Bollywood Cafe Folds Before its First Birthday

bolly2Sad news from Rivers Avenue: According to a tweet from @CharlestonFood, Bollywood Café has closed.

The Indian restaurant’s website is out of service, and its voice mailbox is full, suggesting the “for lease” sign in the window does signal the end of the breakaway buffet.

Owners of Bombay Restaurant last summer opened Bollywood in a former Wendy’s after a landlord dispute ended their tenure 400 feet up the street. Another operating group took over the Bombay name and venue. Continue reading

Rising High Cafe Apparently Says Goodbye

risinghighRising High Café has been closed for more than a week, and there’s currently no indication the East Bay Street sandwich shop intends to re-open .

“Those of us who work in the neighborhood miss it,” a reader writes.

There’s a handwritten “closed” sign taped inside the restaurant’s door, and no person or voicemail system picked up numerous calls to the restaurant. Owner Cliff Lowder, who two years ago took over the business, did not return e-mail or cell phone messages. Continue reading

Realtor Seeking New Tenant for Tristan Space on Market Street

chef_nate

Chef Nate Whiting will serve as executive chef of 492, a new Upper King restaurant.

Another upscale restaurant will likely move into the Market Street dining room scheduled to be vacated at the end of April by Tristan, the realtor leasing the property says.

“We’ll be looking for an established local or regional operator,” Richard Morse of Palmetto Commercial Properties says. “We want to grab someone who’s well known in the area.”

The Relish Restaurant Groups, which operates Tristan, earlier this week announced the 12-year old restaurant’s impending closure.  Chef Nate Whiting will continue to oversee Tristan Catering, and will help develop a new restaurant for the company. According to a press release , Whiting will “creat(e) a concept that is reflective of his own vision” at 492. Continue reading

Cru Cafe Takes a Short Vacation

Cru Café is upholding its annual tradition of taking a holiday break in January, closing on Jan. 5 for a “freshening up.”

The downtown restaurant will reopen on Jan. 14.

During the hiatus, Cru Café will undergo “aesthetic improvements to help maintain the cozy, intimate atmosphere,” spokesman Ryan Nelson says.  The improvements include painting and minor repairs.

Puree Cafe to Close This Weekend

photo (66)Puree Cafe, the Mt. Pleasant vegetarian restaurant which last month launched a last-ditch effort to attract more customers, is closing on Saturday.

“Puree will be closing indefinitely at the end of this month,” owner Jenan McClain wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page. “We are in talks with multiple angel investors and we’re hoping to continue or re-open. We started on one family’s budget, which has proven to not be enough.”

Although Puree was popular with diners who appreciated McClain’s commitment to using only organic ingredients, many customers couldn’t understand why she wouldn’t serve Coke.

“A lot of people in the South don’t even know what a GMO is, so it’s been a real educational process,” she said last month. Explaining her decision to enhance dinner service with a dedicated menu and organic cocktails, she added, “We’re not in danger of going out of business, but it’s got to get profitable at some point.”

Continue reading

Unpaid Bills and Illness Conspire to Close Ernie’s Restaurant

ernies-225x300Ernie’s Restaurant, a beloved soul food joint which daily drew 200 customers with its turkey necks and lima beans, has apparently reached the end of its 36-year run on Spring Street.

Owner Ernie Kinloch last month closed the restaurant for renovations; according to Kinloch, plans to reopen were derailed when his sister, Essie Bryan, became seriously ill.

“My sister who’s been running it is sick in the hospital,” Kinloch says. “Right now, I hope she pulls through her sickness.”

In addition to managing the restaurant, Bryan handled its finances. Charleston County tax records show Bryan last year sold the 64 Spring St. parcel to a Kiawah Island real estate developer for $30,000.  Property owner Al Roberds didn’t return calls seeking comment, so the future of the address is unclear. Continue reading

La Fourchette Closing This Week

AR-307089906.jpg&maxw=640&q=100Confirming a rumor first reported this morning by Eater Charleston, La Fourchette today announced its imminent closure.

According to a press release, chef and owner Perig Goulet sold the eight-year old French bistro to Hall Hospitality Group LLC, which operates the adjoining Halls Chophouse. Halls has not yet revealed how it intends to use the space.

The release doesn’t list an exact date for the closing, but it’s scheduled to occur “this week.”

“I will be back,” Goulet is quoted as saying. “Bonsoir y’all.”

Big John’s Owner Wants to Restore the Big John’s of His Youth

newbigjohnDespite rumors which swirled after the announcement of The Green Door’s imminent closing, bar owner Ryan Condon says he’s not only keeping Big John’s Tavern open: He’s planning to return the 59-year old institution to its former status as a traditional watering hole, where the TVs tuned to football are a bigger draw than the fish head curry.

“I want to return Big John’s to what Big John’s was when I started going there,” says Condon, who started hanging out at Big John’s as a high schooler. “If Big John would ever have seen The Green Door, he would have rolled over in his grave. I don’t even know what the hell grilled kimchee is; I just want to restore Big John’s the way it was.”

Condon says he evicted The Green Door from Big John’s Tavern because the concept didn’t square with the institution he vowed to protect when he bought it from football great John Cannady in 1991. Continue reading

The Green Door to Close on Oct. 31

gdoorThe minds behind Charleston’s most reliably inventive restaurant will now have to think creatively about location, since Big John’s Tavern is booting out The Green Door at month’s end.

The Roti Rolls spinoff late last year took up residence in the downtown dive bar, which was then run by brothers Chris and Jim Condon. But unbeknownst to Green Door owner Cory Burke, the building belonged to their uncle, Ryan, co-owner of The Crab Shack, a local seafood chain. When Ryan Condon took over Big John’s operations, doing away with braised pig heads and kimchi grilled cheese sandwiches was high on his priority list, Burke says.

“He apparently never liked Green Door,” Burke says. “He doesn’t like our food. He hates everything we’ve done.”

Ryan Condon did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Continue reading

Austin’s Food & Drink Calls it Quits

austins2Austin’s Food & Drink, which this summer took over the Spring Street storefront previously occupied by Black Bean Co., this weekend closed up shop.

A note taped to the front door didn’t explain the reasons behind the closure, nor did owner Debby New provide additional information on Austin’s Facebook page, but the restaurant was often eerily quiet for much of its near-daily 9 a.m.-8 p.m. schedule. Extending hours on Friday and Saturday nights, adding Sunday brunch and serving beer and wine didn’t seem to help cultivate the crowds: A staffer was at least once stationed on the sidewalk to ask passersby whether they’d tried Austin’s. Continue reading