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

Ernie’s Closes This Month For Renovations

erniesErnie’s Restaurant is preparing to renovate, necessitating the longest closure the owner’s nephew can recall.

Antoine Kinloch says he’s not sure how the many customers who dine at the soul food joint on a daily basis will handle the Oct. 7-Oct. 31 stretch.

“I can’t really say,” he says. “I wish we could do something for them.”

Ernie’s, a peerless source of turkey necks and lima beans, opened in 1982. According to a 2007 City Paper review, the restaurant’s never advertised. Two years later, Roadfood’s Michael Stern noted its lack of signage, writing, “Nothing about its exterior other than the smell of pork chops and stewed chicken suggests that it is a place to eat.” Stern described Ernie’s as purveyor of “one of the most satisfying low-cost dinners in all of Charleston,” praising its okra soup, white rice and bread pudding. Continue reading