Eater Carolinas reported last fall about the revamp of the Old Village Post House by the folks behind Charleston’s Basic Kitchen, and now, with an opening planned for late April, the team has named RJ Dye as the executive chef to helm the new project and develop its menu.
Dye was, for years, a familiar face in the Charleston culinary scene, working for Charleston stalwarts Mike Lata, Jill Mathias, and Ken Vendrinksi before holding his first executive chef position at the Lot (now the site of Kwei Fei). Along the way, Dye developed a distinct style with a strong connection to the region’s culinary lore and a dedication to simple, seasonal cooking. After working abroad as a chef in Grand Cayman for several years, Dye has returned to Charleston to join the team as chef at the Post House.
”The Post House, like all our projects, is meant to be a real gathering place with a menu that has something for everyone. RJ understands that vision and shares our passion for working with local farmers and purveyors,” says Ben Towill, part of the Basic Projects leadership team. “He knows and respects the local community. We’re excited to work with him to bring our shared love of good food and authentic hospitality to life.”
Most recently, Dye spent the last few years abroad cooking in Grand Cayman and he says that there “wasn’t anything else that would have brought me back from the Caribbean other than the chance to work with Ben. I worked with Ben and the team briefly a few years ago when they first opened Basic [Kitchen], and I really enjoyed the culture there. They provide well thought out, curated ideas and everyone is so respectful to each other; I really want to take that culture to the new kitchen.”
The Post House will be a casual and family-friendly spot open for dinner, weekend brunch, and special occasions. Basic Projects has reimagined the first-floor restaurant, moving the bar to the front of the space, followed by the main dining room and outdoor courtyard. The restaurant also features a dedicated private events space ideal for larger parties and special occasions. As for the food, the plan is simple and seasonal food, with classic cocktails, approachable wine list, and all those local ingredients — and purveyors — Dye has missed from Charleston during his absence.
“This is a unique opportunity to work in a true neighborhood restaurant,” he says. “I had close relationships with lots of the local purveyors here, so I was excited to use the products and see those folks again. And the idea of being able to walk to Shem Creek to source seafood, well, I’m really looking forward to that.”
Stephanie Burt is a writer based in Charleston, SC, and also the host of The Southern Fork podcast.