Now open A peek at the newest food or drink venue

Old paintings and black-and-white photos adorn the walls of Little Jack’s Tavern on King Street in Charleston. Little Jack’s is Brooks Reitz’s newest restaurant in the space formerly occupied by Saint Alban’s. Paul Zoeller/Staff

Little Jack’s Tavern

Remember Saint Alban? Hold on to those memories, because there’s not a trace of the short-lived cafe left at the venue that owners Brooks Reitz and Tim Mink have transformed into Little Jack’s Tavern, a throwback chophouse where egg salad and crudite are listed among the opening snacks, and the martinis are shaken.

“Every bartender would say that’s wrong, right?” Reitz says, explaining the preparation is a nod to Indiana’s Kennel Club, to which his grandmother belonged. (There’s a “Kennel Club Style” grasshopper at sister restaurant Leon’s Oyster Shop, made with ice cream.) “It’s important that nothing feels like we take ourselves too seriously.”

That same philosophy led to the addition of two burgers to the menu: A 10-ounce burger trimmed with caramelized shallots and buffalo mozzarella, and a four-ounce burger, pressed on the flattop grill and topped with American cheese. Other dinner menu items include a trio of steaks, pea soup and crab salad. During the day, Little Jack’s is serving sandwiches, as well as its nighttime lineup of starters, salads and side dishes.

And because the restaurant’s checkered tablecloths, racehorse portraits and black-and-white photographs of boxers set the mood for classy day drinking, Reitz also is keen to serve martinis by day -- the cocktail costs $6 at lunchtime. Shaken, of course.

Little Jack’s Tavern, 710 King St., is open for lunch from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and for dinner from 5-11 p.m.; an abbreviated food menu is available between meals. For more information, call 531-6868 or visit

Hanna Raskin