Holy City Hospitality Snubs OpenTable

Diners interested in checking out the pair of new restaurants from Holy City Hospitality won’t have any luck securing a reservation through OpenTable: Vincent Chicco’s and Michael’s on the Alley are among the first upscale restaurants on the peninsula to handle their table assignments exclusively through a Yelp subsidiary.

Yelp last summer announced the purchase of SeatMe, an iPad-based system launched in 2011. Unlike OpenTable, SeatMe charges a flat $99 monthly fee instead of $1-$2.50 per cover.

“OpenTable is very expensive, and there is a fee for each reservation made,” explains assistant general manager Whitney Standish, who’s an unqualified fan of the service. “SeatMe works just as well and is super easy to navigate.” Continue reading

Mother-Daughter Team Opens Shortbread Shop in West Ashley

Butter Blossoms

Butter Blossoms

Emily Herr’s three-year year old daughter immediately cottoned to the idea that her mother was creating a dainty, child-sized tearoom in which she could hold her December birthday party. The concept that’s harder to grasp – which won’t surprise any parents of toddlers – is sharing the play space.

“She doesn’t quite understand that other people will have their parties here,” says Herr, who’s opening Butter Blossoms Shortbread Shoppe & Tea Party Room in West Ashley this weekend.

The bakery’s an outgrowth of an online shortbread shop Herr, a Johnson & Wales grad and Sanctuary Hotel alum,  launched after her daughter was born. Herr and her mother, Shell DiTullio, developed 50 shortbread varieties to sell on Etsy. Continue reading