Fun fact: city structural experts had a bet on how soon it would be before the dilapidated building at 492 King Street would collapse. That is until The Relish Restaurant Group purchased it. If you strolled Upper King prior to about a year ago, you understand why. The building, formerly (we believe) Leon’s Men’s clothing store, was built in the late 1800s, but abandoned since Hurricane Hugo. Now it’s well on its way to become 492, former Tristan Executive Chef Nate Whiting’s new restaurant slated to open February 2015.
CP joined a hard hat tour of the space today. Here’s what we learned. The casual restaurant — joining the old store and a new addition — is all about light. Huge floor-to-ceiling windows allow sunshine from the King Street side as well as onto the restaurant’s large outdoor courtyard. The outdoor space will be gated from the street, allowing a more private area to dine.
Inside architect Alicia Reed of Gibson Guess has crafted an open kitchen with seats on one-side. Chef Whiting says this design was all part of his desire to shift to a come-as-you-are environment — a departure from his former style at Tristan. Downstairs will seat 75 and that includes a front bar guests will see upon entering from the corner of King and Mary.
Upstairs 492 will have a 48-seat banquet room that will look out onto a rooftop garden Whiting and team plan to use for seasonal herbs and vegetables.
Whiting wasn’t ready to reveal the menu today, but he’s been working on R&D from a kitchen in North Charleston. What we do know is the atmosphere at this new King Street spot is being designed to suit the neighborhood — affordable, comfortable, and seasonal.