Posted on August 22, 2016 by Andrea Six
From the rooftops and hotel restaurants of New York City to a Treylor Park in the South, Rick Kunzi and Trey Wilder’s bromance has crossed many cities, bearing creative cookery and cocktail gifts to those around. Some might call it luck, others destiny, which brought this dynamic duo to town, but now that they’re here, visitors and locals alike are reaping the tasty benefits in Downtown Savannah.
With their long-distance relationship, the eclectic and casual southern eatery with a twist, Treylor Park, was born on Bay Street. When the two finally reunited—with Kunzi, a playwright on Broadway, making the move from New York City to Savannah, following Wilder’s lead after two years—Hitch made its debut into the southern restaurant scene in July 2016.
Offering an array of exceptionally eccentric dishes, many of which were once specials at Treylor Park or favorites on its menu, Hitch takes “Southern food with a twist” up a notch.
In addition to the popular Treylor Park Nachos, Chicken Pancake Tacos and PB&J Wings, Hitch’s menu features a completely new array of eggrolls, salads, local plates, pizzas and “shares,” or shareable plates.
“The menu’s about 30 percent the same, but it’s the same style of food,” Wilder revealed. “Most of our food items that we do here, we ran as specials at Treylor Park and they worked.”
But these aren’t anyone’s classic entrees—Hitch’s eggroll selection includes a Cheese Steak Eggroll with marinated ribeye, cheddar cheese, bell peppers and caramelized onions with a beer cheese dipping sauce, a Duck Pot Pie Eggroll with slow cooked duck, peas, carrots, corn, onions, celery and asparagus with a herb foie gras sauce with an onion marmalade, and a Shrimp Po Boy Eggroll with cabbage, caramelized onions, bell peppers and shrimp with a Cajun cream dipping sauce.
Additional shareable starlets on their menu include the Chili Hummus, Sausage/Cheese Beignets, Fried Quail and Donuts and Lamb Pops. Their taco selection has come to include an Ahi Tuna Taco and Chorizo Taco, while a Duck Confit Pizza and Carpaccio Pizza made their debut in the pizza section, with Miyagi Wings and Smoked Bacon Bourbon Wings coming out as well.
These flirtatious fares tempt the likes of many inside the space formerly known as Granite, on Liberty and Drayton streets across from the Hilton DeSoto Hotel. Kunzi and Wilder transformed it from a modern yet elegant fine dining establishment to a friendly, spacious eatery and bar that just feels good to be in.
Maybe it’s the exposed brick walls and the wooden ceiling or the refurbished wood bar and local artists’ work in the space; either way, all of their “Treylor Park” touches—be it the textures, copper flair or bicycle cruisers—give Hitch the look of a modern saloon with the feel of a friend’s house.
“It all came together, I think, a lot nicer than we anticipated,” Wilder exclaimed.
But it wouldn’t have been possible without Executive Chef Marvin Sterling III, who moved from Ruth Chris to Treylor Park, where he helped Wilder tweak and perfect their playful plates.
“He fit in perfectly; he last piece of the puzzle,” Wilder pointed out.
But the trio’s bromance isn’t the only thing brewing. Hitch is partnering with Southbound to release a Fernet-Branca barrel-aged beer this fall, so be sure to follow them closely on Facebook and keep an eye out for the celebration. It’s bound to bring more of the community into their doors.
“We just want the neighborhood to appreciate us as much as we embrace them—that’s always been our goal,” Kunzi explained. “When we tell our staff what Treylor Park is, it’s a mindset, it’s a lifestyle. It’s like throwing a party at your house—you want everyone to try something, make sure they always have what they want and that they really enjoy themselves.”
“And make sure they leave happy, and come back and tell their friends,” Wilder added.
Where will this terrific team go next? Wilder said they’re on the lookout for the perfect beach bar—something they’ve been itching to open since their New York City days—but Kunzi’s quick to point out that it’s all about finding the right location and the right mix.
“Asheville, Hilton Head, Athens, Jacksonville, Atlanta, St. Augustine, Tybee—those have all kind of been thrown around. It just depends. We kind of got our feelers out everywhere,” Wilder said.
For now, Hitch is the new hot spot on the block, but who knows, maybe our own Tybee Island will get its own “Treylor Park” soon.
Hitch is located at 300 Drayton St. and open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-midnight and Saturday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-midnight. For more information, call Hitch at (912) 239-6970.