Ruta Smith

Top Chef alum Jamie Lynch and his business partners swung open the doors to their latest project, Tempest, last week.

The restaurant is housed in the former Harriott Pinckney Home for Sailors at 32C North Market St. next to 5Church, the group’s other Charleston-based restaurant, and will offer a refined take on sustainable South Atlantic seafood.

“Conceptually, we were trying to go for something that’s upscale but fun,” said Tempest owner Patrick Whalen. Located in the two-story building previously occupied by Queology and Market Street Saloon, Tempest will be open for afternoon bites from 2-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and dinner daily.
[content-1] The restaurant’s theme is inspired by the history of the building, originally constructed in 1916 as a boarding house for merchant marines. The seafood-forward menu curated by Lynch, chef partner Adam Hodgson and chef de cuisine Will Cammer matches the restaurant’s design with small plates and entrees focused on the Lowcountry’s bounty.

Look for a king crab curry appetizer and smoked oysters from Lowcountry Oyster Co. along with main dishes like local black grouper, triggerfish and confit swordfish with bernaise.

“The portion sizes will be enough where you can order multiple dishes and everyone can enjoy together,” said Lynch, who explained the menu will change to highlight the seasonal variety of fresh fish the Charleston-area waters have to offer. The restaurant will also feature produce from Lynch’s 6-acre farm in North Carolina.

In addition, Tempest’s raw and roast menu will offer both chilled and charcoal roasted options prepared in a Mibrasa charcoal oven, which can reach up to 900 degrees. King Crab legs, local shrimp, lobster, littleneck clams and oysters cook within seconds, providing a smokey perfume while allowing the seafood to shine.

The 5th Street Group is known for its one-of-a-kind interior designs, and Tempest’s decor will be no different. The bottom floor of the restaurant features a 700-square-foot stained glass mosaic suspended from the ceiling painted by local Charleston artist Honey McCrary — Whalen met McCrary at the Charleston City Night Market and commissioned her to do the piece. McCrary did 23 different sketches before coming up with the design for the mosaic, which is estimated to include over 100,000 pieces of glass. Upstairs in the main dining room, seafood-themed artwork like prints of fish caught by Lynch and Hodgson adorn the walls of the bright, airy space. Overall, the restaurant seats about 100 inside and 18 outside and will open at partial capacity due to COVID-19.

“With each of our restaurant projects, our goal is to create an environment that is equal parts immersive, inspiring and satisfying,” Whalen said. “We believe that Tempest will be no different, and the 5th Street Group cannot wait to welcome our first guests.”

For more information on Tempest and to make a reservation, visit tempestcharleston.com.
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