A LA CARTE 

Sounds Foreign, Tastes Like Home

Better than Bubba or Beau, local boy Brett "Skibo" Johnson has opened a self-titled SkiBo's restaurant on Harborview Road. It's platters-o-seafood, burgers, and brew at the fledgling casual, kid-friendly eatery with seating for 80. As a James Island resident since age three, it was love of the area and the food service industry that prompted Johnson to start up the restaurant. "I was in the beer business for 21 years, then worked in catering. I realized I wasn't getting any younger and decided to start my own place," says Johnson. With any success he hopes to extend SkiBo's to neighboring Mt. Pleasant and possibly other Lowcountry locations. Dine in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and enjoy a local serving locals. —Kinsey Labberton


Loss of Liberty May Be Worth It

Andolini's pizza moguls Michael and Edie Rabin and Voodoo owners Michael and Jen Kulick are teaming up to develop a new Avondale breakfast nook. Using the space of former Liberty Café, the partners will open a New Orleans style restaurant, Marie Laveau's, the second week of February. "Liberty used to be a local tradition, very family oriented," says Jen Kulick, "we're going to keep that same feeling with Marie's." Big Easy delights such as beignets and chicory coffee will be menu staples, but as far as non-New Orleans fare, the couples intend to mix it up and push boundaries. With the introduction of more boutiques and the lack of casual family dining in the area, the Rabins and Kulicks felt Avondale was right for the new restaurant. Kitchen modifications and a basic interior spruce up can be expected, but Liberty's relaxed atmosphere will stay intact. The Rabins' well-known eclectic kitsch collections of retro artifacts, a trademark of the Andolini's franchise, will likely make an appearance in the renovated building as well. —KL


In Other News

Speaking of Michael and Edie Rabin's Andolini's empire, their Juanita Greenberg's location on Folly Road will soon become an Andolini's Pizza. J'Paulz tapas bar on Maybank Highway finally opened after months and months of construction. (What's that noise? The collective rejoicing of James Islanders happy to finally be getting some more dining options.) Baker's Cafe on King Street will be moving to Daniel Island soon, and Big Game Billfish on Shem Creek shut its doors. A shame too, cause we liked their food. Seems like the dining scene is really heating up these days, and our dining choices just keep on multiplying. —Stephanie Barna


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