Lewis Dodson is making a big move to Avondale.

The Folly Beach business owner, who runs the Drop-In Deli and famously won (with his fancy mustache) the City Paper’s first-ever hottest bartender contest, closed a deal with Manoli Davani last week, purchasing the Avondale Wine & Cheese shop. 

He’s going into business with his girlfriend (and amateur baker) Jessica Krofta and Kris Kincaid of Locklear’s at the Pier on Folly Beach. The trio plan to keep Davani’s excellent cheese and wine selection — “The best French selection of wine in Charleston,” says Dodson — and expand the offerings to include desserts.

“We noticed the gap in that area,” he says. “There’s no little place to sit down and have a glass of wine or port with a nice dessert.”

Davani’s plans for the future include spending quality time with her family, but she is excited about the new owners. “I am very happy to have been able to pass the store on to people who appreciate what I meant to do in Avondale with the little wine/cheese shop,” she says. “Hopefully, they will take it even farther.”

Expect to see cheesecakes and tortes alongside stinky cheese plates. “We hope to step up and have more tastings,” says Dodson, who has another venture in the works that will add even more color to the funky Avondale neighborhood.

It’s in the early stages, but Dodson is looking to open a distillery in the former Aikido Karate next door to the wine shop. Currently jumping through federal and state licensing hoops, Dodson is reluctant to say much, but he promises if everything works out, Charleston will have a very cool new distillery on its hands.    

In the meantime, Avondale Wine & Cheese should reopen for business this Saturday. In the meantime, here’s a pic of Dodson as hottest bartender (sorry, we just had to): 


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