Berkeley restaurants

Charleston-area restaurants back to business as usual after Hurricane Ian | hurricane thread

Hurricane Ian, the first to make landfall in South Carolina since Matthew in 2016, left restaurants in the Charleston area largely unscathed. Most, including those in flood-prone areas, were able to reopen first thing in the morning on October 1.

Little Line Kitchen & Provisions in downtown Charleston at 176 Line St. reopened for breakfast on Oct. 1, just 12 hours after large parts of Line Street – marked by President Street and Ashley Avenue – were under water.

The West Side daytime restaurant saw no obvious damage, owner Wendy Gleim said, though she reported drainage issues later in the day that could have been linked to flooding.

Other restaurants on the peninsula resumed normal service less than 24 hours after Ian passed through Charleston.

A short walk from Little Line, Daps Breakfast & Imbibe reopened the morning after the storm.

A team outside Melfi’s have returned the restaurant sign to its normal hanging position after it was removed as a precaution. The restaurant was left unscathed, co-owner Brooks Reitz said.

Huger Street was another downtown freeway that went underwater on Sept. 30, but that didn’t stop Renzo, 384 Huger St., and Berkeley’s, at the corner of Huger Street and Rutledge Avenue, from reopen the next day.

A handful of Charleston-area bars and restaurants decided to stay open during the storm, including Frannie & The Fox, Kwei Fei, Stems & Skins, Share House and Blind Tiger.

Matthew Conway, owner of The Tippling House wine bar with his wife Carissa, said he never considered closing. The couple and The Tippling House chef Sean Clinton live within walking distance of the wine bar, so Conway knew he could open without putting his staff at risk.

“It was by far our biggest night selling food,” said Conway, who eventually had to start turning people away at the end of the night. “Over the course of my career, I have discovered that these are the evenings where you can really bond with the community. Just the camaraderie you feel with the people who come that night.

Chef and restaurateur Nico Romo hoped to provide the same type of ambiance for customers at his new Summerville restaurant, Laura. But soon after bringing in his kitchen crew in the morning, he made the decision to close Laura, along with his two other restaurants – NICO Oysters + Seafood in Mount Pleasant and Bistronomy By Nico downtown.

Laura now open (copy)

Chef Nico Romo has made the decision to close Laura, his restaurant in Summerville inspired by the culture and cuisine of his maternal grandmother Laura, as well as his two other restaurants – NICO Oysters + Seafood in Mount Pleasant and Bistronomy By Nico downtown – September 30. as Hurricane Ian blew through. File/Brad Nettles/Personal

“I didn’t know Summerville either and didn’t expect them to be so flooded,” Romo said.

It may have only been one night, but the decision to close on a Friday was important to Romo and other Charleston restaurateurs. Especially those who rely on local seafood (NICO) and homemade pasta (Laura).

“You don’t want to waste product, and the product is already there,” Romo said. “You have to stay open as long as you can.”

The hardest hit of Romo’s restaurants has been Bistronomy, which closes weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

“So now (for) a five-day week, I’m only getting sales for three days already,” said Romo, who said he knew it could have been worse. “You always have to look on the positive side. In a way, we take the risk of living on the coast.

Hurricane Wire is a pop-up newsletter during hurricane season that provides anyone living on the East Coast with all the information they need to know as storms brew in the Atlantic and beyond.