The start of restaurant week and the crush of college students downtown has ushered in even more excitement for all the restaurants that are on the brink of opening their doors. Expect more live-fire cooking soon, but it's going to be a few more months before the Holy City's big-name oyster hall begins shucking.
Xiao Bao Biscuit
Address: 224 Rutledge Ave.
Description: After popping up regularly for over a year, the husband and wife duo Joshua Walker and Duolan Li set to opening a brick-and-mortar location in Cannonborough. The pair focuses on comfort foods from across Asia (think: soups and noodles of all sorts), while incorporating ingredients from the Lowcountry. Construction seems to be thumping along slowly, but they recently announced that the plumbing was installed. At least that's a start.
Opening Date: Early November
Address: 462 King St.
Description: Dubbing itself a "high-end lounge," Republic Reign is coming to the space that was left vacant when Chai's closed earlier this year. Evan Powell, who used to craft cocktails at Fish, is in place as the general manager and Benjamin Harris, formerly of Poogan's Porch, will be the executive chef. Their Twitter feed hints at bottle service and Champagne, but booze aside, they'll be serving "snacks, greens and small plates" with a global influence. Expect everything from ramen to cavatelli with duck confit.
Opening Date: Early fall
Address: 495 King St.
Description: Pegged as one of Eater National's most anticipated openings for fall, there's been plenty of buzz surrounding Nathan Thurston's Upper King Street spot. Formerly at The Ocean Room, Chef Thurston's new menu includes seafood dishes and other regionally-sourced meats that will be cooked over a live oak fire. Even though they posted a special restaurant week menu earlier this summer, Stars didn't fire up the 3,700-pound Grates of Hell before Labor Day. But the sign is finished and the grill is in place, so the wait should be over soon.
Opening Date: Late September
Address: 1300 Rutledge Ave.
Description: Best known for his time at the upscale Peninsula Grill, Chef Bob Carter is now going casual north of the Crosstown. His new project will serve cocktails, lunch, dinner and a variety of bar snacks, like smoked wings and grilled pizzas. With a big patio and a menu he hopes to keep reasonably priced (he's gunning to get a steak on there for under $22), Carter is attempting to create a new neighborhood hangout in Wagener Terrace.
Opening Date: October
Address: 544 King St.
Description: Mike Lata's venture with FIG business partner Adam Nemirow is possibly the most awaited of the new fall class. Lata recently revealed more about the concept, saying he'll be applying nose-to-tail cooking to seafood and "exploring 'merroir,'" or how regional differences in water affect the taste of oysters. The location, a cavernous former bank on Upper King Street, is spectacular, but nowhere near complete.
Opening Date: Late December or early January