Fancy food court Workshop will shut the doors by late spring. Restaurateur Michael Shemtov tells Eater Carolinas that this closure is “more sweet than bitter.” He says that he is proud that Workshop was able to serve as an incubator for such a diverse group of budding concepts, but he says it was also a challenging business model with the constant rotation of new almost-restaurants coming in at different times.
Workshop opened in 2017 with a plan to have a rotating roster of five food vendors with tenancies varying from one to 12 months. Some of the more popular concepts to come out of the space include Vietnamese spot Pink Bellies, pizzeria Slice Co., Cuban restaurant Spanglish, Vietnamese place Little Miss Ha, and Filipino pop-up Mansueta’s.
Shemtov says he told all of his current young entrepreneurs that their dream wasn’t coming to end, but their time at the Workshop was. He’s hopeful that with all the new retail spaces opening up downtown and pop-ups more popular than ever, that the Workshop’s current concepts will find a new home. “Maybe people don’t need us as much as they did,” says Shemtov, referring to the 2017 opening of Workshop when there was less chances for newer, unknown restaurants to find a place in Charleston.
“It’s a logical time to bring it to a conclusion,” he says. Workshop will give the current tenants until the spring to unwind. Shemtov says that if the patrons stay open, then Workshop could go on until May, also depending if the community comes out to support them.