Today St. Paul’s Star Tribune announced that chef Lenny Russo is headed to Charleston to “turn around” Rutledge Cab Co., Container Bar, and Harold’s Cabin. The properties are owned by Mike Veeck, Bill Murray, and restaurateur Brad Creger.
According to the Tribune, Veeck and Murray are co-owners of the St. Paul Saints and got to know Russo when he was advocating for a new ballpark for the baseball team.
Russo told the Tribune about his plans for the two restaurants and outdoor bar, “It’s just a matter of me taking them to the next level. They have a good foundation. They’re open. They’re operating. I’m not sure they’re as focused as they should be. I’m going to be the guy who says, ‘Let’s take the next step.’”
Russo plans on relocating to the Lowcountry in August and hopes to stick around for at least six months before making any more decisions. Russo said in the press release, “compared to Saint Paul, winters in Charleston are brutal but my wife Mega and I will try to pull through.”
Since opening in 2013, Rutledge Cab Co. has seen several menu and chef changes — moving from breakfast-centric fare (benedicts galore) to elevated bites (rice pilaf and chicken skewers) to hearty bar food (gourmet chicken fingers).
Harold’s Cabin opened its doors in 2016 to great acclaim from our critic Vanessa Wolf: “At once hip, homey, experimental, and exciting, Harold’s Cabin is carving out its own corner of the Charleston food scene.”
Since then Harold’s, like Rutledge, has seen chef and menu changes, and implemented a variety of events, from a puppet variety show to live music on the rooftop. (They’re currently even advertising elopement packages).
Container Bar, originally deemed Food Truck-O-Rama, has not appeared to host the slew of food trucks its original name suggested would be onsite (Container Bar is located at a property adjacent to Rutledge Cab). Rather, the spot seems to have taken on a friendly neighborhood bar atmosphere, with food trucks arriving here and there and drinks flowing once happy hour hits.
Container Bar hosts a variety of events from live music shows to comedy productions to fundraisers for local nonprofits.