We Flew South. The name is a clue that the couple behind this pop-up are Yankees. Marc and Elizabeth Hudacsko hail from New Jersey and flew the coop after deciding that it would be too expensive to open a restaurant in their native state. "There wasn't much of a culinary scene either," says Marc, "and my wife and I were like, let's get out of here."
They traveled to Charleston for the first time on their honeymoon a few years ago and decided this was the place for them.
"I hooked up with Brooks (Reitz) randomly and got the job to open Little Jack's Tavern," says Marc, who recently left his post as manager there to launch We Flew South.
"I started to see the pop-up scene," he says, "and thought this is an opportunity to do something on our own without having to do investors and have the burdens of opening full restaurants."
Pop-ups in Charleston range from 2Nixons serving deep bowls of ramen at various bars and breweries around town to Kwei Fei taking over The Daily every Friday and Saturday night. Bar Normandy might even be considered a pop-up as it takes over the Normandy Farms Bakery space nightly. Short Grain went from popular food truck to an even more popular pop-up. They cook several nights a week with friends at restaurants all over the area. Charleston diners have become accustomed to following their favorites and trying out new ones when they appear on the scene.
For the Hudacskos, a pop-up was not only a fun way to make a living, but also an opportunity to serve (and eat) some of their favorite foods from back home.
"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel or doing anything crazy culinarily," says Hudascko. "It's really simple stuff that speaks to me, and if it speaks to me, I think others will like it too."
We Flew South debuted last Wednesday at EffinB HQ, located at Pacific Box and Crate, with meatball sandwiches, a New Jersey staple. "We had one guy who said, 'This is only the second time I've had a meatball sandwich in my life.' ... I got to share that part of me and it was really special."
At each pop-up, they focus on a main dish and a few sides, with care to offer something for vegetarians. At their second EffinB pop-up, they offered Cuban sandwiches ($12), a shrimp and avocado salad with jicama salsa ($11) and black beans and rice ($5).