds I had and also incurred credit card debt to pay the $94,000 required for the repairs.

Like so many other restaurants, the pandemic hit us hard.  We applied for and received PPP funds and used the money to pay rent, utilities, insurance, and payroll.  I had hoped that by now the crisis would be close to over.  With government assistance still uncertain, we are now without adequate funds to operate.

We were closed for a little over five months and when we re-opened in August this year, the business was slow.  We set up a huge tent with tables and chairs to facilitate outdoor seating.  We installed hand sanitizer stations, required all staff and guests to wear masks, built plexiglass partitions between the booths inside, and followed all the guidelines.  Still, many people are hesitant to go out to eat.  I am eternally grateful for the many loyal neighbors and friends who have returned.  Our business since reopening in August is down 46% over last year.  The net profit margin in full-service restaurants is between 3 and 7% so our current situation is unsustainable.

We have a terrific staff of 75 dedicated, hard-working people we call “family” many of whom have worked there since we opened in 2009.   My managers and I have taken a cut in pay, we now close on Mondays and have reduced service hours.  We’ve taken every cost-cutting and money-saving measure suggested but still find ourselves facing a troubling future.

The Crystal Beer Parlor has been around for 87 years and I hope we’ll be here for many years to come.

Click HERE to donate.

Photo: Crystal Beer Parlor Arguably the best burger in town!