Jestine’s Sweet Shop Still Open

jestinesAs of this weekend, Jestine’s Sweet Shop remained open, but it remains unclear why Jestine’s Kitchen closed without warning on Thursday, and whether the popular restaurant plans to re-open.

A Sweet Shop staffer refused to comment on the situation, but a man in the shop who identified himself as a friend of its employees said they’re as curious as the general public about what prompted the abrupt closure for unscheduled and unspecified renovations.

Although messages left on the restaurant’s voicemail and with the Sweet Shop for owner Dana Berlin Strange weren’t returned, rumors that the closure could be prolonged or permanent are swirling on social media.

According to a TripAdvisor review posted by a diner who claimed to have lunched at the restaurant on Thursday, Strange shut down the restaurant just as her party reached the front of the notoriously long line. As she tells it (ellipses and all), “’Dana’ came out to us and all the other hungry and hot customers and says to us, that she was sorry, but the restaurant was closed……WHAT???? Everyone was so upset. Well, being we were next in line I approached Dana and I said, do you remember me and she said ,”YES”, but I’m closing the restaurant indefinitely………She said, I’m NEVER COMING BACK. The restaurant is closed forever!!!!!!”

The TripAdvisor reviewer reported feeling “furious” and “mad,” emotions likely shared by Jestine’s employees who reacted to the news on Twitter and Facebook.

“Help I need a job, Help I’ll take any job,” Belinda Kowalski, a longtime server, wrote on Facebook. “Help I need a jobbbbbb.”

10 thoughts on “Jestine’s Sweet Shop Still Open

  1. The woman is full of contradictions. “I’m NEVER COMING BACK” but yet she (Dana Berlin Strange) is planning renovations to reopen. She couldn’t handle Jestine’s after 17 years, why open another one. Unplanned renovations? How does that happen. Out of her control…yet she is the owner. SHE is the one out of control. Good luck to the staff-you were all awesome.

  2. Pingback: Jestine's Closed..... - Charleston - North Charleston - Mt. Pleasant - Summerville - Goose Creek - City-Data Forum

  3. Dana has been a great supporter of the restaurant industry for over 17 years. She comes from a multi-generational Charleston family of entrepreneurs who have given back to the community. She is a divorced mother running a busy restaurant. Whatever the reason that she has closed is hers. This is not a government owned business. She must have had her reasons. Perhaps we should all show some compassion and hope that all will be ok for her.

    It is not like she is some wealthy restaurant owner frolicking around the country playing polo and going to celebrity wine dinners. That woman has worked very hard for a very long time and has been so very good to the community and employed many people for a long time.

    There are many many restaurants opening right now. The busy season is around the corner. I have no doubt that anyone working there will not be able to find another position by networking with the Charleston Restaurant Association, the Center for Women, and the many hospitality job placement services in Charleston. There are many.

  4. Did anyone ever consider that the health inspector may have been there and there were issues related to the visit?

  5. Comments about Dana aside, effectively firing multiple long-time employees without notice, who like everyone else have families to support and bills to pay, has left many employees struggling to make ends meet. There may be plenty of jobs around, but in the restaurant business servers are a dime-a-dozen, and while I have no doubt that the incredible staff can find new jobs, that doesn’t make the sudden unemployment any less shocking and frustrating to people wondering how they’re supposed to make their next house payment. Some notice of termination so that people could update their resumes and search for a new job might have been professional.

  6. She closed the door during a lunch shift and told her loyal employees of many years to go collect unemployment with not so much as a thank you or goodbye.

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more. She is a wonderful person, and has been very giving to the community. I do pray that she is able to work things out for the best, and that each of the employees find suitable employment. Loved Jestines and love Dana.

    Only she knows the daily stress of running that place.