Ruta Smith

[image-1] Longtime Workshop tenant Merrow’s Garden Bar announced its departure from the rotating food hall last week. Owner Kevin Regan will join Workshop alums Ryan & Kelleanne Jones as the beverage director of Community Table and Kiki & Rye in Mount Pleasant.

The decision to cut ties with Regan’s popular bar partially came as part of Workshop’s mission to kickstart new ventures, but was influenced by the realities of COVID-19, a Workshop official confirmed. The food court’s operators have started their own bar service since Regan’s departure.
[content-2] Since joining Workshop in 2018, Merrow’s Garden Bar has been an outdoor oasis for those in search of a refreshing cocktail, craft beer, cider or glass of wine. The bar started as a side gig for Regan, a former guide for Coastal Expeditions, but turned into much more as Workshop gained traction.

“The first six months it wasn’t crazy busy, but then it started picking up and I was able to make that my full-time job,” Regan said. “It started to take off from there.”

This led Workshop to hire Regan as an employee, making Merrow’s Garden its official bar.

“For me personally, they let me do my thing and it was wonderful,” Regan said. “My job I’m moving into is because of Workshop.”

“Kevin did an incredible job really building it from scratch,” said Workshop chief of staff Tara Pate.

“At the highest level, Workshop’s mission is to incubate kitchen concepts and allow them the opportunity to grow. [The decision to not renew] was a mixture of Merrow’s having been there for three years and COVID forcing us to take a hard look at how we operate.”
[content-1]With the departure of Merrow’s Garden, two tenants — Chuck & Patty’s and Sushi Wa Izakaya — remain from pre-coronavirus times.

Workshop’s new bar is tiki-themed, with a cocktail menu that includes a mai tai, Aperol spritz, paloma and other beachy drinks. In total, the bar features 12 cocktails, five wines, three beers and a seltzer.

Regan said he’ll split time between Community Table and Kiki & Rye with his new role, overseeing ordering and bartending occasionally.