Located in the heart of Savanah, Georgia.
The property where the restaurant sits today began as the first experimental agricultural garden in America back in 1733. The property provided an abundance of cotton and the peaches Georgia is so famous for. A year later, a small brick building was erected to house the property’s gardener. The Herb House still stands today and is the oldest standing structure in the entire state.
Savannah soon became a booming seaport with sailors coming and going. As the city’s needs changed, the property became a residential area to provide housing for these visitors. In 1753, the inn and tavern building was built on the property. Today that building houses The Haunted Pirate House Restaurant.
The close proximity of the inn to the Savannah River drew many sailors and pirates alike looking for a place to drink and rest. The inn and tavern soon became a bustling establishment with all kinds of intriguing guests and suspicious behavior. Underground tunnels were even created to make these shady happenings more discreet.
These tunnels ran from the inn to the Savannah River. Rumor has it that this network of tunnels allowed pirates to kidnap inebriated men and take them secretly to their ships. Many would wake up, shocked to find themselves aboard a ship at sea. They quickly would come to find out that they had unknowingly become indentured servants to their pirate kidnappers.
This lewd behavior would continue for many years. The inn and tavern became a home for wicked and insidious activity. Many shied away from the establishment for its unsavory reputation as a hotbed of crime and drunken disruptions.
Eventually, the area was abandoned and quickly became run down and dilapidated. Many years later, in 1945, Mary Hillyer would take on the task of bringing new life to the historical district. She leveraged the board of her husband’s Savannah Gas Company to invest in rehabilitating the area. Her and her husband, the company’s president, embarked on a seven-year project to restore The Haunted Pirate House and nearby buildings.
The restaurant was reopened as a tea room in 1953. It became a fabulous eatery with an evolving menu and cozy dining room. It soon became a popular dining destination in Savannah. It would also eventually house a jazz club before becoming the restaurant, bar, and gift shop that it is today.