Did you feel that teeny, tiny break in the humidity? Fall must be around the corner. While summer was breakneck busy, chefs, restaurateurs, and investors have even more new concepts coming this way. While deadlines always shift, this is what we're expecting to see in the next few months.
Location: 155 East Bay St., downtown
Key Players: Chef Sean Brock and Neighborhood Dining Group
Projected Opening: End of September
"Everyone wrote that McCrady's was closing, but that's so untrue. McCrady's is taking a little nap, getting a new set of clothes, a little makeover, and is coming back stronger and cooler than ever," explains Sean Brock of the changes at the venerable institution. "McCrady's will shrink down to 22 seats [with an open kitchen in the dining room], one menu, and it will be the most intense food I ever created." The chef says he wants the experience to be refreshing and affordable. For better chances of getting into the intimate dining room, you may want to think about booking reservations the second they open.
Location: 23 Ann St., Downtown
Key Players: Chef/co-owner Damon Wise and co-owner Jonathon Buckley
Projected Opening: Fall
While the sister restaurants to Scarecrow have already opened at 23 Ann St., the most upscale of the concepts in the former train depot has yet to open. This will be a dinner-only restaurant with prices ranging from $14 to $32. Wood-fired items highlighting Lowcountry produce shape the Scarecrow menu. A brick oven and open flame grill takes center stage in the dining room, and guests will have front row seats to the chefs prepping dinner, as banquettes surround the fire station. They plan to have an outdoor wine garden at Scarecrow and a reserve wine cellar.
Location: 1011 King St., downtown
Key Players: Acclaimed pitmaster Rodney Scott
Projected Opening: Before the end of the year
Charleston is so excited about Hemingway legend Rodney Scott opening up here, that we're sure everyone has their fingers crossed that it will come online as soon as possible. Scott brings years of whole hog barbecue knowledge and an affable personality with him to the Lowcounty. If you don't already know all about Scott and his pulled pork, take a look over here for a visit to Scott's Bar-B-Que.
Location: 708 King St., downtown
Key Players: Restaurateur Jimmy Poole and chef Robert Berry
Projected Opening: Fall
Jimmy Poole and Robert Berry are renovating the former Zappo's Pizza space to become their ideal Mexican restaurant, complete with a lively atmosphere, tequila and mezcal drinks, and, of course, tacos.
Location: 869 Folly Rd., James Island
Key Players: Restaurateur/chef Thomas Smith and chef
Projected Opening: Soon
Upscale sandwich shop Hen and the Goat will be a mix of elements found at places like Caviar & Bananas, Butcher & Bee, and Artisan Meat Share. They will sell items like a pork belly grilled cheese and a salad with roasted shrimp, feta, and poblano. Owner Thomas Smith says it’s Northern meets Southern ingredients.
Location: 141 Calhoun St., Downtown
Key Players: Adam Goodwin, Melanie Blohm, and chef Alex Clark
Projected Opening: September
Co-owner Adam Goodwin explained that Avila came to life as a way to showcase his partner Melanie Blohm's Venezuelan heritage and recipes. Goodwin recalls that the group was presented with an opportunity to purchase a food truck at a low price, and they jumped on it. Goodwin recruited friend and chef Alex Clark to work in the mobile kitchen to bring Blohm's recipes to the masses. Now they are taking the truck to a brick and mortar spot on Calhoun Street.
Location: 209 East Bay St., downtown
Key Players: Pinot Group and chef Jared Rogers
Projected Opening: Fall
Restaurant builders Pinot Group (Stars, Amen Street, and Southend Brewery) declared earlier this summer that Southern-focused eatery Pawpaw would take over the former Wet Willie’s space on East Bay Street. The menu from chef Jared Rogers will be Southern small plates, handmade pastas, and wood-fired local ingredients.
Location: 334 Meeting St., Downtown
Key Players: The Dewberry, chef Wes Morton, chef de cuisine R.J. Dye, food and beverage director Will Friedrichs, general manager Michelle Pavlakos, and mixologist Ryan Casey
Projected Opening: TBD
We're still holding out hope this happens. On the top floor of The Dewberry hotel, The Citrus Club overlooks Marion Square and all of Charleston, and if approved, will be the highest rooftop bar on the peninsula. The Dewberry describes The Citrus Club as "[w]himsy meets timeless in this colorful take on the classic rooftop cocktail bar." Longtime fixture in the Charleston bar world, Ryan Casey, will be in charge of the libations.
Location: 36 & 38 Broad St., Downtown
Key Players: New proprietor Mike Shuler
Projected Opening: Any day now (probably this week)
New owner Mike Shuler and his team, restored the space at the Blind Tiger, added more booze, and expanded the menu (including bringing back a "killer burger"). "Nobody wants the Tiger to change," Shuler says, "we just want to put something into there that the neighborhood deserves."
Also, keep an eye on:
• Beech (Downtown)
• Benny Ravello's Pizza (Downtown)
• The Brick (Downtown)
• Cinco Tex-Mex (Mount Pleasant)
• Delish! Bakery & Bistro (Downtown)
• Farmer & Exchange (Downtown)
• Fatty's Beer Works (Downtown)
• Food Truck O Rama (Downtown)
• Ink n Ivy (Downtown)
• Kristen Kish/Brooks Reitz Concept (delayed) (Downtown)
• Meeting at Market (Downtown)
• Mex 1 Costal Cantina (Sullivan's Island)
• Nacha Mama's Taqueria (Downtown)
• Nico Romo's New Place (Mount Pleasant)
• Pizza King (Downtown)
• Revelator Coffee Company (Downtown)
• Root + Spiller (Downtown)
• Saint Alban (Reopening Downtown)
• Seed (Downtown)
• Slackers (Downtown)
• Superica (Unknown)
• Unnamed Huger Street Pizza/Wine Bar (Downtown)
• Wahlburgers (Unknown)
• The Workshop (Downtown)
• Westside Deli (Downtown)
• Xiao Bao Biscuit's Second Concept (Downtown)