Waters Café open for business

The new cafe hopes to be the first of many new businesses opening along Waters Avenue
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 1:28 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - In July of last year, WTOC first told you about the plans to renovate an old abandoned building on Waters Avenue into Waters Café.

Well, just about a week ago they officially opened their doors to the public with the goal of bringing life, affordable food and a little color back to this area of town.

“As you turn the corner on Waters Avenue and see this coming down the street it feels much like when Dorothy stepped out into Oz and it turns into technicolor and comes to life,” said Savannah District 4 Alderman Nick Palumbo.

For Waters Café owner Clinton Edminster bringing Waters Avenue back to life was always part of the plan.

“I was just enchanted by this area and I feel like a lot of us has felt it, like, ‘where has Waters Avenue gone? Why is nothing happening, why has nothing really stuck?’”

So, Edminster took it upon himself to hopefully change that, starting with a once abandoned building.

“It’s not a big space but the idea here is really big. What we’re trying to do is a big thing.”

To accomplish this ‘big thing’ Edminster sought out help from the community.

“Really from the get-go, from the ground floor, we wanted to make people feel part of it and they are. Literally all the tables all the chairs have names.”

Raising money for the café by selling the naming rights to, well, anything and anyone.”

“Farty McFartFace and some other ones I probably can’t say on TV,” laughed Edminster.

Edminster sold naming rights to nearly everything in the cafe to raise money
Edminster sold naming rights to nearly everything in the cafe to raise money(Sam Bauman WTOC)

But that’s not the only way he’s offering locals a chance to be part of Waters Café.

“You can get a Waters Café t-shirt that’s produced right across the street at Studio 13,” said Alderman Palumbo.

Bringing the community and local business together while aiming to address a very real issue.

“There’s a huge need for affordable food in this area and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do and exactly what we’re trying to deliver,” Edminster says.

Working to keep prices down and quality high.

“A grilled cheese with jalapenos for $5 and a $2 cup of coffee, you won’t find many places like that in Savannah. I really appreciate the model here that it’s for the community by the community,” said Alderman Palumbo.

So, sure Waters Café has a unique look, “it looks like psychedelic grandma’s house,” joked Palumbo, but maybe it’s just a reflection of our community, colorful, a little quirky and a little messy, that wouldn’t be the same without each one of us playing as part of it.

“I hope we do see more businesses around this area that are unique and small and built up with just as much love as we’ve been able to put in here. That could create an incredible community,” Edminster says.