Hartin switches gears on closing sports bar

Bobby Hartin

Although he recently announced plans to close his West Ashley watering hole, Bobby Hartin has changed his mind.

The local radio personality said Wednesday that he tentatively plans to keep Bobby Hartin's Sports Grill and Raw Bar afloat.

"I had made the decision to close, but with some help from my bank and my landlord, we're going to try and remain open," said Hartin, co-host of FanTalk on ESPN Radio 910 AM weekdays at 3 p.m.

His bar and restaurant is at 1124 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.

Hartin told a local TV station earlier this week that he planned to close this weekend because sales had been down 40 percent. He also said he had had to spend about $60,000 of savings keep the business going.

Shine on

Charleston's newest restaurateur is a bona fide globetrotter. Peek into Dean Johnson's passport and you'll find stamps from far-flung locales like Thailand, Mexico and India. After nibbling his way across several continents, Johnson developed a penchant for exotic food. Now, he's recreating his culinary adventures here in the Holy City.

Johnson recently unveiled Shine Restaurant in the old Rabens Tavern building at King and Line streets. The eclectic menu boasts options like Venezuelan arepas (pork and black bean pockets) and Korean bulgogi (barbecue skewers served with dipping sauce). The deserts are rarities, too. Anyone for a chocolate-covered bacon ice cream sundae?

Although many of the recipes can be sourced to Asia, Europe and South America, the kitchen is stocked with local ingredients. Veggies are procured from Charleston-based Limehouse Produce, while meats are from the Pauline-based Upstate Farm Alliance.

Johnson said his use of local foods reflects his commitment to run an environmentally responsible business. The building renovations, designed by Johnson and executed by Gateway Park Enterprises, used sustainable methods. Waste is managed carefully, as well.

"Our kitchen oil is recycled into biodiesel and we'll be composting all our food scraps, too," Johnson said.

Shine is open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

Sales goals

British import Rob Jones recently opened Cambria Sports in West Ashley at 1890 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. Appropriately, the U.K.-native's shop specializes in rugby and soccer gear. Jones says he plans to initiate a local high school rugby program to increase the sport's stateside popularity.