Across the Lowcountry, there are plenty of restaurants boasting wood-fired menus, but not many, or perhaps any, can claim that the kitchen’s only source of cooking is wood — but the owners of forthcoming Southbound (72 Cannon Street, Charleston) are up for the challenge. Ryan and Kelleanne Jones (also of Kiki & Rye and Community Table) have spent the past four years bringing their idea of live-fire cooking to Charleston.
The kitchen at the upcoming Cannonborough/Elliotborough restaurant runs on a wood-fired hearth and a Grillworks grill based on Argentian-style cooking. Ryan and his crew will have the task of keeping the oak burning at precise temperatures throughout dinner service. “There’s no propane,” explains Kelleanne, “No stove.” “There’s nothing to fall back on,” says Ryan.
The menu is “American influenced,” and features high-end proteins like dry-aged steaks and black sea bass, with a sprinkling of fine dining ingredients like foie gras and sweetbreads. Sides, like coal-roasted potatoes or cauliflower with furikake, are intended to be shared by the table.
The space at 72 Cannon Street was previously a residence destroyed by arson in 2011. The current landlord rebuilt the two-story historic house with a restaurant in mind. The building now features an iron staircase anchoring the dining room with accents of green Moroccan tile, white marble tables, brushed brass accents, and surprising details, like the original roof lining an accent wall in the second-floor dining room. Kelleanne scouted local design and antique stores for all the furnishings.
Before moving to Charleston, the Jones ran a restaurant near Hartford, Connecticut, named the Mill at 2t, which received a favorable review in The New York Times. The concept was very similar to Southbound, with an open kitchen, but Ryan always knew he wanted to take it to the next level with a live-fire kitchen. “I’ve always had this obsession in my mind,” says Ryan, “so we wanted to do this to do something different.”
Once open (which seems like very soon), Southbound will open daily for dinner service from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Take a look around the dining area here, before it’s open to customers.