Cannonborough/Elliotborough Eateries: A Few Now & Then
Last week, John closed the sale of a property on Ashe Street in the Cannonborough/Elliotborough Neighborhood. A discussion of the location naturally steered toward all the great places his clients will be able to walk to to enjoy a glass, pint, cup, or plate. Of course the question "What's coming soon?" was raised, as well as "What restaurants used to be up here?" Curious minds and grumbling bellies want to know!
In the latter part of the 19th century, Cannonborough/Elliotborough was home to many tradesmen, craftsmen, and the ubiquitous corner store. Many of these neighborhood stores were in operation throughout the 20th century--and some are still in business as such today, though they're getting harder to find. The first Cannonborough corner-store-cum-restaurant is Southern-inspired Mediterranean restaurant Lana on the corner of Cannon and Rutledge. In the last decade, restaurateurs looking to get a spot a little further off the beaten path have turned up to Bogard Street, and the allure of corner store space again proved hard to resist. On the corner of Bogard and Ashe Streets is the award-winning Italian eatery Trattoria Lucca and rumor has it that another corner kitchen is heating up. If French cuisine is your favorite, chances are you'll skip for joy when Perig Goulet (of King Street's former La Fourchette) opens his new place on the corner of Bogard and Sires Streets. Can't wait! In the meantime, you can sip a glass and hear some music in the rustic, laid-back, tiny (as the name suggests) Elliotborough Mini Bar at the corner of Bogard and Percy Streets. What a great little spot!
- Clockwise from top L: Trattoria Lucca, Lana Restaurant, site of coming-soon restaurant at 53 Bogard Street, and Elliotborough Mini Bar.
Something for everyone.
Corner stores aren't the only things that have been repurposed as eateries up in this eclectic neighborhood--think gas stations or apartments--and in fairness, there are more corners than we can cover here. Cannonborough/Elliotborough now hosts over two dozen spots to grab some victuals that run the gamut from coffee to spirits and Mexican to Vietnamese. Vegetarian or vegan? They've got you covered throughout the neighborhood--even at the very end over there at the corner (!) of President and Spring at Gnome. The two latest openings according to local press are definitely welcomed by the neighborhood: at Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl, you can peruse some albums while sipping some wine or a coffee and at Five Loaves Cafe's (egads--yet another corner!) new juice bar at Cannon and Coming you can get your yerba mate on. So go forth and nourish yourselves, gosh knows you don't have to go far!
- Everett's Restaurant opened in 1951 at 172 Cannon Street.
It's hard to imagine now, what with the Crosstown and MUSC taking up so much space, but residential Cannonborough used to extend all the way to the Ashley River. Water and marshland that once operated a couple of Cannon's mills was filled in after the Civil War, making room for the construction of houses by middle-and working-class citizens who were primarily Irish and German immigrants as well as freed slaves. In the 1920s, the Ashley Memorial Bridge opened and US Hwy 17 crossed the peninsula, changing the character of the surrounding neighborhoods. In the 1940s, a popular eatery called The Fork opened at the fork in the road between Spring and Cannon Streets, where they converged approaching the bridge. It offered boxed lunches to be picked up on the way out to Folly Beach, and in later years frequently featured live music. The Patio was another popular spot throughout the 50s-70s and used to broadcast live radio from a portable DJ booth for WTMA. But by far the most popular restaurant up there along the western part of Cannonborough was the 1951 colonial-styled Everett's, and one of the most popular features of Everett's was the talking mynah bird that sat in a cage outside and endlessly asked, "Do you play golf? Do you play golf? Do you play golf?" Ummm, yes?
- Everett's Motel and Restaurant and KFC, Spring/Cannon Streets, 1964.
Y'all know the story behind the invention of she-crab soup, right? President Taft and his wife were frequent guests of Mayor R. Goodwyn Rhett at his home at 116 Broad Street (now the John Rutledge House Inn) between 1908 and 1912. As legend has it, Rhett's butler (!) was asked to "dress up" the pale crab soup they usually served, so the butler, William Deas, added some sherry and the orange-colored roe from the female crabs to add color and improve the flavor. Thus, one of Charleston's most famous delicacies, She Crab Soup, was invented. Deas was chef to a number of prominent Charleston families before being hired by Everitt and Dolly Presson to run the kitchen at Everett's at 172 Cannon Street (in the area of today's Hardee's). Deas brought his signature dish with him, and it was what Everett's became known for (well, that and the fried chicken). A 1960 pamphlet for the restaurant made sure everyone knew about Deas' She Crab Soup by declaring, "Sex has slipped into the soup pot, and once the word is out, there's no telling what will happen in the commercial kitchens of America." Indeed, the Pressons were so appreciative of what Deas had done for the business that they named a dining room addition after him and installed a mural of his home on Secessionville Creek; Deas worked there until his death in 1961. Everett Presson passed away in 1965, after he had made several additions and expanded to include a motel on the site. Eventually, Everett's became Dino's, a kind of mash-up college hangout, beer joint, and Italian Restaurant, and well, we all know what's up there now. Oh, and just to be clear--when we counted the more than two dozen eateries in today's Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood, none on our list asked through an intercom whether we wanted to 'supersize' anything!
- John Payne recently closed on 109 Smith Street (L) and 36 Ashe Street (R).
So, back to what got us looking at restaurants in Cannonborough/Elliotborough in the first place: John's closing on Ashe Street near Bogard. Actually, he doubled up this time. These two transactions were simultaneous closings that John coordinated, representing the seller of 109 Smith Street who in turn purchased 36 Ashe Street. These were the fifth and sixth transactions in which John has represented these clients over the last ten years. Congratulations to your clients and way to go, John! The third generation in an esteemed Charleston real estate family, John has a deep knowledge of the trends and traditions of the historic neighborhoods with a specialty in downtown renovation, restoration, and conversion investment properties. Please give him a call at 843.708.0897 or shoot him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need some advice.