S&S Cafeteria Reopens Two Months After Damaging Fire

sscafeteriaS&S Cafeteria is wearing its holiday best for its reopening tomorrow, a restaurant spokeswoman says.

“After two months of intense renovation due to a fire, we are excited to be able to invite all of our friends and customers to come in and enjoy our delicious Southern meals,” Rita Kiser writes.

Kiser is urging patrons to “dine in and relax in our renovated facilities, complete with Christmas decorations.” (Although she adds that the take-out shop is reopening too.)

The area’s last surviving cafeteria, S&S Cafeteria on Oct. 2 was badly damaged by an early morning laundry room fire. General manager Mike DeLaney initially forecast the restaurant would require a few weeks to rebuild, but it took months before loyal customers were given another crack at deviled eggs; broiled chicken livers; ambrosia and turnip greens. Continue reading

Jestine’s Kitchen Back in Business

jestineinterior2Lunch service at Jestine’s Kitchen today proceeded so casually and calmly that most visiting diners apparently didn’t have a clue that the tourist haunt had just completed a six-week hiatus.

“They don’t know we were gone,” my server told me.

Although there wasn’t a line outside the door, guests swapped standard banter with new manager Michael Pendleton, sharing highlights of their Charleston vacations and citing the travel guide which pointed them to Jestine’s. Continue reading

Jestine’s Kitchen Back in Business Next Week

jkkitchenJestine’s Kitchen, which last month shut down in the midst of lunch service, is planning to re-open on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 11 a.m.

Jessica Grossman of Jestine’s Sweet Shop shared the news in an e-mail, but didn’t elaborate on what diners should expect when the tourist favorite returns. Jestine’s Sweet Shop remained open throughout the restaurant’s hiatus.

It’s still not clear what caused Jestine’s owner Dana Berlin Strange to close the restaurant on Aug. 22 without warning: According to social media reports, Strange shooed away customers, declaring the restaurant would never re-open.

The restaurant’s windows were papered over days after the closure with butcher paper on which the oddly-spelled phrase “closed for remolding” was handwritten.

Strange in 1996 opened Jestine’s Kitchen to honor her family’s longtime housekeeper. Jestine Matthews died the following year at age 112, but her namesake restaurant continued to attract acclaim from the national press and remarkably long lines.