With restaurants creeping up the peninsula and over to Spring Street, it was only a matter of time until someone expanded to the Eastside. Technically, Bay Street Biergarten is in this neighborhood, but it's on the very edge, while the newest restaurant to open soon will be smack-dab in the middle, on 35 Hanover St. Eater received an anonymous tip to investigate the address and to look into possibility of chef Eva Keilty helming the kitchen.
Keilty recently left downtown hotspot Warehouse, where her fancy bar food menu won much acclaim. A phone call to the chef confirmed, yes, she is involved in the latest project on Hanover, and they hope to host a soft opening this weekend. From the road, patrons may miss that someone transformed the old East Side Snack Bar into a new concept, The Palace Hotel. Keilty said the team behind the project preserved the look of the exterior, but the interior will be "Alice in Wonderland flipped on its head." The walls are covered in damask, pinstripes, and graffiti. It's upscale, Hollywood Regency, neighborhood eatery, and dive bar all rolled into one.
As far as food, the chef cited Canadian street vendor JAPADOG as an inspiration. "Crazy food truck food, but inside," she said. Think wieners with Korean, Mexican, and Mediterranean influence, sandwiches, and soups. They will serve lunch, dinner, and Saturday brunch. The Palace Hotel will have a beer, wine, and cocktail list, with special attention to Old Fashioneds through the decades.
How does it happen that they crept under the watchful eye of the media and almost made it to their debut without a peep? 1) It's off the beaten path of the other restaurants opening this winter/spring. The Eastside is safer today, but because of its past reputation for violence, it is still unfamiliar territory for many on the peninsula. Like most of Charleston, the neighborhood is changing—a recent City Paper article chronicles the community. 2) The owners didn't touch the exterior of the building. Without changes to the facade, they weren't subject to the trials of the Board of Architectural Review for approval—which is where most new eateries make their presence known. And unless you look very closely—you can barely make out Edison Bulbs* hanging inside through the dusty windows—then you wouldn't notice anything happening.
Look for an opening announcement soon, along with more information on the menu, interiors, and anything interesting going down on Hanover Street.
[*Ed. Note: Because who other than restaurants/bars utilize these things?]
· All Bay Street Biergarten Coverage [-ECHS-]
· Chef Eva Keilty Leaves Warehouse [-ECHS-]
· East Side Snack Bar [Google Maps]
· JAPADOG [Official]
· It's hip, it's getting safer, and the rent is going up in Charleston's Eastside [CP]
· Edison Bulbs [Restoration Hardware]