Marcellus, new rooftop Italian restaurant, announced for downtown Brunswick

·2 min read

Aug. 5—Chris Grantt hopes to have his new restaurant open by the end of the year — and it may be Brunswick's first rooftop restaurant.

Located in the Kress building on Newcastle Street, it'll be called Marcellus, which — similarly to his other downtown food venture, Reid's Apothecary — is named after a family member. In this case, his great, great, great grandfather, Marcellus Clay. Clay was of Italian descent but was American, and spent much of his like in New Orleans, Louisiana, and around Texas.

"I dug deep into our family and found out a lot about Marcellus," Gantt said. "He was the original Reid's father."

Gantt's family has a long, unbroken line of sons with the first or middle name Reid, and with Reid's Apothecary he wanted to make sure the legacy carried on in some shape or form. The same is true of Marcellus, the Italian restaurant, preserving some of Clay's Italian heritage.

The menu is currently in development — or evolution, as Gantt says — but it's going to be North Italian faire, lots of pasta and steak dishes, with some seafood.

"Think about a fresh steak, in the middle, tapas and pasta around the table you can mix and match," Gantt said.

The menu will always be seasonal and fresh, he says, sourced as locally as he can get it.

The idea for Italian food came from the fact that options are limited in the Golden Isles. He's got nothing against Dave Snyder's Tramici on St. Simons Island, but he's all about promoting Brunswick.

He hopes to provide the city with more good food and good values. By good values, he means a few things. One is being kind to his employees, and the other is giving back to the community that supports his business.

"Brunswick deserves so much more than we're giving it right now," Gantt said. "That's what we mean by good values.

Tommy McGraw, the building's owner, had not returned a request for comment by 1:30 p.m.

McGraw, a businessman based in Charleston, South Carolina, and a Glynn Academy graduate, bought the old Kress building in 2021. Now branded The Kress, the building's social media page bills it as a "mindful renovation of the historic Kress Building in Downtown Brunswick, GA, enhancing the unique."

He told The News last year that a rock-climbing gym had been pitched for first floor, built in 1909 as a five-and-dime department store. The second floor had been designated for residences, he told The News at the time.