Raising the Bar in The Sparetime (EyR7)

By Scott Boylston

Savannah is well known for its love of old buildings and chilled cocktails. Thanks to Clara Fishel, proprietor of The Sparetime, we can talk about both of them in one post. Clara, former proprietor of the amazing Cafe Metropole, and a sustainability advocate in her own right, opened The Sparetime several months ago, and Emergent Structures is thrilled to see materials reclaimed from one of our sites smack dab in the middle of the action.

Supporting excellent projects like Emergent Structures and using reclaimed materials whenever possible are just the beginnings of what businesses can do to lessen their negative environmental impacts,” Clara said. “The Sparetime is dedicated to doing more, and always on the lookout for like-minded collaborators.

A few months before opening her new establishment, Clara called us with a vision of a center bar constructed from reclaimed wood. Soon after, Anders Thomsen of Anders Thomsen + Cabinets and I were rummaging through the interior of the Jones Street house that Emergent Structures has been deconstructing for materials that would be suitable for the bar.

Clara, who runs the bar with her sister Jane Fishel, said of Anders  “He’s a brilliant craftsman—he managed to create a contemporary, functional piece within the parameters of my crazy design ideas.

The Jone Street house, thanks to Materialanthropists Debra and Chuck Caldwell, has been the source of materials for projects ranging from the Shuman Elementary garden to the Thrive outdoor eating area. And now, some of these materials have found yet another home amidst the alchemic cocktails, old world wines, craft beers, Neapolitan-style pizzas, and live music of The Sparetime.

Anders picked out some of the 1 x 6 yellow pine that was reclaimed from the house’s basement, slapped it on the top of his van, and was off and planing (and planning, of course) in no time at all. The results are a surprising blend of whimsy and functionality. And everyone raising a glass at The Sparetime owes their merriment to a stack of wood formerly destined for the landfilled…the untrashed, you might say, lending support to the soon-to-be trashed.

The Sparetime can be found at the corner of MLK and Congress Streets in Historic Downtown Savannah, Anders Thomsen Carpentry and Cabinets, located in nearby Bloomington, is a family owned business that specializes in cabinetry, furniture making, carpentry, and woodcraft.


  1. Phantom Rock says

    I look forward to reclaiming some spare time and investing it in some spirits at this attractive place.

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