Restaurant Week Servers Experience New IRS Ruling


Phillip Taylor PT

A new tax ruling which treats automatic gratuities as wages, rather than tips, could change how some local servers experience Restaurant Week.

The Internal Revenue Service on Jan. 1 began reclassifying automatic gratuities as service charges, a change which forces servers to wait until they receive their paychecks to obtain their money. Additionally, the money is now subject to payroll tax; previously, reporting tips was left to the server’s discretion.

Automatic gratuities are most frequently tacked onto bills racked up by large parties, but many restaurants have traditionally mandated them in situations where servers were at risk of not being fairly compensated for their work. Although a Greater Charleston Restaurant Association spokeswoman wasn’t certain how many Charleston Restaurant Week participants trot out the practice for the event, both Grill 225 and Circa 1886 enforce 20 percent gratuities. Continue reading

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.

Already Missing Restaurant Week? Hark, Avondale!

Avondale Rest Week Sep 2013If you’re holding out for something better than the current three-courses-for-$30 hoopla, West Ashley’s restaurants have a tip for you: “Avondale Restaurant Week.”

Now in its fourth edition, the week features $20 three-course dinners at half a dozen area restaurants. And on busy night, valet parking’s free.

Avondale Restaurant Week runs from Monday (aka the day after Charleston Restaurant Week ends) through Sunday, Sept. 22. The $20 deal’s good at Triangle Char + Bar, Pearlz Little Oyster Bar, Mellow Mushroom, Al Di La, Mex 1 Coastal Cantina and Nirlep Indian Restaurant.

Charleston Restaurant Week Returns — This Time, With Lunch



The standard Restaurant Week meal format – exceedingly popular in most corners – can aggravate diners in the habit of skipping dessert, since the three-course, prix-fixe dinners invariably end with sweets. Economically, it makes sense for restaurants to pad their menus with chocolate mousse and crème brulee, since eggs and sugar are cheaper than centerpiece proteins. But that’s little consolation to the Charleston Restaurant Week goer who’d rather double up on boiled peanut hummus (Magnolias) or pickled shrimp salad (Stars).

This year, though, the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association (GCRA) has tweaked its biannual program in a way which should please savory fans: Participating restaurants are being encouraged to devise toned-down lunch menus, offered at a slightly lower price. The three restaurants which have thus far posted their event lunch menus online – 82 Queen, Rutledge Cab Co. and Ms. Rose’s Fine Food and Cocktails – met the $15 challenge by doing away with dessert. Continue reading