Crave Eatery celebrates two years

Published 7:00 am Friday, July 11, 2014

Crave Eatery in downtown Bainbridge is celebrating two successful years of operation this week. 

In conjunction with the celebration, the popular restaurant has awarded a couple of special prizes, such as dinner for two, plus a bottle of wine, which was won by Robert and Sarah Cohen on Thursday evening.

On Friday, one lucky winner received free lunch for a month by simply posting on Facebook why they love Crave.

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Crave’s creator and owner Lori Shiver said she believes the reason Crave has been successful is because of the consistency of their food, the loyal base of supporters and being in a downtown location — a location she believes is experiencing a rebirth.

She describes her menu as “twisted Southern eatery,” — a presentation of popular Southern foods changed up a bit into healthy ways of eating. “We like to use vegetables in a fresh way and we like to think we have tempted pallets and encouraged people to do more cooking.”

She said she doesn’t mind sharing most of her recipes, and is complimented when someone tells her they prepared one and loved it. However, some are strictly secret.

Shiver, a Bainbridge native, considered opening a restaurant here in the 80s; but was discouraged from doing so.

She left and went to South Florida where she joined a couple of friends in opening a café.

She spent ten years there in food service management, cutting her teeth in the tough competitive market of Palm Beach.

“I had to leave home, go out and get equipped to come back here and survive,” she said.

Shiver is continually making changes and trying new things. Early this summer she expanded out the back door and built a deck area called The Yard, where customers can eat, drink their favorite beverages and visit with friends while they listen to occasional live musical entertainment.

She envisions in the fall showing movies on the wall and coordinating the food and drink into the theme of the movie.

Currently she is working to develop a craft beer event offering such “manly” food as ribs. “We are working to address the misconception that this is just a chicken salad and humis place. Far from it,” she explains.

Since they began serving dinner on Thursday nights, the menu includes steaks, chops, prime rib, seafood entrees and the best crab cakes ever, just to name a few.

The décor is also unique, featuring the drawings of Bainbridge’s own Mary Cox.

“So many people have wanted to purchase our prints right off the wall, that we are working to obtain canvas prints of the drawings to sell,” Shiver said.

Crave Eatery is defying the long-held perception by Bainbridge residents that a good restaurant cannot survive here unless it is a buffet with fried chicken, catfish and barbecue.