Fred Neuville Expands Johns Island Empire

The official word is finally out (after months of speculation) — Chef Fred Neuville and his partners closed the deal on the old Live Oak Cafe on Maybank Highway last Tuesday and have big plans to turn it into Johns Islands’ very own Italian restaurant come this fall. Neuville, who embarked on his first solo venture this past July with Fat Hen’s signature French-inspired Southern cuisine, was formerly the founding Executive Chef at 39 Rue de Jean, COAST, and Good Food Catering. “We’re really looking forward to doing this,” said Neuville. “The area has been really supportive of us at Fat Hen and this way, people won’t have to leave the island.” —Gervase Caycedo

Hey Ricky, He’s So Fine

Fancy cocktails are fun to drink, and it’s always exciting to find a new one that you like. A couple of years ago, I remember discovering that the mojito is a right good alternative to the old margarita, but it’s been a while since we tasted something new. That might change now that the culinary wizards of Charleston Grill are shaking up cocktails with a seasonal theme. This month, they’re featuring the Strawberry Ricky, a twist on the old Gin Ricky that uses fresh strawberries. We haven’t tried this one yet, but you can bet that we’ll be ponying up to the bar soon to check it out. I wonder how they pair with those fried macaroni and cheese balls? —Stephanie Barna

Suzie Ladles Up Even More Soup

Suzie Allen is expanding her soup empire, opening a second location of Ladles, her fresh soup restaurant, at Freshfields Villiage on Kiawah Island. The first Ladles Soup store is next to Bi-Lo at 3124 Bees Ferry Road, and she’s planning to open a third in Mt. Pleasant in late 2008. Ladles is a great concept — for soup lovers. They have more than 60 varieties of soup that you can order in individual or bulk sizes. They also do catering. —Stephanie Barna