In case you haven't noticed, there's a burst of activity happening at the Mendell Rivers Federal Building facing Marion Square. Crews are attempting to ready stylish hotel The Dewberry to open before tourist season goes into full swing. While another hotel may not be exciting to locals, the food and beverage offerings going in to The Dewberry are worth inspecting.
There's a dream team of food and beverage veterans working behind the scenes to bring Henrietta's, The Living Room, and Citrus Club to life at 334 Meeting St. The executive chef of the projects is Wes Morton — Morton has a long history of acclaimed hotel restaurants in D.C. and Houston. Will Friedrichs, who worked with the Charlie Palmer group, is the food and beverage director. R.J. Dye, formerly of The Lot, was recently brought on as chef de cuisine. Ryan Casey, previously of Edmund's Oast and McCrady's, takes on the role of bar manager. Michelle Pavlakos, the former long-time general manager at Oak Steakhouse, assumes the role of G.M. for Henrietta's.
Here's the rundown on each concept coming to The Dewberry.
Henrietta's sits on the first floor of The Dewberry, on the corner of Meeting and Henrietta Streets. The space opens into a bar area with booths near the windows facing Marion Square. The dining room will hold 52 guests with black-and-white tiled floors, white tablecloths, and servers in white tuxedo jackets. The atmosphere goes for "approachable" formal.
The concept for Henrietta's takes cues from contemporary French brasseries. The menu is inspired by classical French cooking, but with a lighter, more vegetable driven touch. Seasonal, local ingredients, in-house butchering, and a wood-fire grill also shape the menu. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cocktails for Henrietta's will be seasonal like the food offerings. Casey says he thinks of how the cocktails will pair with the beginning courses of the menu. "They're not the star, they're the supporting actor — an enhancement to the food. Beautiful, bright, and crushable," he says.
The Living Room
The Living Room takes place of the traditional hotel lobby at The Dewberry. There will be a solid brass bar stretching the length of one wall and mid-century modern lounge seating dotting the area. Floor-to-ceiling windows surround the room with views from the corner of Charlotte and Meeting Streets.
The space will be open all day with cocktail servers in the evening. Dark spirits, Clinebell ice, and crystal stemware will take the cocktails at The Living Room to a new level. There will be classics and Casey's take on the classics.
The Dewberry will offer wifi in The Living Room to encourage locals to bring their meetings and business to the space during the day.
Citrus Club will be the tallest rooftop bar in Charleston when it opens. A small glass-enclosed bar sits atop the hotel with outdoor seating covering the rest of the Citrus Club area.
The food will be light — think oysters, crudos, and raw bar items. The drinks will be riffs on tiki classics, but better — the type of cocktails you want while on vacation in paradise. "I'm trying to elevate the high art of the piña colada," says Casey. The view will be unmatched.
The Dewberry plans to welcome guests near the end of May or early June. Look for more details, photos, and menus to come.