167 Raw will turn the 5 Fulton Street space previously occupied by recently closed Italian eatery Fulton Five into a “Mediterranean restaurant with a cocktail-forward menu,” 167 Raw owner Jesse Sandhole told the City Paper Thursday.
According to Sandhole, Fulton Five’s nearby location makes it the ideal place to send guests who are waiting for a table at 167 Raw, located steps away at 193 King Street.
“We’re excited to physically walk guests around the corner and set them up with some drinks and snacks,” he said.
Fulton Five opened in 1992, and the old school, 15-table Northern Italian eatery delivered hearty plates of fresh pasta and seasonal mains for years, offering couples a downtown romantic escape. A favorite among locals and tourists alike, Fulton Five was consistently voted Charleston’s Most Romantic restaurant by City Paper readers, but its pint-sized dining room forced it to temporarily close at the onset of the pandemic. The Post & Courier reported the restaurant would not reopen earlier this week.
167 Raw’s management team has been in contact with Futon Five owners Ray and Pam Maynard regarding the space for months, Sandhole said.
“We have known the owners there for quite awhile, and it wasn’t the first time we looked at the building,” he said. “We had a dialogue that started a while back.”
The Maynards did not respond to requests for comments.
167 Raw’s forthcoming concept will serve as a waiting area for patrons with their sights set on oysters and lobster rolls around the corner, but Sandhole said the new restaurant will be a destination itself.
“We’re still in the early planning stages there, but we’re still planning on having a killer culinary side,” said Sandhole, who intends to open the restaurant in 2021 shortly after the 167 Raw Sushi Bar debuts on East Bay Street.
Since landing in Charleston in 2014, 167 Raw has consistently had lines out the door at both of its locations, and the new restaurant could have the potential to have similar wait times. So, why not open a bigger restaurant? That isn’t out of the question moving forward, Sandhole said, but it wouldn’t necessarily fit in with their desired aesthetic.
“King Street is pretty big in terms of our definition of what a big restaurant is,” Sandhole said. “The intimacy is key to our experience.”