It’s barely 2016 and already there’s a damn mezze platter worth of restaurant news to report.
To start: Hank’s has been sold while Brasserie Gigi and A.W. Shucks have closed. The possibility of changes over at Hank Holliday’s Hank’s and Gigi’s had been circulating for months, but now we know that Hank’s (along with DoubleTree Inn) was sold to Ohio real estate firm Rockbridge. Holliday nor Hank’s chef Frank McMahon have returned our calls, but according to the Post & Courier, McMahon will consult on Hank’s during the transition in ownership.
Meanwhile, Holy City Sinner’s Christian Senger got the early scoop on Gigi’s closure. The two-year-old restaurant closed this weekend. No word yet on the next venture to take its place.
Down the street at 37-year-old Market Street establishment A.W. Shuck’s, it’s out with the old, in with the new. Here’s the scoop on that space and more places that will be opening in 2016:
Oyster House & O-Bar
70 State Street
Post & Courier reports that A.W. Shucks has closed. In its place owner John Keener plans to open Oyster House & O-Bar in three weeks.
Choices, Eats, & Sips
215 E Bay St.
The East Bay sushi restaurant Tsunami is gone and in its place new owner Charles Vannart is opening a new restaurant called Choices, Eats, & Sips. No date yet on the opening.
TBA Southern-themed restaurant
209 E Bay St.
Wet Willie’s may be gone, but Stars owner Keith Jones has big plans for its space. Jones plans to turn the East Bay spot into a Southern-themed restaurant complete with a live music and a bluegrass brunch. He also told us he’s bringing a big chef from California out to helm the property, but has yet to reveal the man’s name.
Cane Rhum Bar & Caribbean Kitchen
251 East Bay St.
Paul Yellin has been called the Rhum Chef and with good reason. The native of Barbados has been a rum ambassador and will share his love of the spirit with the opening of his Cane Rhum Bar & Caribbean Kitchen in the old Big John’s. No ETA on this project yet, but we have spotted a smattering of Caribbean blue paint samples on the building’s wall.
60 Bull Café
60 Bull St.
Though it’s been years, we’re still mourning the loss of Bull Street Gourmet. The small storefront was the perfect neighborhood cafe. When it closed Smith & Bull Cafe and Gourmet Market attempted to hold onto some of the former proprietor’s magic, but it eventually closed as well. According to the 60 Bull Cafe website, the new owners are Torrey and Kathy Bateson Glass. They plan to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Home Team BBQ
126 Williman St.
Home Team BBQ’s downtown location is coming along so fast we can almost taste it. Home Team’s owner Aaron Siegel had hoped to unlock his latest property’s doors last fall, but no such luck. Looks like we have to wait for those smoked wings a little bit longer.
John Lewis Barbecue
464 N Nassau St.
Meanwhile, just around the corner (actually you could hock a spitball over the fence and hit Home Team BBQ’s new location), John Lewis Barbecue’s spot is coming along. Right before Christmas we reported the arrival of his four smokers which have now been installed. Work appears to be progressing quickly and it better. Lewis’ restaurant is the site of March’s Charleston Wine + Food’s Chicken Shit Bingo night.
Fill Restaurant & Piano Bar
1150 Hungryneck Blvd.
Not since eager undergrads crammed into King Street’s former Pluto Rocks has the Lowcountry enjoyed (or endured) a dueling piano bar. But those days are done. The former Mosaic Cafe in Mt. Pleasant will soon be home to just such a place. Fill plans to offer lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, and, of course, dueling pianos.
Chicken Salad Chick’s
Northcutt Plaza Shopping Center
280 West Coleman Blvd.
January 26 chain restaurant Chicken Salad Chick’s will open in the former home of one-time lingerie store, Chantilly Lace. So there’s that.
220 Meeting St.
New Jersey ice cream sandwich shop Peace Pie will open on Meeting Street this year which means tourists will soon be able to tuck into an ice cream sammie as they wait in line to eat at Hymans.
MOD Pizza & Panera Bread
King & Calhoun streets
The transfer of the corner of King and Calhoun from defunct locally-owned music store to corporate American food court will be complete this year the opening of MOD Pizza and Panera Bread according to P&C’s Warren Wise.
Revelator Coffee Company
550 King St.
Founded in New Orleans, but now with spaces in Atlanta, Birmingham, Ala., and Tennessee, Revelator Coffee promises to bring bonafide beans and a locally-focused attitude to Charleston. No word yet on an opening date.
1750 Savannah Hwy.
Cinnamon bun lovers West of the Ashley are in luck. Pastry chef Lauren Mitterer is taking adding to her baked goods empire by taking over Rococo Bakery’s old space. Eater says the space will open in February.
721 King St.
Way back in July owner Brooks Reitz shared the news that he was closing his coffee shop Saint Alban. He said in it’s place he’d open Little Jack’s Tavern (more on that next) and move Saint Alban across the street. So far, we’re still waiting on both, but we get the feeling Saint Alban will open after the tavern.
Little Jack’s Tavern
710 King St.
If you follow Little Jack’s Tavern on Instagram, you know a vintage pub is in the works. From what Reitz has posted, it appears the new place will feel like the kind of spot two ruddy-cheeked Irish immigrants would meet for a pint after leaving Ellis Island. Or at least that’s what we hope.
Darling Oyster Bar
513 King St.
Union Provisions is long gone and in its place we’re expecting the opening of The Darling Oyster Bar very soon. Joe DiMaio will head up the kitchen and plans on serving a seafood heavy menu with a new cocktail program.
Last month Butcher & Bee owner Michael Shemtov started a Kickstarter campaign to complete both his Nashville Butcher & Bee and new cafe, The Workshop. The campaign did not make it’s goal, which is to say the Workshop is still in the works.
247 Congress St.
In October we reported that Justin Moore had been named chef at Harold’s Cabin, the Bill Murray-owned cafe coming to 247 Congress St. Moore will prepare a vegetable-driven menu and work with Leslie Wade the property’s rooftop gardener.
1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mt. Pleasant
Mark and Adrienne Ciaburri are opening a new casual American restaurant in the old La Hacienda in Mt. Pleasant. “The menu consists of mainly small plates designed to encourage tasting & sharing, but we will offer soups, salads, and entrees as well. Of course, we’ll also have a full bar and an inspired cocktail menu & wine list,” Adrienne says. It should open by the end of this month.
1809 Reynolds Ave. North Charleston
North Charleston fish and chips shop The Codfather opens for business this Wednesday. Look for steak and kidney pie then.
Marty’s Dining Hall
The College of Charleston’s new kosher/vegetarian dining hall, Marty’s Place — its full title is Dr. Martin Perlmutter Dining Facility — will celebrate a grand opening on Sun. Jan. 10.
Stems & Skins
1070 East Montague Ave. North Charleston
Former Husk sommelier Matt Tunstall and Bull Street Gourmet’s Justin Croxall new Park Circle wine bar’s last update was via Facebook and said “We will be alive and kicking very early in the new year.”
Pancito & Lefty
708 King St.
Taking over the former Zappo’s Pizza, The Alley owner Jimmy Poole and Chef Robert Berry plan to give Upper King some authentic Mexican food, but it’s still a construction site inside the space.
565 King St.
Southern Charm producer Bryan Kestner’s French/Mexican fusion restaurant has now been in the works for two years. Will it see the light of day this year? That remains to be seen.
Did I miss a place? Let me know at Kinsey@charlestoncitypaper.com