Southern-meets-Israeli restaurant Butcher & Bee (1085 Morrison Drive) has been a fixture of the Charleston culinary scene since 2011, when it started as a late-night sandwich shop, but it announced today that the restaurant will shut down its Lowcountry outpost on Sunday, September 3.
Owner Michael Shemtov says the closure is a matter of personal and financial issues. “It’s always been a passion project,” he says, “But in its twelve years, it’s never been a financial leader in the company.” He says he looked at the revenue numbers, and the restaurant wasn’t where it needed to be. The company also includes another Butcher & Bee in Nashville (which will remain), Redheaded Stranger in Nashville, and locations of the Daily in Charleston and Atlanta.
Shemtov says their lease on the Morrison Drive space isn’t ending anytime soon, so they are switching it up and bringing a second location of popular cafe the Daily (652 King Street) to the address as a test run. He says that he and his team decided that the best way to retain longtime employees and support the bakery is to see how the Daily fits in the location.
Due to its popularity, the Daily on Upper King routinely has a line of customers waiting for a chance to order avocado toast, coffee, or shwarma bowls. Shemtov thinks by opening a second, larger location of the Daily, more locals can visit. “I’m not sure I would go [to the Daily on King Street] on a Saturday morning if I didn’t own the place,” says Shemtov, “I built it because it was the place I wanted to have breakfast at, but I don’t think I would stand in line for 20 minutes. God bless the people who do, but I certainly understand when my friends tell me they can’t go there anymore.”
Shemtov’s thesis is that with a bigger space, more parking, a full bar, a bakery, and Wi-Fi, the Daily on Morrison will attract NoMo neighbors and customers who don’t want to queue up for breakfast or lunch at the original location. His hope is to shut down Butcher & Bee on September 3 and reopen as the Daily on September 9.
In an email to subscribers, Shemtov writes, “We are grateful to those who were there with us to launch and support the Charleston Bee - our vendors, guests and community. We are humbled by the trust our team puts in us, and grateful to each of you that has worked with us over the years. Thanks to our team and community, what started as an ambitious little shop on Upper King has led to The Daily on King St, to two thriving restaurants in Nashville and two outposts of The Daily in Atlanta.”