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3 new Charleston-area restaurants to open; another is moving; Walmart to require masks

The dining offerings in the Charleston area continue to expand, even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

At least three new restaurants will open soon or are on the way while another is changing locations.

They span the region from Charleston and Mount Pleasant to Goose Creek and West Ashley.

In Mount Pleasant, a breakfast and lunch restaurant will soon offer a second Lowcountry location.

Maple Street Biscuit Co. plans to open by mid- to late September at 996 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. in a new addition at the Publix-anchored Queensborough Shopping Center in Mount Pleasant.

The restaurant will take the end space of a new building under construction next to the supermarket-anchored center. The operators jokingly said they might have to put a Christmas tree or two out front because, for years, it was the site of a holiday tree lot.

Its first Charleston-area location opened in 2018 in the James Island Center at 1739 Maybank Highway. The new restaurant will be open seven days a week.

In downtown Charleston, The 5th Street Group of Charlotte plans to open Tempest at 32-C North Market St. in August. The building was constructed in 1916 as the Harriott Pinckney Home for Sailors, a boarding house for merchant marines to stay during a stopover in the city.

The restaurant will feature "a simple, elegant approach to sustainable South Atlantic seafood," and its seafaring design is inspired by and pays homage to the building's history.

Mi Fiesta Tacos & Tequila

Mi Fiesta Tacos & Tequila is nearly ready to open in Windmill Station in Carnes Crossroads in Goose Creek. Provided

The restaurant will feature a one-of-a-kind, 700-square-foot, stained-glass mosaic that will be suspended from the ceiling. Handcrafted by local Charleston artist Honey McCrary, the panels are estimated to include over 100,000 pieces of glass, designed and fit together to tell a story.

In Goose Creek, a new Mexican restaurant is ready to begin serving.

Mi Fiesta Tacos & Tequila will occupy 2,700 square feet in Windmill Station on the edge of the developing Carnes Crossroads community.

The restaurant is awaiting its final inspection and could open as early as Saturday at 2007 2nd Ave. off U.S. Highway 17-A. It will operate 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Juan Torres is the restaurant owner.

Covering up

The nation's largest retailer and South Carolina's biggest private-sector employer will mandate face coverings for shoppers starting next week.

Walmart will require all U.S. customers to wear masks starting Monday.

About 65 percent of the company's 5,000-plus stores, including its Sam's Club outlets, are in areas subject to government mandates on face coverings.

"To help bring consistency across stores and clubs, we will require all shoppers to wear a face covering starting Monday, July 20," Walmart U.S. Chief Operating Officer Dacona Smith and Sam's Club Chief Operating Officer Lance De La Rosa said in a blog post Wednesday. "This will give us time to inform customers and members of the changes, post signage and train associates on the new protocols."

The retailer will place employees, dubbed "Health Ambassadors," near the entrance to "remind those without a mask of the new requirements," it said. Stores will have a single entrance.

Best Buy also adopted a mask mandate for its stores this week.

Florence's Lowcountry Kitchen

Florence's Lowcountry Kitchen is moving from Market Street in Charleston to South Windermere Shopping Center in West Ashley. Provided/Queen Street Hospitality

Changing places

A downtown Charleston restaurant in operation less than a year is making a move to West Ashley.

Florence's Lowcountry Kitchen is moving from 49 S. Market St. near the historic City Market to South Windermere Shopping Center off Folly Road.

Offering nostalgic, coastal casual home-cooked Southern fare with a focus on fresh, local seafood, the restaurant is an ode to Florence Powell, the great grandmother of Jonathan and Patrick Kish, the CEO and chief operating officer, respectively, of family-owned Queen Street Hospitality.

The brothers will have some of Florence’s recipes such as pimento cheese dip, crab cakes and fried chicken on the menu along with a fried chicken and waffle dish. The bar will offer more than 50 different wines, cocktails and local brews.

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"During this crazy time, we are excited and hopefully optimistic to move Florence's Lowcountry Kitchen to South Windermere," the Kish brothers said in a statement.

"Our Granny ... lived close to South Windermere and visited the shopping center often," they said. "The menu is still focused on Lowcountry offerings inspired by our family meals. Local seafood and produce are the staples that we use to honor her and our family."

An opening date has not been announced, but they hope to be serving soon. Their other restaurants include 82 Queen and Jalisco Taqueria & Tequila.

When it launches, it will be open noon to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Hardee's Spring Street Charleston

The two-story Hardee's fast-food restaurant on Spring Street near the Medical University of South Carolina is now closed.  The property was sold in July 2019 for possible redevelopment plans as a convenience store and gas station. File/Warren L. Wise/Staff

Lights out

Another fast-food restaurant has gone dark near the Medical University of South Carolina.

Hardee's is now closed at 209 Spring St. It joins Wendy's and Bruegger's Bagels as darkened dining establishments along a stretch of road near the bridges over the Ashley River.

Last July, an affiliate of Charleston developer Eddie Buck paid $3.8 million for the 3,520-square-foot restaurant site.

According to a filing with state environmental regulators last year, the buyer, Monterey LLC, is proposing a voluntary cleanup of the site because it had been used for a variety of residential and automotive services since the 1870s.

In the 1980s, Roche Biomedical Laboratories handled a variety of hazardous substances on the site, including formaldehyde, mercury and dimethyl-benzene. A groundwater test came back with acceptable results.

The Hardee’s opened in 1990. Monterey is proposing to reconfigure the restaurant in the development of the gas station and convenience store, according to the environmental cleanup plan.

Closing

Also closing soon will be Angels & Rascals consignment shop at 1200-B Queensborough Blvd. in Queensborough Shopping Center in Mount Pleasant.

Shop owner Erin Welk said sales are down because of the coronavirus and all items are marked down 40 percent. She's aiming to close by Aug. 1. The shop will keep an online presence in case it decides to return in another fashion one day, she said.

Image Studios

Image Studios will open soon in Oyster Park off Ben Sawyer Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. Provided

New image

A new salon with individual spaces will soon open in Mount Pleasant.

Image Studios recently leased 6,400 square feet in Oyster Park off Ben Sawyer Boulevard, according to Charles Constant with Robertson Howland Properties, who represented the landlord, Dewberry Group.

"Their build-out is complete," Constant said. "The concept of safe/secure and healthy individual salons is the perfect opportunity in our current environment."

Each space comes equipped for stylists to open immediately. Leases are being taken now.

The salon, owned by licensed salon professional Jeanette Knizevski, will accept customers in the next week or two, Constant said. It's located near Monkee's and The Works.

Cleaning up

A new car wash is coming to James Island.

Fins Car Wash is eyeing a site at 1325 Folly Road. Charleston's Design Review Board will consider conceptual approval on Monday.

Do you know of a retail business that is opening, closing, expanding or in the works? Reach Warren L. Wise at 843-937-5524. Follow him on Twitter @warrenlancewise.

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