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Tradd's in downtown Charleston to close after nine months of serving Champagne and caviar


Tammi Dower (center), celebrating a birthday, was greeted by friends Drea Bauer (right) and Alexis Hallam at Tradd's. Wade Spees/Staff Thursday, October 25, 2018

Tradd’s, which bucked current trends by building big and wooing patrons with the promise of expensive caviar, is closing three months short of its first anniversary.

Weesie and Tradd Newton, owners of Fleet Landing, in the fall opened Tradd’s at the 167 East Bay St. address which for 16 years belonged to Cypress.

To create “an ambiance that’s upscale but never uptight,” they furnished the ground floor with gilt-edged mirrors, leopard print upholstery and an enormous painting of a cocktail crowd. The dining room served as the backdrop for escargot, crab cocktail and steaks soaked with truffle butter.

A statement from the Newtons quotes the couple as saying, "In this fast-paced, ever-changing world of food and beverage, one can never predict which concepts will resonate and which will not, and unfortunately for Tradd’s, the timing was not quite right for us."

Critical and public opinion of the restaurant was initially split, with detractors voicing concerns about noise, high prices and food quality. In January, Tradd’s replaced its executive chef, naming Brandon Buck to the position originally held by Fleet Landing vet Drew Hedlund.

The restaurant that month also doubled down on its commitment to excess, announcing that, “While most restaurants are promoting healthy and sober starts to the new year, Tradd’s is encouraging indulgent behavior” with half-priced Champagne. It later started advertising the nightly availability of “Chambongs,” devices for guzzling sparkling wine.

"To the many locals, visitors, friends, and family who have dined, imbibed, laughed and celebrated with us over this past year, we cannot say a big enough thank you for your support," the Newtons' statement concludes, adding that supporters should "stay tuned for other future endeavors." 

According to a publicist, the Newtons "have been in contact with several local restaurateurs already" regarding new jobs for employees of Tradd's. The restaurant's private event coordinator will remain on staff to help clients relocate functions planned for Upstairs at Tradd's, or work with Tradd's successor if the space is leased to another restaurant operator.

TAC East Bay LLC, an Atlanta-based investment group, in 2017 bought the 14,000-square-foot building from Parsell Enterprises for $6.65 million

Tradd's will close after service on July 31.

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

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