Because of the demolition of the clubhouse at Sarasota's Bobby Jones Golf Club, G's Southern Kitchen, the well-liked soul food restaurant that had been operating inside the clubhouse, was forced to skedaddle last month. But not before filmmaker Colin Reid got the chance to profile G's chef and owner Gordon Gregory. The resulting short film, titled G's Southern Kitchen, will premiere next week as part of the Sarasota Film Festival.
In the eight-minute short, Gregory reflects on his career in the restaurant world and how he came to open G's at Bobby Jones. He says many older Black customers would become emotional while dining there, because they remember a time when they would not have felt welcome at the course.
"I did not think that my first restaurant would be inside of a clubhouse at a golf course, let alone Bobby Jones golf course," Gregory says in the film.
Reid knew Gregory from when he worked at Nancy's Bar-B-Q, and sought out his food at Bobby Jones after learning about G's. "I had to try it," says Reid. "I thought it was really interesting that he opened a soul food restaurant at Bobby Jones." While Reid has created films for a number of clients, this is the first personal documentary he's completed.
The short film touches on the reasons for Gregory's departure from Bobby Jones, as well as the ultimatum from his wife that made him dare to open the restaurant in the first place. Stark visuals show the dead, brown grass of the shuttered golf course as Gregory prepares to leave it.
Reid's film is being shown as part of the film festival's Florida Documentary Shorts program, which includes four other films, including another, Raw Honey, that was also made in Sarasota. In that 21-minute short, director James Berry profiles local beekeeper Rye Clarke.
Since leaving Bobby Jones, Gregory has been making plans to run G's as a mobile food business. He says he's a "few steps away" from acquiring a food trailer to use for catering events and popups. Gregory is also designing T-shirts and other merchandise to sell online. In Reid's film, he wears a bright red shirt with the image of a colossal chicken wing on it. You, too, could own that shirt one day.
Ultimately, Gregory would like to find a permanent location in Sarasota from which to operate. He says he's looked at a handful of locations, but his budget is limited. Still, he's committed to one day finding a new home.
"Having a home base here in Sarasota is important," says Gregory. "This is where we built our foundation."
G's Southern Kitchen is being screened as part of the Sarasota Film Festival's Florida Documentary Shorts series. The series, which includes five films, including Raw Honey, costs $8, and will be released on Friday, April 30. Preorder now.