For years, Glenn Wooten would drive by a small empty structure in Prices Corner en route to his catering business off of Kirkwood Highway thinking to himself that the “cute little” former post office and photo mat would be an ideal retail venue for his food.
Inspired by a vision for walk-up window service in the trailer-sized building, Wooten set about investigating the long-vacant property’s availability, even developing a scaled model of what would become what must be one of the first new drive-in restaurants to open in Delaware since the 1950s.
Today, Wooten, the owner of Appleton Catering, is celebrating the opening of Savannah’s – named for his granddaughter – an adorable, cheerful sandwich shop draped in the vivid colors of ketchup and mustard.
Appleton Catering is a quarter mile down the road. “For 10 years I’ve been driving past this, and I looked at it like ‘this needs to be something.’ It’s a great little location, and I wondered why it was so empty for so long.”
The post office closed in 1996, and even the shopping center property owners didn’t know there was a little structure in the middle of a parking lot behind Prices Corner (near Firestone Tires) that was available to lease. But Wooten convinced the owners that indeed there was an abandoned structure that that had the promise of something more. “I made them an offer, and here I am!”
Wooten applied a few coats of paint, had a large sign made, designed a ½ barn door where customers place their orders, and strung lights all around the place. “At night this place lights up like a Christmas tree — it’s unbelievable.”
The food stop is open from 11 am to dusk Monday through Saturday.
Wooten parked a new trailer behind the façade, where food warmers and other new food equipment crank out the chili dogs and pulled pork sandwiches. Because it’s not a full kitchen, the slow-cooked pork, cole slaw, sauerkraut and baked beans are made in house at the catering operation down the street. Even the brownies and cookies are homemade. The walk-up eatery also offers other salty snacks and loads of drinks that they keep cold in coolers.
“We don’t have a full hood and ansul system, and we don’t have fryers p so no French fries. But we make our own chili, our own bar-be-cue and all of our own toppings. It’s simple –hot dogs and bar-be-cue and lots of good stuff to go with them.”
Cook Robby Smith made up a bar-be-cue sandwich with Cole slaw on a large, fresh and soft hoagie roll for TSD. The sandwich was delicious, the sauce incredibly tasty. We needed a few more napkins since we weren’t eating at a table. But we will definitely grab lunch there again if we’re in the area.
Savannah’s is located on Newport Gap Pike off of Kirkwood Highway, behind Habitat for Humanity Restore, McDonald’s and the Prices Corner Shopping Center. Just look for the ketchup red and mustard yellow.