Leave it to Instagram to deliver our latest chef scoop — Alex Lira has left The Lot. Scrolling back through Insta images today, we discovered that three days ago Lira posted a photo of figs with the caption “First day without a job and I’m making 20lbs of fig preserves.”

We caught up with Lira this afternoon and he confirmed the departure.

“I love Alex and Vanessa Harris,” Lira says of the Pour House and the Lot’s owners. “But it felt like the right time.”

The chef came to Charleston after working in New York at Craft and Marlow & Sons. After staging at a few restaurants downtown though, Lira opted to make a name for himself in a laid-back environment rather than join the ranks of one of downtown’s well-known spots. He opened the Lot in 2012 and quickly earned the respect of folks like Robert Moss who dubbed the chef’s veg-forward food not “lip-service locavorism.” 

Now he’s taking some time off. “So far that’s involved foraging for chantrelles on Johns Island and planning a vacation,” he says. But Lira won’t be leaving the area. He just bought a house and hints that he has something else in the works. For now, the Lot’s sous chef RJ Dye is stepping into the executive chef role.

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