The historic Pirates’ House is thought to be the oldest standing building in the entire state and today serves as a restaurant. The site was built on land originally slated for a neighborhood botanical garden in the Savannah Historic District, which never did pan out.
A small gardening building called the Herb House was added to the plot in 1734 and was later transformed into an inn and tavern for visiting seamen about 20 years later. The Pirates’ House became the scourge of the neighborhood, earning a poor reputation for drunken sailors that went missing here. The city was full of underground tunnels, with Pirates’ House being right at the entrance to one, and it was generally agreed that if a drunken sailor wandered off, he would likely never be found again.
For some literary history, take a look at the walls of the Captain’s Room and the Treasure Room, which hold rare early edition pages of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. The current owners allege that one of Stevenson’s characters, Captain Flint, died in the upstairs bedroom and still haunts the house. Since Flint is a fictional character, there is no historical proof that any of this is true.
In 1948, Pirates’ House transformed the house into the restaurant and museum that it is today, with 15 dining rooms.
Pirates’ House is located at 20 East Broad Street in Savannah. Lunch is served from 11am to 4pm and there is a Southern-style buffet available from 11am to 3pm. Dinner is served Sunday through Thursday from 4 to 9:30pm and from 4pm to10pm on Friday and Saturday.