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Page's Okra Grill promises Summerville shorter lines for tables, bathrooms, fried chicken

Shrimp and grits

Diane Clement cooks shrimp and grits for a carry-out order at Page's Okra Grill in Mount Pleasant.

Summerville residents still have to wait at least a year for a Page’s Okra Grill to call their own, but if all goes as planned that’s the last time they should have to wait for Page’s.

Owners of the popular Mount Pleasant restaurant last week announced on Facebook they’d purchased land at Nexton for a second location but didn’t elaborate on what they had in mind for the space being designed by Dan Sweeney, the architect responsible for restaurants including Parcel 32, Millers All Day and Edmund’s Oast.

Courtney Page tells The Post and Courier the restaurant will feature plentiful seating, as well as an air-conditioned area for customers who haven’t yet been assigned to a table, spacious bathrooms and a takeout counter selling boxed chicken dinners.

“No one wants to wait for anything,” Page says. “You have to be able to provide service that is faster than what I even care for.”

To enhance employees’ ability to turn out food as quickly as customers demand it, the Summerville restaurant will also have a roomier kitchen. “The space is going to be methodically thought out so less steps are taken, so the guys and gals can spend the majority of their time preparing exceptional food for the guests,” Page says.

According to Page, it wasn’t financially feasible for her family to embark on a months-long renovation when they bought the old Alex’s Restaurant in 2011, so the building at 302 Coleman Boulevard has “always been a work in progress.”

“We’ve done a decent job to try to make it our own space, but it’s hard,” Page says.

At one point, the owners hoped to raze the building and erect another in its place but impact fees put the project out of financial reach. Instead, Page has taken on one improvement effort at a time. This year, she gutted the Mount Pleasant kitchen “so the people working back-of-house have a better work environment.”

In Summerville, though, there’s nothing to stop the Pages from creating amenities such as private event spaces. The new restaurant will have two, in addition to a full catering kitchen. Page’s Okra Grill will also relocate its food truck, now known as The Hot Mess Express, to Summerville. Although the restaurant isn’t scheduled to open until November 2020, the truck is already making appearances at Nexton events.

Page points out her family’s relationship with Summerville dates back decades. Her brother, who attended high school there, has already moved to the city to oversee the new location.

“Summerville has been like seven years in planning,” she says. “We’ve had such a large base of our customers coming from Summerville, and they were screaming for us to come there, so we always thought Summerville could use a Page’s Okra Grill. We want to work and live and provide jobs in an area we think is thriving.”

The restaurant hopes to break ground in three months.

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

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