In his 15 years as a commercial developer, perhaps no project has been quite so close to Guy Davidson’s heart—or stomach—as Starland Yard, the food truck park he and partners Pila Sunderland and Niko Ormond will open this fall in a 15,000-square-foot stretch of Whitaker Street, just behind Desoto Row. Though the concept is a years-long labor of love, Davidson’s excitement is fresh as ever when he talks about the launch.
What factors led you to create Starland Yard?
Savannah has a giant need for a vibrant food-truck scene, and we have an opportunity to be the catalyst for that. We’ve drawn inspiration from the best food truck parks around the country to create something truly authentic and unique for our beloved Savannah.
Why is the Starland community the right place for this?
Starland is quickly becoming one of the most distinctive neighborhoods in the downtown/midtown area, and it remains beautifully in touch with its blue-collar roots and artistic influences. It’s bikeable and walkable from downtown, and we hope to draw tourists searching for more authentic local experiences. Simply put, it’s the perfect place, at the perfect time.
In a nutshell, what’s the scope of the project?
Starland Yard will act as a facilitator and curator of the neighborhood vibe, offering a variety of food truck options, a brick-and-mortar ice cream shop, and, since this is Savannah, a fully stocked bar. Our venue will be family-friendly, safe and a great option for people who might not agree on what to eat or drink, but agree they’re looking for a good time together. The size and location of this property just begs for something social and lively, a place for family and friends to gather. We think of it as Savannah’s 25th square.
Who are you working with to bring Starland Yard to fruition?
This is truly a collaborative effort, and at this stage it’s difficult to name everyone whose talents will be called upon. Suffice it to say, we’re all friends with young families who agree that we’ve got a rare and special opportunity to create some magic for Savannah’s culinary talents, both emerging and established. Starland Yard derives its personality from the vendors, and the community they serve. We are simply facilitators, and we can’t wait to get started.
What new opportunities will Starland Yard offer Savannah?
Savannah has been experiencing a growth spike over the past several years, and one of the challenges of growth is the unintended limiting of opportunities for up-and-coming and affordable restaurant concepts. We are excited to feature established operators like Big Bon, Chazitos and the Treylor Park/Hitch team, among many others. We’re equally excited to see what new energy Starland Yard can incubate throughout the local culinary scene. Can you imagine what Mashama Bailey could do at the helm of a food truck? Think about an Atlantic pop-up, or a Collins Quarter brunch truck. The possibilities are as exciting as they are endless, and we hope Starland Yard creates a platform for established operators to mentor Savannah’s next generation of culinary creativity.