Just 10 weeks after opening, a downtown Charleston chicken biscuit restaurant has closed amid a landlord-tenant dispute that the restaurant’s owner described as a “chicken-or-the-egg situation.”
According to Mary Ann Kanters, who rented the 83 Mary St. space which briefly housed Bishopp’s Chicken Biscuits, Scott Bishopp violated the terms of his lease by failing to pay rent for November and a $9,000 electrician’s bill, resulting in a lien being brought against the property.
Bishopp counters that he was short on funds because Kanters didn’t return a deposit.
“I have acquaintances, friends and family who would be more than willing to invest in BCB, but ... never in a million years would I bring another person into this ridiculousness,” Bishopp wrote in an Oct. 16 email to Kanters, asking how he should handle contractor bills in light of not having access to money he put down for a tenant improvement deposit.
Additionally, Bishopp claims he wasn’t made aware when he signed the lease that the location would require a costly second sewer line to function as a restaurant.
Kanters did not directly address the sewer line allegation in an email to The Post and Courier confirming Bishopp’s closure, but said, “We wish them well in future endeavors.” She also pointed toward the opening line of The Post and Courier’s Sept. 2 Now Open column, in which Bishopp’s was featured.
“Crystal and Scott Bishopp picked a tough month to make a splash with a chicken sandwich,” the story began, referencing the Popeyes spicy chicken sandwich craze which swept the country in August.
Within days of closing for good, Bishopp sent a mass email to more than two dozen fellow real estate brokers outlining the financial challenges he faced.
By way of introduction, he wrote, “I had a very good 2018, which allowed my wife and I to do something we have been dreaming about for a few years now: Start a chicken-and-biscuits restaurant.”
During its short run, Bishopp’s garnered largely positive online reviews. Although the biscuits were variously described as dry and bland by a few detractors, customers were unanimous in their praise for “the welcoming, friendly warm people behind the counter.”
“(We) put everything we had into this business,” Bishopp says.