Edmund’s Oast could have been a very good beer garden. Owners Rich Carley and Scott Shor are the knowledgeable duo behind Charleston, South Carolina’s beloved Charleston Beer Exchange, and early reports suggested that their new establishment might become the Holy City’s go-to spot for craft brews on tap.
Then, new information began to trickle out from behind the double doors of the old car dealership on Morrison Drive. Carley and Shor hired Jayce McConnell, an award-winning bartender who had overseen a library of tinctures, bitters, and infusions at Oxford, Mississippi restaurant Snackbar. They brought in chef Andy Henderson, who had earned his reputation working with Mike Lata at Charleston’s FIG and burnished it with a stint as chef de cuisine at Local Mission Eatery, a farm-to-table spot in San Francisco.
Yes, Edmund’s offers forty-some beers on tap, many exotic and hard-to-find. But add small-batch sodas from the local Cannonborough Beverage Company, cheese plates curated by downtown shop goat.sheep.cow, an on-site brewery stocked with state-of-the-art equipment, and an ambitious charcuterie program, and the result is an all-things-to-all-people culinary hub that feels like a summation of Charleston’s flourishing food scene.
And despite the growing buzz around the restaurant, the obsessives in charge intend to keep it gimmick-free. Henderson, for example, helped to design the wide-open kitchen, where diners can observe every cut, sauté, and simmer. “That’s no accident,” he says. “We don’t want to hide anything.” Dishes such as his dead-simple chicken porridge, made with Carolina Gold rice, local poultry, and a topping of crab or shrimp, showcase an unselfconscious approach to farm-to-table food that’s surprisingly easy to replicate at home.