Remember when we wrote about Workshop, Michael Shemtov’s (Butcher & Bee, The Daily) new project going into the massive new Pacific Box & Crate development on Upper King? Well, the fancy food court called Workshop (1503 King St.) is finally coming together. And Shemtov has announced its first tenants.
The 10,000-square-foot space will have a a rotating roster of five food vendors and the first to open the Workshop includes the kickass lineup of Pink Bellies; Lewis Barbecue’s Tex and Mex” concept; former Brooklynite Todd Lucey’s wood-fired pizza biz, Slice Co.; Butcher & Bee Executive Pastry Chef Cynthia Wong and her husband, John David Harmon’s grilled cheese biz, JD Loves Cheese; and Jon Ory’s Korean pop-up.
Thai Phi’s Pink Bellies is a sought after food truck and one we most recently featured in our Burger Issue about Phi’s In-N-Out-esque Animal Style Burger. No word on whether that’ll be on the menu.
Plenty are familiar with Lewis Barbecue and his incredible brisket. But many might not have had his Tex Mex. Currently a Tuesday special, John Lewis will make it the focus of his Workshop stall.
If you haven’t heard of the aforementioned Cynthia Wong, commit her name to memory. She’s putting out some of the best pastries in town right now at Butcher & Bee right now and we expect nothing less of her grilled cheese concept.
We haven’t had the chance to try Lucey’s pizza, but he previously worked at Best Pizza in Brooklyn. Finally, there’s Jon Ory. The brains behind Chicago’s wildly successful Bad Wolf Coffee, the Charleston native returned home last year to lead Workshop. He’ll have both a new Bad Wolf Coffee featuring his raved about pastries and Four Barrel Coffee during the day with light bites in the evening, as well as run a stall that, we imagine, will be a love letter to Korean cooking. We interviewed Ory for Winter Dish 2016 and to say the man is obsessed with Korean food would be an understatement. There is no try, only do with this guy, so stay tuned for some interesting things to come from him. Perhaps the most exciting part about Workshop is that it offers chefs, restaurateurs, and wanna-be restaurant owners a chance to test out a concept with less risk than, say, a food truck. According to Post & Courier, tenants can open a restaurant in three days at the space for just $3,000. And though each stall ranges in size from just 300-800 square feet, the chance to showcase their food to such a big audience — Workshop’s dining space can accommodate 300 people — is something few could get with the launch of a small restaurant.
“At Workshop, chefs, food truck operators, and restaurateurs have the opportunity to open a restaurant in a few days with a few thousand dollars,” Shemtov says in a press release. “We wanted to keep the space flexible, adaptable, and accommodating to both the local culinary community and our peers from other cities who would like to test out their ideas and concepts in Charleston for creative development or potential expansion, even if they’re long on passion but short on cash.”
So when you can your first taste? Workshop plans to open in March.
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City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.