SavorHood brings the food hall experience to Gettysburg
By Karen Hendricks | Photography by Casey Martin
While Gloryridge Tavern, Gettysburg’s new restaurant destination, feels worlds away from bustling downtown, it’s less than seven miles from Lincoln Square. Nestled in nature, perched on a hillside between Gettysburg and Fairfield, its sweeping view includes a new perspective on the Gettysburg battlefield below.
Since the 1950s, there’s been a restaurant at 985 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg: Bankert’s, the Stonehenge, Big Bopper’s and, for the past 27 years, The Pike. But 2023 ushered in a new era of dining.
SavorHood opened its doors in April following a $1.5 million renovation and transformation into a unique concept for Gettysburg—a food hall—with 10 restaurants in one.
“The name SavorHood came about because we wanted it to have a community feel—like a neighborhood block party—but we also wanted to acknowledge that the food is fresh and delicious, for people to savor. Hence, SavorHood,” says Judy Morley, 58, chief experience officer and majority owner with her husband Steve Burton, 60.
Whatever you do, don’t call SavorHood a food court. Mall-style fast food under heat lamps isn’t what SavorHood is about. Instead, it’s a team approach to fast-casual restaurant dining. Each of the 10 concepts is headed up by a chef.
“We wanted to allow chefs who can’t afford to get into brick-and-mortar spaces on their own to come into a place like this. It’s a win-win on both sides, for them and the customer,” says Judy. “If people say, ‘Oh, you’re a food court,’ I kind of cringe … because all of our chefs make their food fresh.”
On a recent mid-morning, chefs were prepping, chopping and stirring—ramping up for the day. In the large shared kitchen, amid friendly chatter, Tony from Latino Fusion was making Carne Asada. Meantime, Alyssa of Sunshine Fries was prepping potatoes, while Tex of Tex’s Lone Star BBQ was concocting his all-important spice mix.
Camraderie, it turns out, is one of the most essential ingredients at SavorHood.
“I think the biggest piece of leadership is the ability to collaborate and be empathetic with those you’re working with. Everybody’s here because they have their own purpose,” Judy says.
Leadership is her lane. Armed with a Ph.D. in American history and a master’s in conscious leadership, she’s on the faculty of The Lincoln Leadership Institute at Gettysburg—
a position that propelled the Colorado couple to Gettysburg.
“I taught Civil War history at the University of Colorado for 12 years,” says Judy, who had never lived outside Colorado until now. “The oldest building in Denver is from 1871, and here I am living in Gettysburg. I’m a little starstruck.”
Meantime, her husband’s wheelhouse is business. Tilford’s Woodfired Pizza, one of SavorHood’s
10 concepts, is owned by the couple. They launched Tilford’s out West as a food truck, then transitioned into a food hall, popular in Denver.
As tenants, they learned how food halls operated and thrived amid the pandemic, bouncing back faster than standard restaurants. Judy describes her husband as a serial entrepreneur who did his market research:
Since 2014, the restaurant industry has been stagnant, except for one growing category: fast-casual restaurants like Chipotle, offering fresh food without the wait.
When The Pike went up for sale in March 2022, Steve Burton’s vision of introducing a food hall to Gettysburg came into focus. Extensive renovations converted the restaurant’s front porch into a four-season room, an outdoor patio area was added and the central hallway, where diners now arrive, was widened.
Guests can step up to the front counters of any of the 10 eateries to place orders—or they can scan the tabletop QR code to combine dishes from different eateries on one single order.
A World of Options
“It’s great for families, because everyone can find something to enjoy,” says Kate Hill, co-owner of SavorHood concept C3 Philly Cheesesteaks & Wings. At C3, she and husband Tony offer the top three menu items—cheesesteaks, wings and deep-fried deviled eggs—from their flagship downtown Gettysburg food truck, CJ’s Takeout & Late Night Bites.
“We saw it as a good opportunity. We were ready to expand but didn’t want the challenges of running an entire restaurant. SavorHood takes those responsibilities,” says Kate.
“It’s fast and efficient; our average ticket time is two minutes,” says Kyle “Tex” Mayo, of Tex’s Lone Star BBQ. Even though his ribs, brisket and pulled pork are served quickly, they’re cooked slowly. That’s the secret to good Texas barbecue, he says, gesturing toward his outdoor smokers.
“I’ve been smoking for over 10 years [and]been a restaurant owner for over 10 years. I used to have a place in Chambersburg before I opened here,” says Tex, pointing and adding, “There’s one of my old customers from Chambersburg coming in, right now.”
Meanwhile, Carolyn Gerber and her daughter are sharing a Brussels Pizza, Prosciutto Pizza and Caprese Salad. From North Carolina, they’re visiting SavorHood and Gettysburg for the first time, amid Mid-Atlantic college visits.
“We were impressed by the variety. We’re happy we stumbled on it,” Carolyn says. “When our college tours were done, we decided to visit the [Gettysburg] National Military Park and Cemetery, and we drove past and thought it had lots of options.”
From barbecue and beer to crabcakes and cookies, SavorHood offers flavors for all: street tacos from Latino Fusion Street Tacos & Bowls, crabcake sandwiches from CJ’s Seafood, with soda fountain drinks or something stronger from Liquid Art Taproom & Bar. Dessert options include Mr. G’s Ice Cream or treats from the Gettysburg Cookie Company—owned by Judy—which makes use of a tiny former DJ booth.
“A cookie business was always a dream of mine,” Judy explains. “Because I’m a crazy Gettysburg person, all my cookie names are related to the battlefield. The best-seller is Wheatfield Chocolate Chip, but my favorite is the Peach Orchard Cookie, which has dried peaches in a basic vanilla cookie, with praline pecans and white chocolate chips.”
She’s truly savoring the success of SavorHood and life in Gettysburg. “I survived stage four lymphoma,” Judy explains. “I believe a lot of it is mindset—here I am, 25 years later. To me, every year since age 33 has been a gift.”
Eateries Inside SavorHood:
C3 Philly Cheesesteaks & Wings
CJ’s American Grille
Gettysburg Cookie Company
Latino Fusion Street Tacos & Bowls
Mr. G’s Ice Cream
Sunshine Fries & Potatahs
Tex’s Lone Star BBQ
Tilford’s Wood Pizza
SavorHood, 985 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg
Just as we were going to print, news broke that Liquid Art Brewing (formerly Roy-Pitz) is closing all locations, including their taproom at SavorHood. Judy Morley looks forward to bringing a new brewery partner to SavorHood soon.