Spells keep tradition in place at George's

DEBORAH WHEELER 267-4555 | @WaltonSunDeb dwheeler@waltonsun.com
The grouper sandwich with fries is very popular at George's.

George's in Alys Beach has been the centerpiece and heart of its community since seasoned restaurateurs George and Ann Hartley opened it in 2009.

Located on 30A's east end, the little casual and fine-dining restaurant has always been a favorite of locals, visitors, and has served its share of celebrities since the day it opened.

Described as a place foodies go, the eatery serves regional coastal fare infused with global flavors, serving vegan or vegetarian dishes on its "behaving" menu, as well as tasty "misbehaving" dishes.

Designed to be a place anyone can walk in and order a tasty lunch with friends, and then return for a fine-dining experience under low lights at night, George's has always fit the bill and then some.

The Hartleys sold George's at the end of 2014 to Christy and Rick Spell of Memphis, who are homeowners in Alys Beach, and frequent visitors.

After purchasing, the Spells have left everything pretty much the same at the restaurant, including the name, since reopening in January of 2015.

Christy is the managing partner and onsite frequently, while Rick continues to be more hands on at their Memphis restaurant, Brookhaven Pub & Grill.

At George's the menu changes seasonally to serve local and fresh as possible seafood and vegetables.

A winter menu is currently being served, but a new menu will debut in April offering tasty spring dishes.

Executive Chef Camille Withall is assisted by sous chefs Jimmy Boerma and Erik Kellison in the kitchen.

General Manager is Patrick Miller, who came with the Spells from Memphis.

"We want to continue the tradition that Ann and George created here," said Christy. "We strive to treat our guests like they are dining in our home. The menu has basically stayed the same with the same signature items -- fish tacos, grilled grouper, etc., and will change seasonally to use items that are freshest in that season. We have taken what they have done and enhanced but not tried to change.

George's is currently open Mondays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m.

Beginning May 1, George's will open on Sundays for lunch and dinner.