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Archive for December, 2009

Closed For Business

I do like the latest from Charleston’s REV group–a cozy hipster lodge occupying Raval’s old space. The remodel makes good use of limited space and the concept is solid. I disagree with a lot of what the Stephanie Barna said in her City Paper review (though it’s not a bad article):

http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/raval-is-now-closed-for-business/Content?oid=1625737

I think that Closed is doing really smart plates and has a nice, compact beer list. This place makes me want to hang around and drink lots of good beer and spend money. And I am not sure that the 21 and up issue will keep too many college kids down–it doesn’t stop them from going to any other bar.

Everyone expects a lot out of the REV group, so there seem to be lots of vitriols out there (see the comments below City Paper article). But I think that REV has nailed this concept and executed it quite nimbly. I can’t think of another group that can tear down and put up so quickly and hit the ground running.

I have been to Closed a few times, and apart from some overly piquant mussels, everything has been great. I ate there last night with a good chef friend and he was noticing that a lot of dishes seem to be picked from great gastropub menus in Chicago. It is apparent that REV did their homework and took a few food trips to various cities. I get the sense that Chicago is the main source of influence here. Anyhow, the plates are smart here and make sense. The Chicago style hot dog with pickled vegetables is good, though the bun needs to be steamed before it is served. I also loved the buffalo oysters–kind of an upscale version of the standard, with blue cheese and really perfectly fried oysters. The small menu is essentially a tight collection of awesome things to eat, with no unifying theme at all. I like this a lot, and think it is also reminiscent of Shine’s menu in many ways. I can live with this type of menu ADD as long as the plates are great–and they are at Closed.

Go to Closed for Business. Drink a bunch of beer and order lots of food. I doubt that you will leave dissapointed.

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