Carter’s Kitchen, Still Closed, Delays Restaurant Week Menu

Carter’s Kitchen missed its self-imposed deadline of reopening in time for Charleston Restaurant Week, but customers of the Mt. Pleasant restaurant won’t miss out on Restaurant Week deals.

According to Greater Charleston Restaurant Association spokeswoman Kaili Howard, Carter’s Kitchen plans to start running its Restaurant Week menu when it reopens.

The restaurant’s air conditioning units, hot water heaters, walk-in cooler and a storage unit were destroyed in a Dec. 28 fire. Chef-owner Robert Carter, who didn’t return a message seeking additional details about the repair process, initially forecast he’d be back in business by Jan. 8.

After reading this post, Carter e-mailed, “We are diligently working with the insurance company to get the scope of work finalized and the cleanup and minor repairs completed in a timely manner. The holiday schedule made for a slow start, but we are in full swing and hope to announce an opening date soon.”

Carter dismissed reports that the restaurant could be open as early as Jan. 21.

Smoked duck pastrami, pork osso bucco and coconut cake are among the items listed on Carter’s Kitchen $40 Restaurant Week menu.

Future of Mercato Uncertain After Closure for Water Damage

013Nineteen of the 29 employees who lost their jobs when Mercato this weekend shuttered for extensive renovations have been relocated to other Holliday Company properties.

“We’re working to place the other employees,” adds spokeswoman Elise Reinemann, who confirms all of the staffers were offered Hank’s Seafood Restaurant, Peninsula Grill or DoubleTree Hotel positions which mirrored their Mercato jobs.

According to Reinemann, the temporary closure was prompted by “significant water intrusion issues from neighboring buildings” on North Market Street. The restaurant was already considering renovations, but the severity of the water damage cinched it. 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.

Whisk Transitions From Bakery to Beverage-Focused Cafe

whiskWhisk is shedding its sandwiches and pastries in an effort to lure more customers, but it’s still unclear whether the downtown shop will retain its bakery-themed name.

“This is the challenging part,” says owner Sam Mustafa, who recently closed Whisk for substantial renovations. “I’m really very boggled.”

Mustafa five years ago opened Sam’s Corner on Meeting Street, selling “hot dogs and all the knick-knacks.” He introduced the bakery concept in 2012, and earlier this year renovated the 700-square foot space to make room for the many items that tourists requested: “It’s a bad place to be, because you want to satisfy people so bad,” Mustafa says of his busy stretch of street. But the renovations didn’t clear up the clutter – and nobody was buying Whisk’s sandwiches. Continue reading

Citadel Alums Worry About Renovation of Big John’s Tavern

Ryan Condon has repeatedly referenced his plans to remake Big John’s Tavern as the bar he remembers, but his use of the word “renovation” in an interview apparently alarmed fellow members of the tradition-minded crowd.

“We want to know what’s going to happen to the nametags,” says Scott Sutter, a 2001 Citadel graduate, who called me from Connecticut on behalf of the many classmates who’d contacted him.

The nametags, Condon confirms, are safe.

“We don’t intend on removing any memorabilia,” Condon says. “We’d like to add more to it.” Continue reading

Code Concerns Didn’t Force Jestine’s Kitchen to Close

jestintJestine’s Kitchen was not facing any citations for building code violations prior to its sudden closure, a city spokeswoman today confirmed.

According to Charleston spokeswoman Barbara Vaughn, none of the city’s departments charged with code enforcement were involved with the downtown restaurant when it abruptly shut down last Thursday afternoon. The timing of the closure and reference to “renovations” on the restaurant’s outgoing voice mail message had led some patrons to speculate that the 1949 building had failed inspection.

Although Strange still hasn’t contacted the Post & Courier, she yesterday told WCSC’s  Raphael James that she’d decided to close the restaurant so she could redo the kitchen floor and plumbing. Asked whether the decision was sudden, she said, “I’m a woman.” Whether the comment was made in earnest or jest wasn’t clear from the report.

Jestine’s Kitchen Closes For Unplanned Renovations

Jestine’s Kitchen is closed for unanticipated renovations, according to the restaurant’s outgoing voicemail message.



“We are closed right now for renovations, thank you very much,” the speaker says. “I’m very sorry. It was out of my control.”

It’s unclear exactly when and why the restaurant suspended service, but tipster @KeeneDawg reports hearing Jestine’s “closed yesterday in the middle of the day.” (Lunch service apparently began as usual: I swung by the restaurant around noon yesterday to shoot a picture of the line for a Seattle food writer planning a Charleston trip and wondering if Jestine’s was worth a stop.) Continue reading