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Good afternoon. Recently, we looked at the popularity of the meatless Impossible burger, at Charleston-area eateries and beyond. But did you know that companies like Impossible Foods are now developing fishless fish? Much like their burgers, the creators are using plant-based recipes and laboratory techniques to create a seafood alternative. Would you eat it?
THE ONE TO WATCH: Charleston hotel ordinance to get next review
Updates to the city's hotel rules, which could make it more difficult for new hotels to be built on the Charleston peninsula, are moving toward their next step in the approval process next week.
The changes, which were developed in the spring by a hotel task force of City Council members, tourism industry representatives, preservation group members and others, were given first reading in late May. The amended ordinance still needs an OK from the Planning Commission and a final vote from City Council before it can be adopted.
The hotel ordinance gets its Planning Commission review next Wednesday. The recommended changes include:
- The establishment of a minimum and maximum number of hotel rooms
- More restrictions to preserve office, retail and residential uses downtown
- Changes to the "full service" hotel category, which qualifies for more rooms
- A required contribution from new hotels for affordable housing funds
It also includes a rule that would ban future hotels on the peninsula from building bars and restaurants on their rooftops.
At least seven prominent downtown hotels have independently-branded rooftop bars which draw in hotel guests, other tourists and locals alike. Most recently, there's Hotel Bennett, which opened earlier this year, with Fiat Lux.
Also on Marion Square, The Dewberry's rooftop bar, Citrus Club, prompted a legal battle after the hotel claimed it had lost $5 million because the city initially refused to approve its rooftop bar and meeting space.
Farther down the peninsula, there is The Watch at The Restoration Hotel, the Pavilion Bar at Market Pavilion Hotel and Élevé at the Grand Bohemian.
Other hotels that were recently approved but are still in the early stages of development have proposed food and beverage uses for their rooftops, too, like the Montford Group's planned 8½-story hotel at the intersection of Mount Pleasant and Meeting streets and Morrison Drive.
Members of the task force had argued that rooftop bars could be disruptive to surrounding residences. The change would only ban rooftop bars and restaurants at hotels, not other businesses.
On Thursday, Travel + Leisure magazine announced that Charleston was its readers' pick for the No. 1 city in the U.S. The city has now held that spot for seven years and counting, and, though there's pride that comes with the accolades, some sense locals are feeling some fatigue at topping travel lists as annual visitor counts continue to climb.
That kind of marketing has to be balanced with tourism management that benefit residents, which includes updated rules for hotel uses, said Winslow Hastie, the president of Historic Charleston Foundation.
Historic Charleston and the Preservation Society of Charleston have both encouraged their members and supporters to attend next Wednesday's Planning Commission session.
The meeting starts at 5 p.m. next Wednesday in the public meeting room on the first floor of the Gaillard Center.
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OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS:
- Restaurant and butcher shop Herd Provisions is now open on Grove St.
- A Dog and Duck restaurant is opening this month in Berkeley County.
- Jimmy John's opened a shop in the developing WestEdge community.
- Mama Chef Cuban Cafe recently leased space in North Charleston.
- Several new shops are opening at a Lowes Foods-anchored Mount Pleasant shopping center: Marcos Pizza, Tipsy Nails and Sea Island Medical Care. A Starbucks cafe is also in the works.
OTHER STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW:
- An affiliate of Ingka Group, the parent company of Swedish retailer IKEA, bought 17,000 acres of forestland north of Charleston. (Post and Courier)
- In court documents filed this week, Boeing Co. described a noose found at its North Charleston campus as a “knotted string." (Post and Courier)
- In 1969, four University of South Carolina students bought a room-sized IBM computer. We have the story on where it is now. (Post and Courier)
- Delta Air Lines posted record revenue today. The airline is benefiting as competitors struggle with the Boeing 737 Max groundings. (CNBC)
- Chairman Jay Powell strongly indicated Wednesday that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates when it meets this month. (AP)
SOUND SMART AT WORK:
"Hey boss, did you know the Charleston RiverDogs finished in the top 25 in merch sales among all minor league baseball clubs last year?"
There are 160 MiLB teams in the country represented by 30 Major League Baseball clubs. The RiverDogs, the low-level Class A affiliate of the Yankees, are selling on par with teams in triple-A, one step below the majors.
HIRES AND PROMOTIONS:
- Michael J. Nolan has joined Evening Post Books as executive editor.
- First National Bank's S.C. market president is Leonard Hutchinson III.
- Aggie Reyes is product sales director for Girl Scouts of Eastern S.C.
- NAI Charleston's director of marketing & public relations is Meredith Gill.
- Southeastern Freight promoted Mark Davis to service center manager.
- Matt Roddy joined the Charleston RiverDogs as assistant director of food and beverage.
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