Bob Waggoner Is Out

Big doings over at Charleston Grill. We’ve confirmed the rumors that have been swirling around town since last Friday — and, it’s true, Bob Waggoner will no longer helm the kitchen at one of Charleston’s most prestigious fine dining restaurants. Fortunately, they won’t miss a beat as longtime Sous Chef Michelle Weaver will take over and continue plating up that delicious menu of innovative fare with some planned changes of her own. It’s exciting to see a woman ascend the ranks. We’ve long bemoaned the dearth of female head chefs in this town. With the ever-capable Mickey Bakst easing the transition, diners can certainly expect the same top-notch experience as Charleston Grill enters a new era. —Jeff Allen

Robert Will Retire, Some Day

Looks like the legendary Robert Dickson will be ready to retire sometime next year. According to daughter and chef MariElena Raya, they’ll be making some big decisions when the restaurant’s lease comes up in a year and a half. “It’s not official, but he’s probably going to be ready to retire and we’re looking at that as the end date.” MariElena and her husband Joseph, who’ve been running the kitchen and the front of the house respectively, will — if they stay in that space on East Bay — create a new concept, since it doesn’t work as Robert’s without Robert performing Italian arias and Broadway tunes. “We tried having guest singers when [Robert] was out for his surgery, but our guests weren’t receptive to that.” —Stephanie Barna

Fly Right Over

We like it cheap, we like it funky, we like it On the Fly. A new little drive-through restaurant in West Ashley will be serving up Lowcountry options like shrimp and grits, crabcake sandwiches, and buttermilk-brined chicken at economy-conscious prices — all under $10. On the Fly opens Monday, Jan. 26 in the old Steak Out location, between Andolini’s and The Glass Onion on Savannah Highway. Owners Brannon Montgomery and Margaret Minch have designed a menu full of fresh, home-style meals for people on the go. The hours will be Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. and they’ll offer catering services too. —Anna Linesch

Big Night, Big Menu

Looks like Italian has reemerged as the most popular food trend. Must be the immensely satisfying comfort of pasta, cheese, and red sauce. Another new Italian joint — Mia’s Pomodori — will open at the end of February at 212 Rutledge, in the old Dave’s Carryout space next door to Lana. Owners Paul and Tiffany DeSantis will keep it simple with king-sized calzones, three-cheese manicotti, and large, crispy, thin-crust pizza. They’ll make their sauces and dressings from scratch using fresh, high quality ingredients. You can call ahead for delivery, order online, or stop in and enjoy a glass of wine on the back porch seven days a week. from 11 a.m.- 10 p.m. —Anna Linesch

Want to Play Mother?

Tea lovers and British expats rejoice. A new high tea option has appeared on the scene. Fuschia Tea Emporium, located at 113 Church St., is a charming little tea shop that serves an afternoon tea with a array of loose teas, finger sandwiches, and scones served with clotted cream. Clotted cream! Breakfast is served weekdays from 8-10:30 am. Lunch is 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and afternoon tea is from 2-4 p.m. by reservation only. Lunch and afternoon tea is also available on Saturdays. They hope to pair up with their sister company, Forty Shades of Green, to host wine and cheese events in the near future. —Anna Linesch

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