Bonded by a common viewpoint on what makes for delicious food, Johno Morisano and Chef Mashama Bailey partnered to build The Grey in Historic Downtown Savannah. Occupying a 1938 art deco Greyhound Bus Terminal that they painstakingly restored to its original luster, The Grey offers a food, wine and service experience that is simultaneously familiar and elevated. Bringing her personal take on Port City Southern food to a city of her youth allows Mashama to tap into all of her experiences to create dishes that are deep, layered, and soulful in their flavors. With a penchant for regional produce, seafood and meats, guests will find a melting pot of surprising and comforting tastes in all of Mashama’s cooking with something new revealed in each and every visit. A focus on European wines, Atlantic Trade liquors, and warm, old-world hospitality are the additional elements necessary to provide a complete experience for guests. The Grey continues the building’s long tradition of transporting people to a destination, but that destination is now one of elevated hospitality and intrinsic satisfaction.
JOHN O. MORISANO, FOUNDING PARTNER
Johno is the product of a tight-knit Italian family, born and raised in New York City. He has been working in the world of media startups for most of his career which gave him the opportunity to travel extensively and develop his love for food and wine. In his free time, he and his wife travelled some more always driven by the location of their next meal. Food and wine has been their primary hobby and the common thread for their personal and professional relationships for the past two decades. After buying a home in Savannah in 2011, Johno started investing in the community he has come to love. The Grey, which was named Eater’s restaurant of the Year for 2017/18, is the result of his passions for building businesses, food, wine, people and energy coming together under one roof. Johno remained active in the Savannah community, giving back to local organizations by hosting lively events in The Yard, The Grey’s outdoor area, the proceeds of each benefitting a different local organization. He is also helping to reshape and expand the mission of the Edna Lewis Foundation, a Board he joined as Treasurer in 2016, which revives, preserves and celebrates the rich history of African American cookery in America. Johno spends time in Savannah and NYC, he adores his wife Carol more than words can express and he would be lost without his dogs Flounder and Otter.
MASHAMA BAILEY, EXECUTIVE CHEF and PARTNER
Mashama is a New York City girl – born in the Bronx and raised in Queens. Her maternal roots hail from Waynseboro, GA and as a result Mashama attended grammar school in Savannah at Charles Ellis and spent many summers at her grandmother’s in Waynesboro. Mashama learned to cook at the hands of the women in her family with grandmothers, aunts and her mom giving her the best kind of education – a real world one. She attended ICE to round out that education and has studied in France and travelled far for food. She spent a dozen years cooking throughout New York City the last four of which were at Prune on Manhattan’s Lower East Side under the tutelage of her friend and mentor, Gabrielle Hamilton. As executive chef of The Grey, Mashama has earned a number of accolades, including a nomination as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Southeast award in 2018. She also serves as Vice Chairman on the board of the Edna Lewis Foundation, working to preserve and celebrate Edna’s legacy that heavily influenced her menu at The Grey. Mashama surrounds herself with family, friends and food and she is a firm believer in the old adage that you learn something new every day.