Featured Press Releases

Use this library of press releases written by the Charleston Area CVB media relations department to mine for story ideas, stay abreast of what is new in the destination and learn about the special events that take place throughout the year.

For additional story ideas, we invite you to visit our blog at www.charlestonly.com.

What's New Spring/Summer 2015

For Immediate Release, May 2015


Charleston, S.C., named No. 1 City in the U.S. and Canada by the Travel + Leisure (2014, 2013) World’s Best Awards and No. 1 Top U.S. City by Condé Nast Traveler (2014, 2013, 2012, 2011) Readers’ Choice Awards, is known for its rich history, well-preserved architecture, coastal location, celebrated restaurant community, and congenial people.

While indeed a veritable living museum, the Charleston area is also a bustling epicenter of hospitality as illustrated by the following news.

I. Accolades
II. Restaurants
III. Restaurant News
IV. Accommodations
V. Venues
VI. Retail + Specialty Products
VII. Tours + Exhibits
VIII. Air Service
IX. Events


#1 Most Charming City in America, 2015
Travel + Leisure

Most Romantic City in the World, 2015
Condé Nast Traveler

10 Most Beautiful Cities in the USA, 2015

#3 Top Destination in the U.S., 2015

#5 U.S. Best Ranked City for Hotels, 2015

#13 Best Places for Fantasy Food Travel, 2015
Food Republic


492 King Street, Charleston | 492King.com

492 is located in a completely renovated building that was abandoned following the fury of Hurricane Hugo, the category five storm that devastated parts of Charleston in 1989. With an open kitchen configuration, guests may observe Chef Nate Whiting prepare his “progressive American” fare made with Lowcountry ingredients. Opened April 2015.

Barony Tavern
68 Wentworth Street, Charleston | BaronyTavern.com

“Southern-inspired, simply prepared and graciously served” is the slogan of Renaissance Hotel’s Barony Tavern, where Chef Bob Carter offers menu items ranging from steak and salmon to shrimp cocktail. Opened March 2015.

Breizh Pan’ Crêpes
39 George Street | BreizhPanCrepes.com

Natives of France, Patrice and Celine Rombaut, are bringing authentic crêpes bretonnes made with the highest quality French ingredients to downtown Charleston with the opening of Breizh Pan’ Crêpes. Both buckwheat and flour crepes will be offered for breakfast, lunch, and dessert. Opening spring 2015.

Café Frambroise
159 Market Street, Charleston | CafeFramboise.com

A native of France, Dominique Chantepie began to master the art of pastry at the age of 15, traveling to the cities of Paris, Montreal, and California, where he worked and studied. Now, Chantepie brings flavors from the City of Light to the Holy City. Café Frambroise offers a variety of pastries, such as éclairs and macaroons, sweet and savory crêpes, paninis, and salads. Opened March 2015.

Chick’s Fry House
1011 King Street, Charleston | ChicksFryHouse.com

James Beard award-winning Chef Robert Stehling of Hominy Grill and Executive Sous Chef Save Uecke will offer fried chicken, fried fish, and fried donuts at Chick’s Fry House. Their specialty donuts will be stuffed with ingredients such as banana pudding and strawberry-rhubarb, and topped with glaze. Opening spring 2015.

Cumberland Street Smokehouse
5 Cumberland Street, Charleston | CumberlandSmokehouse.com

Cumberland Street Smokehouse’s interior features repurposed wood, rustic framing, and Mason jar hanging light fixtures. The Cumberland Street Smokehouse menu offers pulled pork, corn bread baskets, and hickory smoked wings. Opened February 2015.

565 King Street, Charleston

Chef Bob Waggoner is bringing French-Mexican fusion fare to King Street. Using French cooking techniques, the menu will offer items such as rabbit tacos and bone-in ribeyes with toppings including jalapeño and cilantro. Opening 2015.

Home Team BBQ
126 William Street, Charleston | HomeTeamBBQ.com

With existing locations in West Ashley and on Sullivan’s Island, Home Team BBQ is expanding to its third restaurant downtown. The space will offer both indoor and outdoor patio seating, windows overlooking the patio, and a 50-foot bar. The restaurant will also offer an expansive bar menu with more than 100 specialty bourbons and whiskeys. Opening fall 2015.

McKee’s at 139B
139B Market Street, Charleston | McKeesat139B.com

Chef Brett McKee’s new dining and social club can accommodate intimate gatherings and large parties in its Market Street venue. McKee’s at 139B also offers a private dining club, granting members access to a number of social and food events throughout the year. Opened February 2015.

1513 Meeting Street, Charleston

Munkle, named after owner Palmer Quimby’s uncle, a monk who inspired Quimby’s passion for brewing, is coming to Meeting Street this fall. The $1 million-plus brewery is housed in a one-story, 6,815-square-foot structure. Opening fall 2015.

Pancito & Lefty
708 King Street, Charleston | PancitoandLefty.com

Owned by Chef Robert Berry and Jimmy Poole, Pancito & Lefty will showcase traditional Mexican fare with a focus on vegetables and spices. Opening summer 2015.

Parlor Deluxe
207A St. Phillip Street, Charleston | Facebook.com/Pages/Parlor-Deluxe

Jive back to the ‘50s and enjoy a fizzy soda, hot dog, and ice cream at Charleston’s throwback soda shop, Parlor Deluxe. Following the success of their first restaurant, Warehouse, co-owners James B. Groetzinger and Joey Rinaldi have partnered with Chef Emily Hahn and Pastry Chef David Schnell to make “all your sweet and salty dreams come true.” Opening summer 2015.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House
55 South Market Street, Charleston | RuthsChris.net/Charleston

Currently in 36 states and 11 countries worldwide, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is opening its newest location in the lobby of the French Quarter Inn in the historic Charleston City Market neighborhood. Chef Jonathan Kaldas, American Culinary Federation award winner and 2010 graduate from the Culinary Institute of Charleston, will head the Charleston location. Opening May 2015.

Screen Door
1271 Folly Road, James Island | ScreenDoorCharleston.com

Chef Blake Joyal will cook gourmet burgers, pizza, and seafood on a custom-made, eight-foot wood-burning grill and rotisserie at Screen Door on James Island, a short drive from downtown Charleston. Opening May 2015.

616 Meeting Street, Suite A, Charleston| SperoCharleston.com

Executive Chef RJ Moody and Chef Rob Laudicina paired up to open Spero, an eatery with a focus on a social atmosphere. Plates are encouraged to be shared and include such delicacies as duck confit, mussels, and raw local oysters. Opened March 2015.

The Westendorff
114 St. Phillip Street, Charleston | TheWestendorff.com

Housed in a former hardware store, The Westendorff has been restored to include a 26-seat counter, booths, a sun-filled garden room, and covered patio. The second floor accommodates meetings and banquets, while the third and fourth floors feature private apartments with exhibition kitchens for intimate dinner parties and gatherings. Brunch and dinner will be prepared daily by Brooklyn chef Christopher “Ted” Jackson. Opening June 2015.

Tricera Coffee
41 George Street, Charleston | TriceraCoffee.com

Owned by Robbie Dietrich, who also owns Cup Fine Coffee & Roasters, Tricera Coffee will serve waffles, burritos, and other breakfast items in addition to coffee. Opened March 2015.

Tattooed Moose
3328 Maybank Highway, James Island | TattooedMoose.com

Featured on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” this cozy pub is opening a second location on James Island, a short drive from downtown Charleston. Keeping the same vibe and menu options as the downtown location, the James Island pub will offer a larger outside patio and interior space. Opening 2015.

Thai Elephants
915 Folly Road, James Island | Facebook.com/ThaiElephantsFolly

Tam Perrine moved to the United States from Thailand 15 years ago, and she recently opened Thai Elephants to showcase her native cuisine. Opened March 2015.

Uncle Maddio’s
1795 North Highway 17, Mount Pleasant | UncleMaddios.com

Uncle Maddio’s pizza shop offers three dough options, six sauce alternatives, and over 45 cheese, meat and veggie toppings. With made-in-house dough and locally grown vegetables delivered each morning, diners may enjoy a fresh, made-to-order meal. Opened February 2015.

Benny Palmetto’s
433 West Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant | BennysVA.com/BennyPalmettos

Benny Palmetto’s serves 14-inch slices, taking over two plates, for hungry pie lovers. Founded in Virginia, Benny’s expanded to South Carolina thanks to College of Charleston grads. Opened March 2015.

Junction Kitchen & Provisions
4438 Spruill Avenue, North Charleston | TheJunctionKitchen.com

Kimana Littleflower and her husband Legare Queen, former chef at Jestine’s Kitchen, feed breakfast cravings all-day at this new café located in North Charleston’s Park Circle neighborhood. Try the “buzzed doughnut” – coffee rubbed bacon and an over-easy egg served on a biscuit doughnut, with coffee for dipping. Salads, sandwiches, and grocery essentials such as wine, produce, and grab-and-go dinners are also available. Opened March 2015.


Cannon Green
103 Spring Street, Charleston | CannonGreenCharleston.com

Cannon Green has launched a Chef’s Table, which overlooks both the restaurant and courtyard. Accommodating up to 18 guests, the Chef’s Table is designed for group dining and is accompanied by a four-course prix-fixe menu with wine pairings.

Caviar & Bananas
51 George Street, Charleston | CaviarandBananas.com

Caviar & Bananas has released an all-new salad menu. Each salad has been designed (and named) with various locales in mind, including The Far East, Pike Place Caesar, The Buena Vista Cobb, and The Baja.

Circa 1886
149 Wentworth Street, Charleston | Circa1886.com

The newly renovated Circa 1886 features softer, modern tones in place of the original orange and beige accents that once splashed the walls and booths. Additional seating, black and white images of Lowcountry scenes, and new light fixtures have also been added to the romantic dining venue.

526 King Street, Charleston | IndacoCharleston.com

In addition to Indaco’s regular business hours, the rustic Italian eatery is now open for brunch on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Diners may browse a robust menu that includes wood fired potatoes, granola with honey and seasonal fruit, and—for the sweet tooth—Nutella pizza topped with bananas, pecans, and Carolina Flake salt.

Jack’s Cafe
41 George Street, Charleston | JacksCafeCharleston.com

Jack’s Cafe re-opened at the beginning of 2015 with a remodeled interior, as well as new menu options. The popular breakfast and lunch joint now serves beer and wine and offers dinner and late-night dining Thursday through Saturday. Re-opened January 2015.

The Bower at Edmund’s Oast
1081 Morrison Drive, Charleston | EdmundsOast.com

The newest addition to Edmund’s Oast is The Bower, a 3,400-square-foot space designed by Stumphouse Architecture + Design. The shaded, outdoor add-on allows for 100 additional seats for private events.

The Park Cafe
730 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston | TheParkCafeCHS.com

To celebrate its first year in business, The Park Cafe released a new dinner menu that includes pan seared ribeye, Parmesan crusted chicken breast, and quail al mattone among others.

Union Provisions
513 King Street, Charleston | UnionProvisions.com

Union Provisions has launched a new lunch menu that includes truffle macaroni and cheese, truffle pomme frites, salads, flatbreads, and burgers. The daytime menu is served from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Rita’s Seaside Grille
2 Center Street, Folly Beach | RitasSeasideGrille.com

Rita’s Seaside Grille recently launched an all-new breakfast menu featuring both savory and sweet flavors. Menu items include fried chicken with pancakes, crab cake benedict, and Captain Crunch French toast.

James Beard Foundation Awards

Chef Jason Stanhope of FIG won the James Beard Foundation Best Chef Southeast Award, while Chef Sean Brock of Husk won the James Beard Foundation Best American Cooking Cookbook Award for Heritage. The following Charleston restaurants and chefs were named semi-finalists for the James Beard Foundation awards: Sean Brock of Husk, Outstanding Chef; Hominy Grill, Outstanding Restaurant; Edmund’s Oast, Best New Restaurant; Lauren Mitterer of Wildflour Pastry, Outstanding Baker; FIG and McCrady’s, Outstanding Wine Program; Charleston Grill, Outstanding Service; Jeremiah Bacon of The Macintosh, Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder, and Jason Stanhope of FIG, Best Chef Southeast; Ari Kolender of Leon’s Oyster Shop, Rising Star Chef.


Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston
55 Wentworth Street, Charleston | GrandBohemianCharleston.com

Located at the corner of Wentworth and Meeting Streets, this 50-room luxury boutique hotel will house an on-site gallery featuring national, international, and local artists, as well as a wine blending and tasting room, fitness center, and specialty coffee shop. A rooftop restaurant and terrace will provide views of Charleston’s skyline. Opening July 2015.

Hyatt House
560 King Street, Charleston | CharlestonHistoricDistrict.House.Hyatt.com

Hyatt House will provide 113 studio rooms and suites in downtown Charleston. The nine-story structure will offer free high-speed Internet, full breakfast, and fully equipped kitchens. Opening September 2015.

Hyatt Place
560 King Street, Charleston | CharlestonHistoricDistrict.Place.Hyatt.com

Hyatt Place will provide 191 guest rooms complete with flat panel TVs, sofa sleepers, refrigerators, and workspaces. Guests may opt for a free Kitchen Skillet breakfast or visit the Gallery restaurant throughout the day for fresh prepared sandwiches and salads. Opening September 2015.

Marion Square Hotel
Corner of King Street & Marion Square, Charleston

This $101 million project will result in an eight-story, 200,000-square-foot hotel at the site of the old Charleston County Library. Along with 185 guest rooms, the hotel will offer a two-level restaurant with a Charleston city view, rooftop bar, spa, meeting space, and ballroom. Opening fall 2017.

The Spectator Hotel
67 State Street, Charleston | TheSpectatorHotel.com

Situated between the French Quarter and Market Street districts, The Spectator Hotel’s three-story building will offer 41 guest rooms along with a personalized butler service, hotel bar, valet parking, complimentary bicycle usage, and expedited check-in. Opening June 2015.

Hilton Garden Inn
300 Wingo Way, Mount Pleasant | HiltonGardenInn.com

Hilton Garden Inn is located in Mt. Pleasant, a short drive from downtown Charleston, area beaches, attractions, and dining options. Complimentary WiFi, Keurig coffeemakers, and mini-refrigerators are available in each of the 133 guestrooms. With more than 5,400-square-feet, the Hilton Garden Inn provides space for both indoor and outdoor functions, such as conferences and wedding receptions.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort
1 Sanctuary Beach Drive, Kiawah Island | KiawahResort.com

Kiawah Island Golf Resort was awarded top honors in the Top 10 Spa Resorts in the Southeast and Central America by Real Estate Scorecard, an online real estate reviewer. Kiawah Island was referred to as the “Hamptons of the South” and highlighted for its beaches, weather, and focus on personal health and wellness.


McLeod Plantation
Picard Way, Charleston | McLeodPlantation.org

Encompassing more than 36 acres, McLeod Plantation boasts a riverside outdoor pavilion and avenue of oak trees, including the McLeod Oak, which is believed to be more than 600 years old. The plantation is open for tours and pays tribute to the enslaved Africans who had lived on the grounds from the 1800’s. Among the many opportunities to learn about the relationships between those who lived and worked on the plantation, guests may also tour homes built for enslaved families, and view a display of antiques owned by former slave owners. Opened May 2015.


The Cigar Factory
701 East Bay Street, Charleston | TheCigarFactoryCharleston.com

The Cigar Factory, a former cotton mill situated on four and a half acres near the foot of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge, is getting a new life thanks to an extensive renovation. The new space will be used for both retail and office space, including Garden & Gun magazine’s new headquarters. The Cigar Factory will house a coffee bar, breakfast and lunch counter, and room for various vendors to showcase bread, cheese, meats, and pastries. Opening summer 2015.

JAM Vinegars

Made with all-natural ingredients (no additives, preservatives, or artificial flavorings), JAM Beverage Co.’s handcrafted drinking vinegars may be added to cocktails, salads, and cooking recipes. This family-owned company utilizes Charleston produce from nearby farms to create its products.

Lily Rain
1239 Belk Drive, Mount Pleasant | LilyRain.com

National lifestyle retail shop Lily Rain will open its fifth location in Mt. Pleasant’s Towne Centre. The Houston-based boutique will sell specialty products such as handmade throws, charm bracelets, and graphic pillows. Opening May 2015.


Chow Down Charleston Food Tours
40 Broad Street, Charleston | Chow-DownCharleston.com

Join husband and wife duo Reid and Jessica Surface on a Chow Down Charleston Food Tour for the opportunity to explore Charleston’s unique cuisine. Passionate about the food industry, Reid has put his Food Science degree to good practice making cheese in Wisconsin, deli salads in Indiana, and popcorn in Charleston. Now, he and Jessica invite guests on a culinary adventure to discover hidden culinary gems and local favorites in Charleston.

International African American Museum
25 Calhoun Street, Charleston | IAAMMuseum.org

The International African American Museum’s (IAAM) vision is to convey the deep and meaningful impact the African American population had on life in the Lowcountry through film, documents, and digital archives. Opening in 2017.

South Carolina Aquarium’s Shark Shallows
100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston | SCAquarium.org/SharkShallows

Reach out and feel the skin of stingrays, bonnethead sharks, and cownose rays at Shark Shallows, the South Carolina Aquarium’s newest exhibit. Guests get up-close-and-personal sea animal encounters in the 20,000-gallon tank that houses sharks and rays. Opened May 2015.

H.L. Hunley Exhibit
1250 Supply Street, North Charleston | Hunley.org

This North Charleston museum tells the story of the H.L. Hunley, a Confederate submarine credited as the first submarine to sink an enemy warship. While the Hunley was raised from the ocean floor of South Carolina’s coast in 2000, the submarine craft was under conservation with only a few artifacts available for viewing. The exhibit now allows guests to see the construction of the Hunley to its journey at sea to the conservation process.


Silver Airways is now providing daily nonstop air service between Charleston International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and Tampa International Airport.

Southwest is now offering Saturday-only service from Dallas Love Field to Charleston International Airport. Daily service will begin on August 9.

Alaska Airlines has added direct, non-stop transcontinental flights between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Charleston International Airport. The service will begin November 16.


Memorial Day at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, May 25, 2015

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is offering free admission for active duty military personnel and their immediate family on Memorial Day. This admission does not include tours of the house, swamp garden, nature boat, nature train, or “Slavery to Freedom” program. Valid active duty identification is required.

Spoleto Festival USA, May 22 – June 7, 2015

Since its inception in 1977, this acclaimed arts festival has illuminated traditional and unexpected venues, such as the College of Charleston’s Cistern Yard, with performances by talented artists from around the world.

Piccolo Spoleto, May 22 – June 7, 2015

Produced by the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs, this companion to Spoleto Festival USA offers hundreds of family-friendly and moderately priced events.

The Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival, June 5 – 6, 2015
Waterfront Memorial Park, sweetgrassfestival.org

The Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival showcases the intricate handiwork of the descendants of the enslaved Africans in the Lowcountry that constitute the Gullah culture. The festival features gospel songs, praise dance, rhythmic drumming and sweetgrass basket weaving demonstrations.

Patriots Point 4th of July Blast, July 4, 2015
The U.S.S. Yorktown, patriotspoint.org

The U.S.S. Yorktown, home of the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum, is a fitting host for this patriotic celebration that includes live music and a professional fireworks show.

Charleston Water SportsFest, September 5 – 14, 2015

From parasailing and surfing to kayak tours and sailing excursions, Charleston Water SportsFest provides more than 50 different activities for competitors, recreationists, and leisure water fans. With its numerous rivers, creeks, oceanfronts, and harbors, Charleston is the perfect destination to enjoy water sports with family and friends.

32nd Annual MOJA Arts Festival, TBA

The streets sway with the captivating rhythm of African music, while the smell of Caribbean cuisine permeates the air during this 10-day celebration of Gullah culture named for the Swahili word meaning “one.”

2021 PGA Championship
Kiawah Island Golf Resort, kiawahresort.com

The 103rd edition of the PGA Championship will return to South Carolina after its first time in 2012, as Kiawah Island Golf Resort will host the 2021 PGA Championship on The Ocean Course. The Championship features the top 100 players in the Official World Golf Rankings and is the only all-professional major.


Media Contact:
Molly Waring, Assistant Director of Media Relations


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