Former Co-Founder at Savannah’s Alley Cat Lounge Hits the Ground Running with Elevated Beach Bar Concept
Zunzi’s, the Savannah-based fast casual concept known for its award winning sandwiches, is pleased to announce the addition of Scott Marshall to its team as director of beverage for its sister-bar concept, Zunzibar.
Marshall is a longtime fixture of Savannah’s bar scene, known for his tenure at Alley Cat Lounge and the 22 Square Bar in the Andaz Hotel. Before that, he worked in Boston, including a stint with esteemed bartenders John Gertsen and Misty Kalkofen at the popular nightspot Drink.
“I’ve been a fan of Zunzi’s for a long time,” Marshall says. “In fact, my wife and I had our first date at the original Zunzi’s location. And I love the Zunzibar concept. I couldn’t be happier to be part of such a fantastic team and a fantastic concept.”
“Scott is a great bartender, a great mixologist and a great leader, but more importantly, a great human being,” says Zunzi’s + Zunzibar owner Chris Smith. “I was a big fan of Alley Cat Lounge, which he co-founded and ran for several years. I’m thrilled with what he’s come up with so far, and I can’t wait to see where he takes our beverage program as we continue to grow. Everybody in Savannah knows Scott has a passion for the bar business and mixology, but what I have come to find out is he is most passionate about sharing his wealth of knowledge and experience with others. That characteristic is exactly what we need as we expand with franchising and corporate locations.”
Marshall’s first priority has been reinvigorating Zunzibar’s drink program. Zunzibar regulars can expect to see old favorites like the Hot ‘Rita along with newer creations like Sun N’ Roses, which Marshall describes as a classic whiskey smash, and Watercolor, a colorful concoction with watermelon, basil and Empress 1908 gin. These will be complemented by three or four seasonal cocktails that change every three months or so.
“We are getting ready to roll out our new fall cocktail menu during ZUNZIFEST! on Tuesday, Sept. 13,” says Marshall. “We will use the opportunity to get our local fans ready to come back every afternoon through football season and beyond and will be switching up a couple of our house cocktails, one of our frozen drinks and adding a couple of new flavors to our Free-Flow (bottomless) mimosas.”
Zunzi’s also has embarked on its first corporate spirit alliance with Papa’s Pillar rum. “We have selected our own barrel of their dark rum with an added finishing nap in sherry casks. It is being bottled and labeled as we speak, so it should be available in September for flights in the bar or for guests to take a bottle home, wherever home may be,” says Marshall.
Just as exciting for Marshall is the opportunity to help Zunzi’s fulfill its stated mission of helping others become the best versions of themselves. “I’ve always been an employee-first kind of person, and Chris and I really connect on that level,” Marshall says. “There aren’t a lot of companies that make taking care of their employees and helping to develop them a primary goal. And Zunzi’s commitment to community service plays into that, as well, which I’m really jazzed about. Yes, we serve food and drinks, but we can have much more of an impact on the people around us.”
To help guests get through these trying financial times, Zunzi’s + Zunzibar has created some amazing promotions in addition to its monthly ZUNZIFEST! appreciation event. The 86/26 promotion gives 26% off to service industry employees every day of the week from 2-6 p.m., and during the new Golden Hour happy hour, all guests get half off all bar orders from 5-7 p.m. every day.
“Between these promotions and our monthly ZUNZIFEST!, I could not be happier to be part of this amazing company and look forward to seeing how much we can give back,” Marshall adds.
Zunzi’s first opened its doors in 2005 with the sole purpose of filling the tummies of college students at the Savannah College of Art and Design with home-cooked meals. Since then, Zunzi’s South African-inspired menu has won the hearts of not only SCAD students but also locals and tourists visiting Savannah. By popular demand, Zunzi’s expanded to Atlanta, Georgia, and opened a second location in May 2018. In 2021, Zunzi’s relocated its original Savannah location and added Zunzibar, its sister beach-bar concept. Zunzi’s + Zunzibar is now focused on further expansion by opening company locations in Florida and franchising the hybrid concept in the Southeast. In 2022, Zunzi’s earned a spot on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list, and CEO Chris Smith was recognized among Fast Casual’s Top 25 Executives. In 2020, Smith was named among QSR’s “15 Young Restaurant Leaders to Watch.” In 2019, Zunzi’s landed on Thrillist’s compilation of “The 33 Best Sandwiches in America,” and the eatery’s Conquistador was named the best sandwich in Georgia on People magazine’s “Best Sandwich in Every State” list. In 2017, Zunzi’s secured a spot on Mental Floss’ list of “The Best Sandwiches in all 50 States” and BuzzFeed’s “34 Meals That are Actually Worth Traveling the World For.” Zagat also rated the Savannah location’s food a 4.6/5. The Conquistador was ranked among Men’s Journal’s “50 Best Sandwiches in America,” in 2015 and “Best Sandwich in the South” by Travel Channel’s Adam Richman in 2012. For more information, photos and menus, visit zunzis.com. For franchise information, please visit www.franchisewithpurpose.com.