In 2016, long-time McCrady’s chef de cuisine Daniel “Dano” Heinze left for Los Angeles along with McCrady’s bar manager, and now wife, Bethany Heinze. The couple has returned to the Lowcountry with an idea for a new Cannonborough/Elliotborough restaurant named Vern’s.
Located in the former Trattoria Lucca space at 41 Bogard Street, Vern’s will be a “neighborhood American bistro.” The restaurant gets its name from Dano’s grandfather Vernon Heinze. Dano will be the chef and operations manager, and Bethany will run front of house and the beverage program. They hope to be open by the spring in 2022.
Of course, McCrady’s has since closed, but the couple still holds an affinity for the Lowcountry. They sent the following statement to Eater, “California has deeply influenced our style and approach to cooking, but the time had come to return home to Charleston and contribute to the city we love most. There is something undeniable about Charleston — the people, the ingredients, the genuine hospitality. We feel lucky to be back at home here and ready to immerse ourselves into the community in our new chapter.”
While in Los Angeles, the duo worked with restaurateurs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. Dano became the culinary development and operations chef for Joint Venture Restaurant Group and Bethany became general manager of acclaimed restaurant Animal, manager and wine director of Jon & Vinny’s /Helen’s Wines, and event manager for Caramelized Productions (all within the umbrella of Joint Venture Restaurant Group). Most recently, Bethany managed the famed cafe Gjusta.
Look for updates on Vern’s as they come along.