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Downtown Charleston warehouse being transformed into restaurant

By The Way's menu will be comprised of about a dozen or so items. (Photo/Uptown Hospitality Group)
By The Way's menu will be comprised of about a dozen or so items. (Photo/Uptown Hospitality Group)

Downtown Charleston warehouse being transformed into restaurant

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Charleston-based Uptown Hospitality Group is hoping to hit a home run with its newest concept, By the Way, slated to open on Spring Street in Charleston this fall.

The team behind Uptown Social, Share House and Bodega are doing something a little different this time by tapping two reality stars to help build momentum. Those who watch “Southern Charm” may be familiar with Craig Conover and Austin Kroll, who have been brought on as consultants to collaborate with the Group and help bring the project to fruition.

According to Keith Benjamin, the old Warehouse at 45.5 Spring St. is in the process of being transformed into a 2,200-square-foot neighborhood tavern that seats about 90.

“The historic building has such great character,” said Benjamin, adding that it dates back a century and was once home to a grocer, only later to operate as a downtown bar/restaurant called the Warehouse. “They fixed it up nicely so that it became a local spot and had a good 10-year run,” said Benjamin, of the establishment that closed in May 2023.

As for the location, Benjamin said the Group has chosen to expand beyond the King Street area and work a little further north to the Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood to tap into the short-term rental market that is growing in the area and work synergistically with restaurants like Chubby Fish and The Pass.

Charleston-based Uptown Hospitality Group is hoping to hit a home run with its newest concept, By the Way, slated to open on Spring Street in Charleston this fall. (Photo/Uptown  Hospitality Group)
Charleston-based Uptown Hospitality Group is hoping to hit a home run with its newest concept, By the Way, slated to open on Spring Street in Charleston this fall. (Photo/Uptown Hospitality Group)

As for decor, The Uptown Hospitality Group decided this time around to hire a design firm to create what he calls a “bespoke, elevated experience.

“Brooklyn-based Home Studios have 50,000 followers on Instagram and are experts in the field,” said Benjamin, likening the interior vision to that of The Spainard restaurant in New York City. “It’ s going to be in the same old-world realm: lots of brick, dark wood, a skylight, and beveled ceilings melding a bit of Charleston with a vintage Irish pub-type experience,” Benjamin said.

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Joining the team is Chef Marcus Shell, who honed his skills at the Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Cambridge Massachusetts and worked at Northeastern establishments like Top of the Hub and No. 9 Park in Boston and the Black Whale in New Bedford. About six years ago, Shell headed to South Carolina where he worked at Montague’s and Wesley Commons in Greenwood, Bistro 221 in St. George, 82 Queen and 39 Rue de Jean in Charleston.

Shell is currently in the process of creating the menu, which will be comprised of about a dozen or so items. Benjamin offers a taste of things to come by mentioning a few designed to whet would-be diners’ appetites like nduja-infused devilled eggs, a duck confit sandwich and tavern-style steak frites.

The marble bar, which spans 40-foot long and seats between 20 and 25, will have customers doing a double take. “The ornate back bar will be beautiful and reminiscent of those found at such NYC haunts as Balthazar and Pastis,” said Benjamin, who describes the drinks menu as tight, but approachable. “We’ll have a beautiful list of offerings with about six-eight core cocktails,” said Benjamin.

Right now, Uptown Hospitality Group is anticipating a mid-to-late October opening.

“We’re looking forward to being part of the neighborhood,” Benjamin said.

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