With the arrival of pollen means it’s almost spring here in Charleston. Chefs, restaurateurs, and investors are as busy as bees with more new restaurants and bars coming this way. As always, Eater is obsessively tracking the progression of all the premiers — from menu releases to newly installed signage, come here for the latest updates. This list encapsulates the places garnering excitement this season.
Location: 1956 Maybank Highway, James Island
Key Players: Industry vets Alex Lira, Joey Goetz, Brad Cline, Hank Weed, Philip “Surfer Phil” Lawrence III, and artisan John Griffiths
Projected Opening: Spring 2020
Expect Bar George to be a fun spot for raw oysters, chili dogs, and sharable plates of local flavors. The upcoming James Island addition will also offer quality cocktails with tequila, gin, mezcal, and rum — chef Alex Lira says frozen drinks might even make an appearance at Bar George.
Location: 267 Rutledge Avenue, downtown
Key Players: Restaurateurs Walter and Cindy Edward and chef Forrest Brunton
Projected Opening: Soon
Drawing inspiration from Cindy’s family farm in Smoaks, SC, the food at Chasing Sage will focus on Lowcountry produce and lots of herbs.
Location: 2213-B Middle Street, Sullivan’s Island
Key Players: Restaurateurs Clint Gaskins and Tyler Beckstead
Projected Opening: Early 2020
U.S. Virgin Islands restaurant the Longboard will open a second location in the Lowcountry. The food pulls inspiration from the islands with an emphasis on seafood, tropical produce, and coastal flavors. A glance at the St. John’s menu shows multiple selections of ceviches and poke bowls, grilled fish tacos, lobster tacos, island wings, and more.
Location: 595 King Street, downtown
Key Players: Restaurateur/chef Thai Phi
Projected Opening: March 2020
Former Vietnamese food truck and pop-up Pink Bellies will soon have a new home on King Street. From banh mi to noodle bowls to pho, fans of chef Thai Phi’s work are eagerly awaiting the opening.
Also, keep an eye on:
• Bumpa’s (Downtown)
• Farmer & Exchange (Downtown)
• Garco Mill (Park Circle)
• Guilded Horn (Downtown)
• Handy + Hot/Lenoir (Downtown)
• Island Provisions (Johns Island)
• Minero (Johns Island)
• Old Village Post House (Mount Pleasant)
• The Loyal (Downtown)
• The Tempest (Downtown)