Open 24/7, Parker’s Market Urban Gourmet, located on 222 Drayton St., is many things. From the outside it has the look of a high-end gas station. Inside it becomes a curio shop, an extensive wine shop, a breakfast bar (fish, chicken tenders, biscuits and eggs all roll out at midnight), a convenience store, a restaurant and a gourmet food shop (countless fine cheeses).
Selling a wide range of products from international chocolate bars to birdcages, fashion magazines to wind-up toys, Parker’s Market is both a tourist destination and a frequent stop for SCAD students, primarily at night. For many, trips to Parker’s after midnight have become a quintessential part of the SCAD experience.
Arguably the best part about late night Parker’s is the overnight staff. If you go there enough times, you will become familiar with some of the faces behind the registers. These are some of their stories.
District: You seem to be a regular on the night shift.
Morris: Yes. And I really love it. I really love the night shift. It’s fun, exciting. All the young people. During the day you get all the older business people. I like talking to students and seeing what the young people are doing and are into, you know?
District: What can you say of your interactions with SCAD students?
Morris: Oh, I love them. Most of the time we talk about school. You know if you need something we’ll be here all night. That and often I get asked about our Wi-Fi.
District: Do you ever have problems with rowdy customers, drunk students, etc.?
Morris: Most of the SCAD students who come in here are not drunk. It’s usually tourists who get really bad. You have beautiful handwriting.
Morris: I used to write a lot of letters, long beautiful letters to home. I don’t miss Germany but I miss my people. Honestly, Savannah is actually super boring to me. I grew up in the country and I would love to move to Orlando. But I’m sorry, we shouldn’t be talking about me, we should be talking about Parker’s.
District: But you’re a part of Parker’s.
Morris: Yeah, I am. 50 hours a week. I love Halloween week. Lots of interesting costumes.
District: Hi, Adrianne. When do you normally work?
Hohuke: Normally I work weekends [on the] overnight shift. Weekends are the best. Everyone’s out and about. It’s more fun that way.
District: How long have you been working at Parker’s?
Hohuke: A little over three years. I got the job right after I moved here.
District: Where are your from?
Hohuke: I was born in California, but my dad was in the Air Force so we traveled all over. I lived in Alaska for a while, but spent most of my adult life in Nebraska.
District: What brought you to Savannah?
Hohuke: Actually, I came down here with one of my friends that was going to SCAD. I came here with her and I loved it. People here are nicer. The weather is better.
District: What can you say of your experiences with SCAD students that come here?
Hohuke: I actually love running into SCAD students when I’m not working. I love it when I meet someone and they say, “Hey, you look really familiar. Where have I seen you before?” I’ll ask them if they ever go to Parker’s at night, and then they get excited and they say, “Yes! That’s where I saw you! I love Parker’s! I always see you there!”
I love that I can really build a repertoire with you guys. I’ve been here long enough to have seen a lot of you guys grow. I remember calling home soon after I got the job and telling my parents that I was working at a gas station and doing overnight shifts. They were pretty skeptical about it. But then they came down and saw it and now they like it.
District: What’s your favorite part of working here?
Hohuke: I like meeting new people, especially new people that are visiting. Just the other night a couple that comes down here every year recognized me from their last visit and were like, “We remember you! You were here last time we came here. You’re so nice!” I feel bad for not always remembering them.
District: What’s your favorite food at Parker’s?
Hohuke: Actually, I really love the new pizza rolls we have in the deli. Have you talked to Manuella yet?
District: Yes, a little earlier.
Hohuke: Yeah, I love Manuella. I love to see her when she gets mad and she starts speaking in German. It’s awesome!
District: Hi, Emily. How long have you been working at Parker’s?
Carpenter: A month and a half.
District: What were you doing before that?
Carpenter: I just graduated with a bachelor’s degree in furniture design.
District: It’s fun telling freshmen about Parker’s for the first time. Do you remember when you first heard about it?
Carpenter: I remember finding out about it from upperclassmen when I was a freshman. I lived in Turner [House]. I remember we’d go every weekend to Parker’s. It was like a weekend thing. We’d all walk together back when we thought it was a hundred miles away, and it wasn’t. But back then it was the farthest we walked from the dorms.
District: As a former SCAD student, what’s it like to now work at Parker’s? What would you tell freshmen who are discovering Parker’s for the first time?
Carpenter:I really like it after 11 p.m. People can come to hang out, come to eat at any time and it’s become like a safe place for students to be late at night. All the people who work here late at night are really cool. It’s just a different atmosphere at night.Contact Alex Cheves.
Editor’s note: This article has been revised to reflect the following changes: Emily Carpenter was incorrectly identified in the photograph.