The owner of the forthcoming Egan & Sons says the rustic cooking style which chef Kyle Yarborough perfected at the now-defunct La Fourchette is an especially good fit for the forthcoming downtown Irish pub.
“That French country cooking is close to Irish country cooking, with the root vegetables, casseroles and stews,” Chris Egan says.
Egan’s also looking forward to Yarborough using animal parts which don’t fly at his restaurants in New Jersey, where eaters insist on chops and filets.
“In other regions, people are kind of snobby about other cuts of meat,” Egan says. “I love the South because it’s not that way.”
A native of Ireland, Egan is eager to inject his first Southern project with an authentic Gaelic feel. The pub, scheduled to open sometime next week, isn’t festooned with the Guinness mirrors and pictures of Irish politicians which exasperate Egan.
“It’s sort of tainted (the concept),” Egan says of the predictable décor and menus featuring thawed-out fish-and-chips. “It’s a bit like suggesting American bars are red, white and blue. It’s not really that way.”
Although Egan operates three restaurants up north, he stresses the Charleston venture isn’t a carbon copy of his other bars. “I want to dispel the idea we would be an Applebee’s or a Bennigan’s, because a lot of thought goes into what we do; a lot of soul and a lot of headache.”
Egan & Sons is located in the former Moe’s, a site Egan selected a year after scrapping plans to open a bar in Savannah. He was attracted to the boozy traditions represented by the freestanding, single-story building, which he describes as “shabby chic.”
“Bars that convert a former shoe shop don’t have the same kind of feel,” he says.
The pub will have 14 beers on tap, eight of which Egan classifies as “craft.” Beers will be available in 12-ounce mugs; Egan says the smaller-sized vessels will allow customers to save money and try more beers. Also, he adds, “the beer doesn’t get as warm in the Southern climate.”
The menu will skew homey and local: Among the dishes is a colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and cabbage, made with collards.
Staffers are now in the thick of training, Egan says: “it’s just getting everyone up to speed and we’re off to the races.”