[image-1] After last month’s sudden shuttering of the beloved Spero, a slew of other places have been announcing official closings, rebranding endeavors, chef changes, and new ownership. Whether the shift is due to personal reasons or business reasons, staffing issues or rent hikes, the restaurant scene in Charleston, which has always been in flux, has seen quite a rocky summer.

New ownership

Phuong Vietnamese Restaurant posted on their Facebook page Fri. Aug. 24 that as of 8/24/18 they would be closed to spend more time with their children. They wrote that the new owner will take over Wed. Sept. 5.

Chef shuffles

On Aug. 16 Ryan Shaw was named executive chef of The Lot. “I am excited to be taking over as the Executive Chef of The Lot and to call Charleston home. Local and high quality ingredients will shine through old world techniques with innovative, contemporary design,” said Shaw in a press release. Shaw comes to The Lot from Boulder, Co. where he was working at The Greenbriar Inn alongside James Beard nominee Chef Martin Woods.

Indigo Road Restaurant Group posted on their Instagram Wed. Aug. 22 that Mark Keiser is taking over the executive chef position at Oak Steakhouse. The caption reads,”Keiser has worked alongside Oak chef and partner Jeremiah Bacon for the past five years as Chef de Cuisine. We are excited to watch Chef Keiser showcase his individual style while also continuing the great work Chef Bacon has established here at Oak Steakhouse.” Bacon continues on as the culinary chef partner for all Oak Steakhouses (Charleston, Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, and Raleigh) and is chef/co-owner of The Macintosh.

Former Millers All Day executive chef Madison Tessener posted a statement on Twitter Wed. Aug 8 that on Sat. Aug. 4 she had been officially let go. As we reported at the time, Tessener said,  “I was pulled out in the middle of service and told that I was being let go. Without any other communication or any other information. They said I was not a team player.” Millers released a statement saying, “There is rarely one reason for parties to make a decision like this. We wish her the best. Chef Nathan Thurston is overseeing the kitchen operations until a new chef is named.”

On Aug. 23, P&C reported that The Ordinary has promoted a new chef de cuisine, Tori Schumacher, after the departure of Carlton “Vandy” Vanderwarker earlier this month.

Nate Whiting announced Monday on Instagram that he is stepping down as executive chef at Juliet. Greg Kurtzman will take over the exec chef position.


The Post and Courier reported on Aug. 19 that The Getaway, which opened less than a year ago, “closed over the weekend without warning.” They reported that owner Kirk Heidenreich “disputed the characterization of the restaurant as closed, saying he’s ‘retooling the brand, with an estimated reopening date of Sept. 1.'”

Executive chef Emily Hahn took to social media, saying that “after being told 20 minutes before our Sunday brunch service that The Getaway was no longer going to be open, laid off staff with no notice & no severance package for any salaried employees…one staff member who received this message shared it with me proving that we were lied to directly by ownership about the closing of The Getaway.”

We first reported on the new concept going into the former King Dusko spot almost a year ago, Sept. 12 2017. The next day, Hahn and Genevieve Mashburn, owner and operator alongside Heidenrich, told us that The Getaway would be a South American inspired cabana bar with Top Chef alum Hahn at the helm whipping up creative fare inspired by her travels.

Mashburn left the restaurant only a few months later, in Feb. 2018, citing 

“irreconcilable creative and operational differences” between herself and the other partners.

Two days ago, Hahn posted a link to her revamped website on Instagram, toasting to “New Chapter. New adventures.”

As of this week, a new concept has moved into 541 King St., Bootleg Tavern. The restaurant has yet to establish itself on social media, but the sports bar looking menus posted in their windows indicate they are open daily and serve a huge range of fare from a “pound of fries” as a starter, to burgers, tacos, and baskets, and entrees including seafood pasta and tequila lime chicken. A far cry from The Getaway’s Latin American inspired cabana bar, but eerily similar to other college bars in the area.  [image-3]


On Aug. 1, Annie’s Bistro shared a post on their Facebook page from owners Mark Manly and Carole Robert: “It has been an honor and a privilege to meet, serve and cook for all of you for almost 5 years. We thank you for your friendship and your business. Unfortunately Annie’s Bistro is now closed. We will keep you informed on our next project.”

The Post and Courier reported on Aug. 15 that James Island’s Sermet’s Southernterranean would have their final service Sat. Sept. 8. after two years of business.

492 had their last service this past Sun. Aug. 26. A statement from Restaurant Relish Group 492 reads, “After four years of service, Relish Restaurant Group has decided to close the doors to 492 and Tristan Catering + Events to focus on a single restaurant concept, Ms. Rose’s Fine Food & Cocktails. The last day of service for both entities was Sunday, August 26, 2018.” The statement included a quote from director of operations for Relish Restaurant Group Dave Bucks, “We are very proud of what we built and accomplished at both 492 and Tristan Catering + Events. It was a difficult decision and we are grateful to each of the teams for their hard work and dedication over the past four years.”