Defying experts’ projections for the gourmet cupcake industry, North Charleston’s Butter is still doing a steady business in frosted funfetti; salted pretzel and white chocolate macadamia treats. But owner April Robinson wasn’t fully satisfied with a menu devoted to handheld desserts, so she this month added tapas to the cafe’s lineup.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Robinson, a longtime home cook who attended Johnson & Wales for two years.
Robinson in 2012 opened Butter in the strip mall at the corner of International and Tanger Outlet boulevards; she briefly closed the café last month to remake it as a space that would work as both a bakery and sit-down dining room. “Before it was all cutesy, with yellow striped walls,” she says. “Now it’s completely different.” The area that was previously reserved for children’s birthday parties, for example, is now furnished with tables and chairs.
Butter’s customers were frustrated by the hiatus, Robinson says: “A lot of them have missed their cupcakes.”
The cupcakes are back, housed in a dedicated display case. But Butter is now also serving an array of dishes that Robinson describes as reflecting Lowcountry and global influences: The dinner menu includes lobster corndogs; garlic crab pasta; jerk lamb pops; duck wings and okra soup mac-n-cheese (no comma needed: that’s okra soup with mac on top.)
“I’m kind of waiting to see what people are loving,” Robinson says.
Once customer favorites are established, Robinson hopes to implement lunch service. In the meantime, Butter Cupcakes operates from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Mon.-Sat. The venue transforms into Butter Tapas at 5 p.m., staying open until 10 p.m., Mon.-Thurs. The café closes at 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
For more information, call 202-0468 or visit facebook.com/Butter-Tapas-1749605295273708.