Since 1942, we've been proudly serving Savannah's patrons and visitors.
When you walk into Johnnie Ganem's with three generations of Ganem's on hand you are sure to find one to greet you with a smile. Louise Ganem, the original owner with her late husband, Johnnie, still runs the store along with her son, Paul and daughters Margaret Rose and Evelyn Anne. Louise's granddaughter, Marianne has recently come on board to join this Savannah Tradition.
We are proud to be extremely family oriented. We run Johnnie Ganem's with the same integrity that Johnnie Ganem, Sr. practiced through out his own life. This is a true Fun Family Affair!!
Johnnie Ganem’s has been proudly serving Savannah patrons and visitors for almost 70 years. Johnnie Ganem’s has been a family owned and operated business since opening its door in 1942. They are now welcoming the third generation of family members into the business.
Johnnie Ganem’s, started by the late Johnnie Ganem Sr., began as a package shop on the corner of Price and Gaston streets. Johnnie married Louise Thomas in 1945 and together they opened the current location at 501 Habersham Street in 1949. The current location was originally a package shop, bar, lounge and soda fountain with curb service and bicycle delivery, best known for handmade burgers and deviled crab. In the early 1950’s lunch business was doing so well Johnnie and Louise expanded to the Habersham House Restaurant. As the late 50’s approached the Ganem’s purchased the adjacent building and the ground floor was utilized for the famous Steak Ranch featuring hand cut steaks cooked over live charcoal. The famous “Garbage Steak” was a 12 oz choice cut of prime tenderloin seasoned and aged to perfection. The choice tenderloin had to be cut and eaten in the same day, if not it was garbage, hence the name “Garbage Steak.” Johnnie was also famous for his renowned creamed crabmeat soup.
The “Rebel Room” opened in 1961 as a supper club on Friday and Saturday evenings for dining and dancing. Photos of Confederate officers hung on the walls of this dining room are copies of the ones that hang in the Library of Congress, presented to the Ganem’s by Sen. Herman Tallmadge. Off the Rebel Room is a smaller room for private parties. Johnnie named it the “Uncle Willie Room” because he said, “everyone in the Deep South had an Uncle Willie!”
Johnnie Ganem Sr. could usually be found at the restaurant to greet all patrons with a warm and welcoming smile. He was a proud Savannahian! He was the president of the restaurant association and participated in several civic organizations.
Johnnie passed away March 17, 1972. He enjoyed all holidays but especially St. Patrick’s Day. This holiday gave him the opportunity to visit and reminisce with many old friends and family. On March 17th he often referred to himself as Johnnie O’Ganem! He loved a celebration of any kind. His family still gathers the weekend closest to St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate his memory.
With the migration of many activities moving to the south side of Savannah, Johnnie Ganem’s closed the restaurant in 1981. The package shop remained open with the addition of a fresh deli. The building was restructured to offer a larger wine selection while maintaining the finest catering service, with banquet facilities in the Rebel Room.
Now, in 2011 Johnnie Ganem’s is proud to offer Savannah the best selection of domestic and imported wine, beer and spirits. Johnnie Ganem’s has the only commercial temperature controlled wine cellar in the southeast. Johnnie Ganem’s also offers wine counseling, with wine pairing, terms, and flavors. They still specialize in the best bar catering service in town. The Rebel Room is still available for private parties and they frequently host wine tastings in the Rebel Room.
All the information can be found on their website johnnieganem.com. You can also friend request Johnnie Ganem’s on Facebook to stay up to date of all events and specials, and don't forget to follow us on Twitter!!
Thank You for an amazing 70 years, Savannah!!
We look forward to serving you for many more!
The Ganem Family