While you're thinking beaches and vacation, restaurateurs are hard at work finishing up some of the most exciting eateries to hit the Lowcountry. Eater National already proclaimed Leon's Oyster Shop one of the The 44 Most Anticipated Openings of Spring 2014, but there's plenty more happening in South Carolina to keep diners on their toes. Check out our guide to all the promising restaurants coming your way. As always, Eater is obsessively tracking the progression of all the premiers—from menu releases to newly installed signage, come here for the latest updates.
1) Leon's Oyster Shop
Location: 698 King St., downtown
Owners: Tim Mink and Brooks Reitz
Projected Opening: The end of April
Combine fancy champagne, cheap beer, fried chicken, and a casual raw bar all housed in an old auto body shop and you'd find Leon's Oyster Shop. The duo behind the new concept on Upper Upper King has plenty of years of restaurant experience between them, so it's predicted to be a hit.
2) Union Provisions
Location: 513 King St., downtown
Owners: Ben Russell-Schlesinger and Robert Young
Projected Opening: May
Union Provisions' co-owners project that they will be open before the Spoleto Festival. The all-day brasserie will serve "high-end small plates" from chef Shane Whiddon.
3) Callie's Hot Little Biscuit
Location: 476 ½ King St., downtown
Owner: Carrie Morey
Projected Opening: Late summer
For a Southern town, Charleston is really behind on the biscuit outlet front, but Carrie Morey of Callie's Charleston Biscuits plans to change that by opening a small shop at on King Street to serve her flaky creations. The petite eatery will serve a variety of freshly baked biscuits and a range of other breakfast, lunch, and late night treats. Expect favorites like pimento cheese sandwiches or Geechie Boy grits.
4) St. Alban
Location: 710 King St., downtown
Owners: Tim Mink and Brooks Reitz
Projected Opening: Sometime after Leon's Oyster Shop opens
As of right now, there aren't many options for fine wine and highly curated coffee selections above the Crosstown, but St. Alban could fill that niche soon. Mink and Reitz hope the café will be a neighborhood gathering place to sit down for a cappuccino and croissant or a Bordeaux and Boursin with baguette.
5) Boxcar Betty's
Location: 1922 Savannah Hwy., West Ashley
Owners: Ian MacBryde and Roth Scott
Projected Opening: April
Boxcar Betty's wants to redefine the fried chicken sandwich as Charleston knows it. The menu list the crispy poultry every which way, like the "Smoking Car" with smoked cheddar and smoked bacon or the "Box Car" with peach slaw and pimento cheese.
6) The Americano
Location: 819 Coleman Blvd., Mount Pleasant
Owner: John Adamson
Projected Opening: Mid-June
Adamson envisions a casual 1940s beach bar with Miami, Latin, and Cuban flavors for The Americano. If it's anything like Adamson's first restaurant, The Rarebit, then it's sure to be an instant hit.
7) Artisan Meat Share
Location: 33 Sprint St., downtown
Owner: Craig Deihl
Projected Opening: Mid-summer
Meat-centric Cypress chef Craig Deihl announced he would open a butcher/charcuterie/sandwich shop on Spring Street this summer. The storefront will be small, but the reported menu items (burgers, breakfast sandwichs, stacked Italian cold cut subs, a "Pâté Melt", and a "Knuckle Sandwich") are sure to make a big impact.