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2 European-style hotspots in downtown Charleston on brink of ending months-long closures

Cheese at goat.sheep.cow North

Goat.sheep.cow North is one of two popular downtown Charleston sources of wine, cheese and charcuterie are returning to business this month after extended coronavirus related sabbaticals, albeit in limited capacities. File/Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

Two popular downtown Charleston sources of wine, cheese and charcuterie are returning to business this month after extended coronavirus related sabbaticals, albeit in limited capacities.

Estadio, the second location of an established Washington, D.C., tapas bar, will offer outdoor seating but is keeping its Spring Street dining room closed for now. And goat.sheep.cow North, which prior to the pandemic functioned as both a shop and café, will operate exclusively as a retail store.

“We have learned much through the success of our Church Street shop which has remained open throughout the pandemic,” goat.sheep.cow co-owner Trudi Wagner says. “This knowledge has given us the confidence to fully shift operations at North.”

Wagner says she and partner Patti Floersheimer wanted to delay reopening until the pandemic was under control but lately found themselves in a cash crunch.

“Rent must be paid, and in the end, this is high season for specialty food,” Wagner says of the approaching holidays.

According to Wagner, the Meeting Street store will now carry an enhanced inventory of gourmet pantry goods, including beans, rice, pasta and canned tomatoes from respected suppliers, as well as more wine.

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She clarifies, “There will not be any dine-in or table service whatsoever, inside or out,” but goat.sheep.cow North will sell fresh and frozen prepared food, such as mac-and-cheese.

After running an energetic takeout operation that featured owner Max Kuller ferrying paella around town in a golf cart, Estadio in early July suspended all service in the wake of an employee’s COVID-19 exposure. Although the employee tested negative for the potentially lethal virus, Kuller on Instagram said the scare persuaded him that it wasn’t “possible for us to guarantee a safe restaurant environment right now.”

Kuller says, “Our team’s and guests’ safety will remain a paramount concern” on Estadio’s newly expanded patio, furnished with “new plants, artificial turf, string-lighting, heaters and new outdoor speakers for the tunes.”

He adds that the team will look much as it did prior to the restaurant’s hiatus, with Alex Lira remaining in the role of executive chef and Brandon Underwood staying on as general manager.

Although the spaced-out tables are protected by umbrellas, Kuller decided to postpone Estadio’s relaunch because of forecasted storms. As of Monday, he hoped to reopen early next week.

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

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