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The exterior of a building with twinkling lights and herb gardens.
Bearcat will fully open on November 14.
Mike Ledford

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Long-Awaited Bearcat Offers ‘Fine Dining Without the Tablecloth’ in West Ashley

The Avondale restaurant serves modern American fare and wood-fired bar snacks

Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

Chef/restaurateur George Kovach started creating buzz for his idea of Bearcat in 2020 with apartment pop-ups on King Street, but now he’s ready to officially open his dining room at 25 Magnolia Road on November 14.

The bar at Bearcat started taking customers on October 27 and serves snacks like colorful tartare lettuce wraps and roasted oysters topped with wagyu beef fat. The bar runs on a separate menu from the main dining room; it’s based around cocktail-friendly bites and the restaurant’s wood-fired hearth.

Kovach, who previously worked at Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago, says that Bearcat is “fine dining without the tablecloth.” The cuisine is modern American in the broadest terms. “When you look at American food, it’s all the influence of immigrants,” says Kovach, “So we might be cooking everything from Japanese to North African to Mexican. Our style of cooking is definitely going to be noticeable. After a while, you’ll be able to tell one of our dishes just based on the aesthetic of it. We’re more technique driven and ingredient driven and not so much concept driven.” Also in the kitchen is chef de cuisine John Coleman from Chubby Fish and Parcel 32.

“It’s definitely a come-as-you-are kind of restaurant,” says Kovach, “When I was when I was up in Chicago, it felt like all the restaurants, even the casual ones, were pushing the cuisine. We want to bring that here. The idea is to create more of a chef-y culture in Charleston again.”

Bearcat’s bar is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 5 p.m. to midnight, and the dining room is open until 9:30 p.m.

A dimly lit wooden bar with a fire in the hearth in the background.
The wood-fired hearth anchors the bar area.
Mike Ledford
An open industrial kitchen.
Diners can see into the kitchen at Bearcat.
Mike Ledford
The dining room at Bearcat.
Mike Ledford

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