Scarecrow, the last remnant of the Ann Street restaurant trio created last year by Jonathan Buckley, closed suddenly this week.
"We have canceled dinner service in the hearth room, and will shift that space to private dining and event space," confirms Buckley. "We have art events and lectures in the pipeline."
Additionally, Buckley says the existing kitchen might at times be turned over to visiting chefs. He suspects Scarecrow didn't gain traction because of the restaurant's emphasis on sustainability, described in an opening announcement as "an obligation to bring to the table dishes that are responsibly sourced."
Buckley now says, "It didn't seem to resonate."
Bartender Jeremiah Schenzel, who oversaw the creation of South Seas Tiki Lounge, said he made “the decision to part ways with the company earlier than anticipated” after witnessing how last Wednesday’s closure was carried out. South Seas, which is now an independent entity from Buckley's company, will expand into the portion of the building that once housed Feathertop.
"I believe their plan is to do something related to the sea," Buckley says.
Along with his then-partner and friend, chef Damon Wise, Buckley in 2016 arrived from New York with ambitious plans to open a barbecue joint, coffee shop and pair of sit-down restaurants in what came to be known as the Wise Buck complex.
The smoked meat shop lasted just five months, closing last October; the space is now occupied by the tiki bar. Scarecrow opened around the same time, promising “food stripped of nonessential ingredients” from a wood-fired grill. Feathertop, an adjoining dining space without a grill, was eventually folded into Scarecrow.
"Scarecrow is the flagship,” Buckley last year told The Post and Courier, soon after Wise walked away from the project. “It’s going to be amazing. It’s been a long journey getting there, but I felt it necessary to do it right: We have a very long lease and this is a long-term project.”