The new owners of a James Island restaurant space which this spring closed in the wake of a cockroach infestation weren’t content to just deep clean the former La Tabella: They completely demolished its interior.
“We threw everything out,” Katy Jones of Coastal Crust. “Basically, we took the shell of the place and started from scratch.”
Coastal Crust last week received an ‘A’ rating from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The pizzeria plans to open at 949 Harborview Road in mid-December, following staff training and menu testing.
“We’re a huge hit in Mount Pleasant, and really think there’s a good opportunity for something like this on James Island,” Jones says.
Since two years ago opening as a mobile operation alongside Mount Pleasant’s Vintage Coffee Café, Coastal Crust has added a sit-down location in Greenville. Jones says the James Island restaurant will mirror that set-up with the addition of a full bar, since Coastal Crust inherited La Tabella’s liquor license.
La Tabella gained a loyal clientele after opening in 2010 with an Italian-American menu of salads, pizza and pasta plates. But the restaurant in its final days struggled to conform to state health codes, receiving five “C” grades in the span of five weeks. Inspectors observed roaches crawling over the walls, floors, shelves and sinks.
Now the address has new bathrooms, a new bar and a new wood-fired oven for producing Coastal Crust’s signature pizzas, Jones says. The menu will also feature an extensive selection of dishes for children and cookie skillet sundaes, presumably for eaters of all ages.
“What’s unique in Mount Pleasant is we have that outdoor area for kids,” Jones says, adding that it won’t remain unique for long. Coastal Crust has secured a grassy area alongside the James Island restaurant where it plans to park another vintage truck.
“It’ll be an outdoor space for parents and kids to enjoy,” she says. “I think it’s really perfect.”