Egan & Sons Listed for Sale UPDATED

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Egan & Sons appears to have is preparing to poured its last pint: The downtown restaurant is up for sale.

City Paper first broke the news of the seven-month old restaurant’s sudden closing, quoting general manager Kirsten Leahey as saying, “We’re going to shut down for a few weeks and make some changes. But we’re not going anywhere.”

According to a posting by National Restaurant Properties, the 2900-square foot restaurant and bar at 5 Cumberland St. is now available for $1.69 million. The space is described as “well-maintained and appointed with high quality finishes.” Continue reading

Get Yer Peanuts, Rice, Grits and Benne Wafers Here

vendingI’m not much for year-end round-ups and awards, but this machine is – without a doubt – the best vending machine of 2013.

The Charleston Museum three months ago installed the machine, which was the brainchild of a business student who’s since moved away. After 126 years, you might think the thrill of putting money in a slot and getting food in exchange would have faded, but you’d think wrong – and the concept is especially irresistible when the foods include peanuts, rice and benne wafers.

“People love it,” administrative manager Susan McKellar says. “I always hear people outside my office saying how cool it is.” Continue reading

Dispatch from Greenville: Putting Every State on the Wine List

sipThe wine list at Sip, Greenville’s impressive new rooftop lounge, would be intimidating under the best of the circumstances: The dozens and dozens of wines offered by the glass are identified only by varietal and place of origin, giving little guidance to the drinker who just wants something floral and light. But the situation’s nearly untenable on the weekend nights, when the attractive patio fills with revelers – most of whom are drinking beer and liquor.

The most common wine order during the hours when the service staff can’t talk guests through their choices is “just give me a Riesling,” High Street Hospitality beverage director Chad Musick admits.

During its first summer, the six-month old bar sold 20,000 glasses of wine. But Musick says he plans to tweak the list just as soon as the opening craziness subsides: His list of edits includes ramping up the domestic selection.

Sip now serves a single wine from North Carolina and no wines from Virginia. Continue reading

CWF Ticket Buyers Apparently Gravitate Toward Xiao Bao, The Macintosh and Hash Browns

BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival

BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival

Remember earlier this week, when I advised you snatch up tickets to the Charleston Wine + Food Festival’s Perfectly Paired dinners at Two Boroughs Larder and The Macintosh? If not, you’ve (possibly) already missed your chance.

As of noon today, tickets to the Two Boroughs Larder dinner featuring Atlanta’s Ryan Smith and Ryan Hidinger were listed as available in “limited quantity.” And tickets to The Macintosh dinner co-starring Jeremiah Bacon and Houston’s Chris Shepherd were flat out “not available.”

But here’s the catch: Just because tickets aren’t available, it doesn’t mean the event’s sold out. As spokesperson Ashley Zink explains, “some events have tickets held back for hotel packages or sponsors, and if they are not needed, those tickets will be released and available to the general public again at a later date.” Dinners, though, rarely fall into that category: If tickets aren’t available, it’s usually because the small stock of seats has already been claimed. Continue reading

Ted’s Butcherblock Adds Seafood Case

SL_SeafoodCase1Salmon’s been a staple of Ted’s Butcherblock since Ted Dombrowski in 2005 opened the downtown meat counter and café, selling at a rate of 3-4 sides a week, but customers have always gotten their flounder, halibut and scallops needs met elsewhere. Now Dombrowski’s installed a seafood case which he hopes will help make Ted’s Butcherblock a one-stop shop.

“On the peninsula, there aren’t a lot of places for fresh seafood,” Dombrowski says. “We put on the case and took on the same concept as the butcher side: My whole number one thing has been I need to carry the best quality I can find.”

That means the seafood case, like the butcher case, won’t be restricted to local products.

“I don’t carry any beef from South Carolina,” Dombrowski says, referring to the heat and humidity that’s notoriously tough on cattle. “I took the same approach with seafood. If someone wants halibut, it’s not going to be local.”

Still, there are plenty of fish from faraway places which won’t show up at Ted’s Butcherblock, including shrimp, catfish, tilapa and other products from Southeast Asia and South America. Dombrowski, realizing the sustainability concerns pertaining to seafood are far more complex than the issues posed by domestic beef and pork, consulted the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Initiative before putting together his fish case.

Dombrowski ultimately settled on a line-up he describes as “basic,” featuring grouper, mussels, shrimp and clams. “I’m not Whole Foods,” he allows.

The case will also include a rotating fresh catch.

“This week we had in some really beautiful rockfish,” he says. “Next week it might be wreckfish.”

Although Dombrowski has more experience with meat than fish, he says he isn’t daunted by a whole halibut.

“At this point, I’m pretty comfortable around knives,” he says.