Zunzi’s opening new location on Tybee Island

Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 3:24 PM EST
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TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WTOC) - Zunzi’s in Savannah is getting ready to expand to Tybee Island.

Folks with Tybee Island Main Street say what this means is that Tybee has become a place where people want to do business. They say the island had 6 million visits last year and any time a new business opens it adds to the overall experience people have when they come here.

“It’s just another opportunity for us to join a community and hopefully do good things together,” said Chris Smith, the owner of Zunzi’s and Zunzibar.

Chris Smith, the Owner of Zunzi’s and Zunzibar, says it’s been a goal of his to find a piece of property on Tybee. When Gerald’s Pig and Shrimp off Highway 80 went up for sale, it was a no brainer.

“Just an amazing piece of property and so I quickly reached out and we had a lease done in about 45 days.”

Smith applied for an entertainment license through the City of Tybee and according to the city the restaurant got approval. Since then, the building has been getting a facelift.

Smith says people can expect the same menu here as the Savannah location, but some items on the menu may have a Tybee twist. He says he hopes visitors and locals will enjoy their unique cuisine and environment.

“We’re going to shoot to have live music during peak season almost every day. We’re going to keep it simple and focused on a great guest experience. Things that our guests have loved for many years downtown.”

But it’s not only about a new cuisine experience for islanders. Cassadi Kendrick the Executive Director of the island’s Main Street program says it’s about giving people more dining options and more places to find work.

“Just getting creative with recruiting new people to come out here and work will not just help a new business but could also help the existing businesses out here too,” said Kendrick.

Kendrick says this growth further markets the island and encourages people, who might not otherwise, to choose Tybee as a place to go.

“Hopefully with their locations in Savannah some of the crowds that visit those locations come out and experience the Tybee location. They could’ve picked a lot of other places, but they picked Tybee.”

There’s also talk about another well-known restaurant in Savannah opening a location on the island as well. The city says paperwork for it hasn’t been filed yet, so stick with WTOC for that update.