In the spring of 2016, Julie Donaldson Lowenthal’s family restaurant, Johnny Harris, closed its doors after over 90 years in business. Julie ’79 explained that this was a very emotional time for her family, as the restaurant’s senior partners made the decision.
Julie and her husband, BJ, along with their oldest son, Corbin A. Parker '06, had several ideas about the possibility of creating another restaurant concept in Savannah, tempered with thoughts on whether opening something new was the right path to take. After careful consideration, they decided to open BowTie Barbecue Company.
Corbin had developed a line of specialty BBQ sauces that were based off of the flavor profile of the Johnny Harris brand. It seemed only fitting to incorporate the success of these sauces into a restaurant, thus creating the framework for the new concept.
The restaurant opened on September 29th, 2016. Along with barbecue and fried chicken, BowTie features an original and upscale twist on southern favorites and many options are locally sourced when available. Corbin has also compiled an extensive selection of local and regional craft beer on 21 taps as well as bottles that are showcased in “The Garage” — the nickname for BowTie’s bar. An impressive selection of bourbon and inventive cocktails round out the offerings that help attract a loyal following. On sunny days and cool nights, the garage doors are open and customers can enjoy dining under the umbrellas on the patio as well.
This has been a fun endeavor for the family, and they can usually be spotted at the restaurant either working or eating with family on any given day. Brennan M. Lowenthal '12 has also joined the team and is in management training. Creating something new is always challenging and comes with many unknown risks, but the opportunity was too enticing to ignore for these Country Day alumni. With hard work, they hope to be creating memories for the next 90 years!