When Cannon Green opened at the end of 2014, it was a bit unexpected. The space at 103 Spring St. was previously a gritty, concrete gallery— no one thought that the establishment that would emerge from the address would go on to be named one of the "15 Most Beautiful Restaurants of 2015" — well, except perhaps the team behind the project. The developers heading the renovation were Lynn Easton and Dean Andrews (of Easton Events and posh hotel Zero George) and Anne Bowen and Dave Dabney (of flower shop Stems) and each of them brought an abundance of experience and style.
Eater spoke with Bowen about how the idea to turn a blank warehouse on Spring Street into a stunning restaurant came about. She says, "It was an evolving idea. Stems was growing, and we were thinking of getting into event furniture rentals and were looking for a space to store all of that." When she toured the 6,000-square-foot property, she realized it was more than she needed, but thought it could be an amazing venue for events. The idea for a restaurant came when Bowen and the rest of the team wanted everyone to be able to visit the space without having to host an party there.
Other than the normal problems of opening a large restaurant downtown, Bowen says keeping all the plants alive in Cannon Green was more arduous than expected — even for a professional florist. With Charleston's unseasonable weather and the temperatures dropping and raising, the foliage in the dining room and she were in a constant battle.
When asked the most difficult part of creating the new downtown destination Bowen says, "There's no guide book on how to open Cannon Green. We had knowledgable partners, but you need to have the time to figure out how to make the establishment's own instruction manual and how it works best. In the beginning, you have big ideas and best practices in place, but you spend the first year adapting them to how it works for you."
Bowen states, "It feels like the first year was the dress rehearsal, and we finally have the right people with all the knowledge in place. We're in the perfect place to go on and do great things from here."