openkitchen woodandgrain.jpg (copy)

Jessica Reid photographs the open kitchen at Wood & Grain, Patrick Owens' wood-fired pizzeria and raw bar, which is now open two doors down from his restaurant Langdon's in Mount Pleasant. Wade Spees/Staff Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Charleston entrepreneur was so upset by the nastiness surrounding downtown parking that he cut ties with an app designed to dole out spots, and instead “set out to bring positivity into the restaurant review space,” according to a publicist for his latest venture.

“I was working on a parking app in Nashville, and we created it to say to say ‘go eat at this restaurant to get free parking’,” Andy Seavers says. “The problem is we found people wouldn’t pay, so we ended up being a ticket-and-tow. It is not something I wanted to be in long term.”

Seavers, a 2014 graduate of Belmont University, this year moved to town to launch Taste. Although the restaurant rating sector is already crowded with recommendation apps such as Dysh, Cureat, Tidbit, LLama, Dish, Dine, MunchMap, ChefsFeed and Foody, Seavers says Taste is unique in allowing users to designate just one favorite place in each of nine categories.

“If you want to take down a restaurant, there are other places for that,” he says.

Currently, Taste users are prompted to name a favorite coffeehouse; bar; burger joint; sushi bar; sweets shop and restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They can adjust their selections at any time; Seavers says he’s seen the choices shift in the wake of new menu releases and special promotions.

Although Seavers likes to joke about using Taste to locate a winning bowling alley, he envisions ultimately applying the app’s algorithm to non-food venues.

“If we can prove this single favorite system is valuable, then we can expand outside of restaurants,” he says.

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

Food editor and chief critic

Eating all of the chicken livers just as fast as I can.