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Life Raft Treats Delivers Fanciful Desserts to the Streets

What to look for this spring

Life Raft Treats’ “Not Fried Chicken”
Life Raft Treats
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

Having a tough time keeping up with all the new dining options? Welcome to the Opening Report, a regularly-updated round-up of restaurant openings big and small across the Lowcountry. Visit the winter opening report for an archive of the newcomers from December 2017 through early March 2018.

June 12, 2018

43) MOBILE — Pastry chefs Cynthia Wong and Mary Oster bring their talents to the streets of Charleston with the Life Raft Treats cart (truck to follow soon). The cart posts up around the Lowcountry with whimsical dessert creations like the Not Fried Chicken, a waffle ice cream drumette with a corn flake coating made to look like poultry. Life Raft moves around, so check Instagram for the latest locations. Status: Certified open. Website.

42) UPPER KING — Lowcountry restaurant Parcel 32 and chef Shaun Brian Sells is all about sustainability, pickling, approachable plates, and flavors of the Carolinas, with nods to the Caribbean. Status: Certified open. 442 King St.; website.

June 5, 2018

41) NOMO — Japanese izakaya Sushi-Wa comes from chefs Kazu Murakami and Chris Schoedler. The new addition to Workshop offers sushi, chirashi, sake, and small plates. Look for lots of local fish from Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 10 p.m. Status: Certified open. 1503 King St.; website.

May 29, 2018

40) WEST ASHLEY — Nationally acclaimed roastery Broom Wagon Coffee brings espresso drinks, fancy teas, stacked toasts, and interesting waffles to West Ashley. Status: Certified open. 1630 Ashley Hall Rd. ;website.

39) HARLESTON VILLAGE — For those in search of a breakfast cookie, a $3 coffee with in-store refills, or Firefly moonshine pop-tarts, stop into Sweet Lulu’s Bakery. This is the new permanent space for the Sweet Lulu’s Bakery on Wheels. Status: Certified open. 49 Archdale St.; website.

May 22, 2018

38) WEST ASHLEY — A third location for the Tattooed Moose “laid back pub and sandwich shop” takes over the shuttered King Street Grille at the Citadel Mall. Now West Ashley can easily visit the home of “Mike’s Famous Duck Club” and the duck fat fries that starred on an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Status: Certified open. 2070 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.; website.

37) SOUTH OF BROAD — Seafood-focused newcomer The Establishment recently opened the doors. Diners can expect a fresh and local offering highlighting sustainability from executive chef Matt Canter. Recently hired general manager Brad Morgan (formerly of Rappahannock Oyster Bar) hopes to deliver a lively environment in the historic James Gregorie House to go with Canter’s menu of small and large plates. Status: Certified open. 28 Broad St.; website.

May 15, 2018

36) NORTH CENTRAL — Vegan bakeshop Nana’s Donuts is out, and it appears that Mount Pleasant-based Mozzo Deli is in. The second outpost will be very much like original at 730 Coleman Blvd. with a menu full of hearty sandwiches, burgers, and breakfast items. Many patrons compare the offerings to Northern and New York delis — perhaps due to the corned beef, pastrami, and bagel with smoked salmon on the menu. Status: Certified open. 616 Meeting St.; website.

May 7, 2018

35) NOMO — New Cuban-American restaurant Spanglish opened in food hall Workshop on Tuesday, May 1. Restaurateurs Tomas and Lynda Prado are originally from Miami and grew up eating Cuban food. Status: Certified open. 1503 King St.; website.

34) WEST ASHLEY — Longstanding breakfast cafe Bluerose switched hands this year and has reopened under the management of consulting firm The Montford Group. The restaurant received a facelift and a new menu, with a few of the Irish and American classics left untouched. Status: Certified open. 652 St Andrews Blvd; website.

April 23, 2018

33) UPPER KING — Charleston has a new fancy nightclub with the opening of DECO. There’s a DJ booth, big dance floor, and VIP bottle service. Status: Certified open. 28 Ann St.; website.

32) EASTSIDE — Looking for a breakfast sandwich or quick lunch? Stop by Eastside Bagel for a steamed dough stack under $10. Status: Certified open. 8-D Line St.; website.

31) CANNONBOROUGH/ELLIOTBOROUGH — The menu at Nimbo Pizza is space-themed with offerings like “Cheesy Crater Fries,” “Neptune’s Pizza,” the “Rocketman Meatball Hoagie,” or the “Battlestar Breadless Bowl.” Status: Certified open. 161 Rutledge Ave.; website.

30) SUMMERVILLE — O.E.C. Japanese Express offers sushi, hibachi, and noodle bowls. Status: Certified open. 1001 Bacons Bridge Rd. # C; website.

April 10, 2018

29) UPPER KING — Former college hangout Midtown Bar & Grill came back to life as King Street Dispensary. Stop in for smoked wings, burgers, munchies, sports, local spirits, 99 beers on draft and can, and interesting large format craft brews. Status: Certified open. 559 King St.; article.

28) NOMO — New pop-up We Flew South blends a Jersey diner with a deli and a red sauce joint. Look for Taylor ham, cheese steaks, Reubens, and more as the eatery moves around Charleston. Catch We Flew South on Wednesdays at Effin B Headquarters. Status: Certified open. 1503 King St.; Instagram.

27) UPPER KING — Sports-heavy bar Uptown Social spent the weekend testing out its new space with patrons. Stop by the expansive establishment for bar pies, beer, frozen cocktails, drink specials, and even more bar snacks. Status: Grand opening is on April 11. 587 King St.; website.

26) THE MARKET — Rooftop seafood house Balao offers classics like ceviche, oysters rockefeller, or jumbo lump crab cakes with remoulade. There’s also less traditional fish house items like South Atlantic sushi on the half shell, cold-smoked South Carolina wahoo, blackened seafood tacos, and blue crab beignets. Also look for raw bar items. Status: Certified open. 16 N. Market St.; website.

25) NOMO — Bartenders Craig Nelson and Sam Gabrielli of Proof bring cocktails to Workshop on Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with their pop-up Pool Bar. Look for frozen drinks and other summer-y type beverages. Status: Certified open. 1503 King St.; article.

24) MOUNT PLEASANT — Popular downtown favorite Bon Banh Mi expands its menu of Vietnamese sandwiches, salads, and tacos to Mount Pleasant. The new store will also include more offerings like bun cha, duck fried rice, fresh summer rolls, sticky wings, and oxtail chili-cheese fries. Status: Certified open. 1440 Ben Sawyer Blvd.; website.

March 30, 2018

23) MOUNT PLEASANT — Pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo serves all the smoked meats at his third Swig & Swine outpost in Mount Pleasant. Look for the same all-wood barbecue that made his other two stores popular. Status: Certified open. 2383 Highway 41; website.

22) UPPER KING — Krystyna’s Polish Food serves pierogis and kielbasa from the Silver Dollar kitchen for three nights a week. Status: Certified open. 478 King St.; article.

21) HARLESTON VILLAGE — Co-owners of French bakery Framboise, Dominique and Florence Chantepie, get boozy at Bistro A Vin. The new cafe serves imported cheeses, foie gras, caviar, smoked salmon, a few beers, and plenty of French wines. Status: Certified open. 40 Archdale St.; website.

20) FRENCH QUARTER — Order stacks on stacks on stacks of pancakes at breakfast chain IHOP. Status: Certified open. 215 East Bay St.; article.

March 23, 2018

19) MOUNT PLEASANT — Downtown Charleston isn’t the only place to dive into breakfast all day long — now Mount Pleasant residents can order pancakes and omelets at any hour with the opening of Betty’s Eatery. On the menu, there’s shrimp and grits, a wedge salad, multiple variations of burgers, French toast, shrimp po’ boy, and more. Status: Certified open. 915 Houston Northcutt Blvd.; website.

18) FRENCH QUARTER — Established cafe The Daily fuels art lovers at the Gibbes Museum, but patrons don’t have to pay entry to the exhibits to visit the breakfast/lunch counter. Stop in for coffee, avocado toast, mezze plates, soup, salads, and sandwiches during museum business hours. The Daily will begin opening earlier and closing later next month. Status: Certified open. 135 Meeting St.; article.

In addition to these spring openings, check out the 15 fall openings, 24 summer openings, 27 spring restaurants or 16 early winter restaurants now in business.

Spot a opening? Send a note to; Eater constantly updates this guide throughout the season.