Carey Hilliard’s was founded in 1960 with its first location on Skidaway Road when Carey Hilliard opened his restaurant dream in the old National Root Beer stand on the corner of Skidaway Rd. and Sunset Drive. This was Carey’s second attempt at the restaurant business and it was a huge success. Upon taking over the closed National Root Beer stand, at this location, Carey and his wife- Kathleen served forty people their opening day. Drive-In Diners were in their “hay-day” at this time. Customers driving by in their classic 1950’s and ‘60s cars were lured in by the sensational smell of hickory smoked Barbecue. The smoke (like a taunting dinner bell) rose above the restaurant whisping and whirling down Sunset Drive. It smelt like a summer’s day. Throughout the years our Skidaway location has continued to keep Carey’s legacy alive by serving up homemade seafood and barbecue right in the heart of Savannah – and yes, our drive-up is just as busy today as it was in the early days.
Today the Skidaway location has a new look, but still serves the same favorite meals it did back then. In August, 2018 Carey Hilliard’s finished a complete remodel of the Skidaway location with a bright coastal feel. Customers are greeted in the lobby with rustic shiplap wall with a large antique mirror centerpiece. Benches on either side of the lobby are white panel with soft gray cushions on top. Opposite, a dividing wall separates the dining room with an etched glass Carey Hilliard’s Crest. The crest itself is historic, as it was used on many of the first menus.
The new bar countertop is a light sparkling white quartz. Across from the counter are 2 new bistro tables for customers waiting on their counter orders.Above the counter the Carey Hilliard’s wooden crest hangs proudly, spotlighting the restaurant’s origins. Our regular customers especially, have enjoyed the new fresh, updated look, that ties in Carey Hilliard’s rich history of being the original location.
The large parking lot outside makes parking a breeze, and accommodates large tour groups nicely. Even with all this updating, the food is the same as it was 50 years ago. This is a favorite spot for hungry customers driving over the Thunderbolt bridge from Wilmington Island; from downtown Savannah it’s a short 8 minute drive; and it’s in the Thunderbolt community backyard; only 2 minutes away from Savannah’s historic Victory Drive.
You can visit our Skidaway location at 3316 Skidaway Road in Savannah seven days a week. We’re open Sunday through Thursday from 11am-12am and Friday and Saturday from 11am-1am for dine-in, drive-up or carry-out service. Click here to place an online order to pickup from our Skidaway location.