A quick call to Maverick Southern Kitchens revealed, well not a lot actually. They seem to be keeping mum about the style of restaurant and potential name. But it should be a promising addition, especially since it's related to SNOB and High Cotton, to the Mt. Pleasant dining scene.
The Boulevard wants to bring a downtown feel to the Mt. P area by creating a contemporary, pedestrian friendly center. It'll also house the town's first parking garage. I'm sure that the new restaurant will match the vibe of the development, but I for one would like to see a nice bistro — if anyone is taking suggestions.
Stay tuned for more news on the project.
This summer, Charleston’s caffeinated community was shocked to hear that Hope and Union, downtown’s picturesque coffee shop, the home of mason jar lattes and a fanciful pour-over system, was set to shut its doors. Fortunately, in the almost the same breath as the closing announcement was news that another shop, the Collective, would be opening in Mt. Pleasant in the former Bodacious Bagels spot in the Bi-Lo shopping center off of Johnnie Dodds Boulevard. And there was a promise that many of the same baristas from Hope and Union would appear again east of the Cooper.
Sinan and Liz Aktar, the owners of the Bagel Shop downtown and friends of Hope and Union owner John Vergel de Dios, opened the new shop. “We were looking to expand, but we wanted to do something different,” Liz says. “Because of Hope and Union, my husband became obsessed with coffee.”
Vergel de Dios helped design the new spot, from the interior to the branding, and it’s easily the hippest, most downtown Charleston thing you’ll see in Mt. Pleasant; there’s lots of old wood and Eames-esque plastic chairs, but it’s definitely a darker space than Hope and Union was. Basically, imagine if Hope and Union had a super cool baby with Butcher and Bee. There’s lots of room inside, and a massive community table along with smaller ones at banquette seating lining a wall.
When asked about the coffee program, Liz immediately defers to Jessica Jurs, formerly the lead barista at Hope and Union and now at the Collective. “This is their front of the house and they own it,” Liz says. “The baristas, they’re like a family. It’s easy to work with them because they know what they’re doing.” Jurs admits that the Collective is definitely Hope and Union inspired; walking in, you’ll be instantly reminded of the old shop, and the mason jars and milk bottles are still there. But she promises that it’s not going to be a sequel.
And that’s obvious when she takes me into the Collective’s kitchen, a massive room that’s probably bigger than the entirety of Hope and Union. Jurs promises they’ll be taking full advantage of the space. The Collective’s food menu currently features omelettes, bagel sandwiches, and french toast, and there’s plenty of croissants and other pastries too. Stuart Tracy from Butcher and Bee is helping plan the menu (B&B shares a bakery with the Bagel Shop).
Aktar and Jurs say they hoped the Collective could have opened sooner (they were planning for mid-August or early September), and they’re considering today a soft opening. The coffee menu wasn’t yet on the wall, but a barista will quickly tell you your options for Intellegentsia coffee: any espresso drink, vanilla, mocha, and almond lattes made with house-made syrups, and Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Guatemala coffee from the pour over.
The Collective might not be downtown, but we expect many downtowners will make the trek over the bridge to get there. Head to 766 S. Shelmore Blvd. for your new caffeine fix.
A note from the website says, "The Shelter Kitchen + Bar was born from a simple idea. Three Charleston area builders couldn’t find the perfect hangout. They were looking for cold beer, drinks to suit any situation, good food, friendly service, and reasonable prices; basically everything. Since they couldn’t find it, they decided to build it, and The Shelter was born."
Ever since I got a glimpse of the huge front patio, I knew I wanted to stop by and check it out.
The bar itself tends to crowds inside and out and includes a hodge podge of interesting stools. I found the toilet seat to be quite humorous.
As for drinks, there's an eight-tap system with a beer for everyone: Bud Light, Bell's Two Hearted Ale, and a couple locals. They've also got a frozen concoction of six different rums and various fruit juices called Category 6. For $10, you get 22 ounces of this potent drink and a sure shot at a hangover.
The menu includes standard bar items with some Southern twists. I tried the fried pickles and okra and the fried green tomato BLT. I'd order them both again.
The menu also includes a bunch of sandwiches and six burgers where you can choose between beef, chicken, portabella, or a veggie patty.
They've also got an appealing Saturday and Sunday brunch menu.
A couple of TVs are mounted inside and two more on the patio. There's also a pool table in the back.
This place may not be right on the water, but the open-air bar and large patio are quite inviting. You can't miss it, as the front entrance is literally five feet from Coleman Boulevard.
Check it out and let us know what you think.
Ever since Park Circle Coffee n' More closed back in 2009, Park Circle locals have been without a proper coffee shop. Now, Richard Campbell is back with a new shop aptly dubbed Richard's Coffee n' More.
Located behind the now closed Aunt Bea's in the village, the small white building boasts a tree shaded patio with lots of tables and has room for four 4-tops inside. The building is owned by North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and Campbell credits his help with making the shop a possibility.
"When I started Coffee n' More, I did with a lot of money and by myself. Now, I'm starting again on a shoestring with the help of many many friends and Summey's support. I couldn't have done it without them", said Campbell.
The kitchen is smaller than before, but he's still going to serve up a variety of deli favorites as well as breakfast fare like waffles, egg sandwiches, bagels and muffins. His former cook Gloria is back, to the delight of many regulars.
He'd like to serve Sunday brunch soon, but is just focused on the opening for now. The shop will be open Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. The official address is 1050 East Montague Suite D, but keep in mind it's off the main road.
Surprise, surprise there's another burger joint in town. Vino Burgerz quietly opened at the corner of 17 and 41 in Mt. Pleasant about a month ago. But why the name Vino? The quaint little restaurant is attached to favorite local wine and beer shop Wine-A-While.
After hearing about how great the burgers are on multiple occasions, I decided to stop into Vino Burgerz for lunch to see what they have to offer.
The decor is warm and inviting with a handful of high and low-top tables with a direct view of the kitchen. A giant chalkboard displays the entire menu, including specialty beers on tap.
Right away I ordered the roasted pork belly and spinach artichoke dip. Adding pork fat to anything is a win in my book.
As I munched on the sinful dip I browsed the burger selection. According to the menu, all the burgers are ground in-house daily with a special blend of chuck, brisket, and short rib, cooked to order with your choice of fresh-cut russet or sweet potato fries, or a side salad. Besides the beef, there are four other patty options including: lamb, turkey, salmon, and a portabella cap.
If you can't find a burger you like out of the 15-plus options, you can build your own, but VB creations are very intriguing. The Spanish Harlem is a beef patty with garlic-roasted pulled pork, sofrito, and queso fresco. There's even a burger that's topped with bacon, foie gras, and quail eggs.
Each burger is listed with wine and beer pairing suggestions. Cool idea.
I opted for the Sunshine Burger: "VB grind, heirloom tomato salad, apple smoked bacon, crisp red onion, bibb lettuce, a sunny-side-up egg, and cracked black pepper."
The burger was huge and after eating an appetizer I was full and had leftovers take home.
The only downfall of the meal was the bun. I've said it before and I'll say it again: the bun can make or break a burger. While the bread was strong enough to hold all of the toppings, it was a bit too airy and bready. I found myself tasting more of the bun than the fresh ingredients resting on top of the patty itself.
Putting the bun aside, I do think Vino Burgerz has a lot of potential. With a fresh, creative menu and easy access to Wine-A-While this could turn out to be a lunch/dinner destination for hungry shoppers. I'm already looking forward to stopping in again in the near future.