In keeping with Eater tradition, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. To kick it off in Charleston, Eater asked the group eight questions, ranging from the restaurants they frequent most to the biggest surprises of the year. Responses are in no particular order, and readers are encouraged to leave answers in the comments.
Q. What was the saddest closure of 2016?
Will Chesak, Eater Charleston contributor:
Two Boroughs Larder
Marion Sullivan, Culinary Institute of Charleston and food editor Charleston Magazine:
Josh Keeler closing Two Boroughs Larder
Miguel Buencamino, Holy City Handcraft and Eater Charleston contributor:
Lee Lee's & Two Borough's Larder
Peg Moore, contributor and food critic for The Mercury:
Stephanie Barna, founding editor Charleston City Paper:
Two Boroughs Larder for sure. But it’s understandable when you know how hard Heather and Josh worked to make that a special place. With the staffing shortages and the long hours, it makes sense that they had to think about their health and well-being and give up their dream in order to live a better life. I’m excited to check out what Josh is doing over at 492. I think it’s great that he’s found a restaurant to support him and let him do his thing on a bigger scale.
Hanna Raskin, food writer and critic for the Post & Courier:
Bi-Lo on Meeting Street. No contest.
Brian Stetson, Eater Charleston photographer:
Sydney Gallimore, Queen of the Food Age and Thrillist Contributor:
Hands down, Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen. I'm going to be grieving over that loss for a while.
Vanessa Wolf, food writer and critic for Charleston City Paper:
Two Boroughs Larder
Robert Donovan, photographer and contributor to Eater Charleston:
Erin Perkins, editor Eater Charleston:
Two Boroughs Larder. I literally cried on multiple occasions in that dining room as services slowed to a halt. I also probably inappropriately hugged owners Josh and Heather Keeler too many times.
Jenny Ouellette, writer:
It's a tie between Two Boroughs Larder and Lee Lee's Hot Kitchen. Luckily, we can still get Josh Keeler's creations at 492 (accompanied by some stellar cocktails), but as for Lee Lee's ... We have plenty of "new American," or "new Southern" eateries on the peninsula. It's sad to see one of very few restaurants that offers something different close.
Kinsey Gidick, managing editor for the Charleston City Paper:
According to City Paper's web traffic — Market Street's Wild Wing Cafe. According to me — Blind Tiger. I know, I know, it's reopened, but some of the most dramatic moments of my youth happened in that bar and without the wood-rot squish of the floor and mystifying funk emanating from the bathroom, is it really the same Tiger? Not according to my memories.