Sunday, March 22, 2015

"Dearly Departed" Now Showing--Drop-Dead Delightful

Why we Americans find family dysfunction amusing is an enigma and the 1991 crazy comedy written by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones now playing at the James F. Dean Theatre banks on that fact. From the moment "mean and surly" Bud Turpin's head thumps the kitchen table to his incurably maladjusted family's final farewells, the laughs are non-stop and you will depart the Flowertown Players latest offering pathetically delighted and neurotically charmed.

With its somewhere South of the Mason-Dixon Line setting, Dearly Departed is a made-for-Summerville play. With the sudden death of their patriarch, the Turpin's are fatefully thrust into one another's company to deal with giving Bud Turpin a decent burial, but with each family member froth with personal problems of their own, the task becomes amusingly complicated.

Raynelle Turpin, who apparently had a love-hate relationship with her husband, wants to put "mean and surly" on the headstone and in a meeting with the frustrated pastor who is seeking to write a virtuous eulogy, she sums up things by saying, "That's because you didn't know him till he was old and sick."

Raybud, the oldest son, concerned about the costs, neurotically thinks the owner of the funeral home handling the burial arrangements might seek revenge on him for a childhood prank and mostly concerned for the cost of each letter, differs with his mother over the wording on the headstone. Junior, the other son, who is teetering on financial ruin and thinks about running over his wife with his big cleaning machine in a K-Mart parking lot, is further embarrassed when she discovers an earring in the backseat of the car while yelling at their out-of-control children on their way to his mother's house.

Then, add to the mix a wooden spoon wielding, Bible thumping, hellfire sister, an unemployed, somewhat philosophical nephew with dreams of getting married so he can go on welfare, Raynelle's seemingly unemotional daughter bent on consuming bags of potato chips and dilly bars for comfort in the chaos and the Turpin's circle of life is complete. In the end, despite themselves, the disinclined family and friends come together to give Bud his final send-off .

That's the whole, incredibly wacky story and its colorful collection of characters, and the challenge of bringing it all to life was masterfully accomplished by the plays able cast. As the candid Raynelle Turpin, matronly Jennifer Gordon's performance will put a chuckle in your smile. Chad Reuer as the daughter Delightful proved that men make the funniest woman and comical can be accomplished in just a few words. Chad Estel and Hannah Weston, fresh off a top notch performance in the highly acclaimed Moonlight and Magnolias, excelled once again as the plays splintered couple, unfaithful Junior and his distraught wife, Suzanne. Alan Rosenfeld as cautious spending Raybud presided over the affair with dignified flair and Jennifer Kliner portrayed Lucille, the character who brought a small dose of sanity into the family despite dealing with a personal crisis of her own, with sensible style. Show-stealer Rhonda Kierpiec judiciously wielded her Bible like her wooden spoon as Marguerite. Rounding out the cast and deserving honorable mention are Barry Gordon(Reverend Hooker), Daniel Rich(Royce), Anne O'Sullivan(Juanita), Robert Venne(Clyde), RaeAnn Estel(Nadine), Sacha Estel(Oprah), Sierra Solders(Norval), and Kerry Bowers(Veda).

Director John Bryan and crew have put together a beautiful set with smooth and easy to follow scene changes accompanied by effective lighting and props.

The Flowertown Players just keep on cranking out the hits. Dearly Departed is the latest addition to its very successful 2015 season. It's a simple story about a small town, southern American family seriously in need of a dose of Xanax--figuratively speaking. Its collection of Mayberry-like characters will leave you rolling in the aisles with laughter and warm your socially dysfunctional hearts. Now showing from March 20-29. Purchase your ticket to this drop-dead delightful play at Flowertown Players.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Summerville Is Set To Fling Its Spring Doors Wide Open For Flowertown Festival 2015

Pack your wallets and put on a sweet tea smile, Summerville will fling its spring doors wide open on March 27-29 for its annual Flowertown Festival. Scheduled to ideally coincide with the yearly azalea bloom, the town's beautiful and historic Azalea Park on South Main Street will be transformed into a maze of tents and booths. It is estimated about 250,000 people from all over the Lowcountry and the Southeast U.S. attend this craft and food fare extravaganza.

Summerville's famous Azalea Park was started in 1933 and completed in 1935. All the flowers planted in the park, 33,000 of them, came from George Segelken's Summerville Floral Nursery. Mr. Segelken was a pioneer in the propagation of azaleas.

Azalea Park on a Sunday in Spring
During its early years, tourists flocked to the park. On any Sunday afternoon in spring, cars lining South Main Street bumper to bumper were a common sight. They not only came for the spectacle of beauty, but also because azaleas were an uncommon sight and relatively unknown in South Carolina, except in Summerville.

A scene in Azalea Park today
The flowers are the official doorkeepers of spring and turn Summerville into a shimmering sea of magnificent masses of magenta and various other colors of the spectrum. Drive anywhere throughout the town's historic district and you will be thoroughly convinced; Summerville is rightfully crowned the "Flower Town in the Pines."

Rightfully the "Flower Town in the Pines" because Summerville is also famous for its pine trees. But unfortunately the pollen bloom that rains down from its branches when the weather warms is not enthusiastically embraced with happy celebration like the azaleas. Having said that, pine trees and azaleas are a perfect collaboration because azaleas grow well in the tree's shadows.

The current festival was predated by a previous festival. In 1941, Summerville celebrated the first Azalea Festival--a four-day event that included dances, concerts, a parade and a formal ball. The festival promoted local business and celebrated the town's community pride--a pride as old as the pines.

With an origin that goes back to 1972, the Flowertown Festival ranks as one of the largest festivals in the Southeast. The three-day affair also carries the well deserved distinction as one of the Top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society. One of the main features of this family-oriented festival centers around the promotion of arts and crafts. More than 200 jury-selected craft artisans and vendors will be given the opportunity to showcase their creative wares throughout Azalea Park.

The Taste of Summerville is another feature that offers festival-goers a chance to sample appetizers, main courses and desserts from local restaurants. A Children’s Jubilee located at the corner of 6th Street and S. Main Street will be set up with activities and rides to entertain your little ones. There will also be plenty of live entertainment. Photographer, Susan Roberts, has been chosen as the artist to represent the Summerville Family YMCA's flagship fundraiser.

The new Kids Fest Blooming Artists, on Saturday, March 28, has been added to the festival. This will be a fun way for boys and girls ages 8-18 to express themselves visually and encourage the creative growth of young people. Blooming Artists will be located directly across from the Farmer's Market on 2nd and Main Street.

What do local residents have to say about the Flowertown Festival?
Carol--"Spring is here...and we see some people that we haven't seen since Fall. Also, means a weekend off."
James--"It means more yard art for us."
Maureen--"Having the opportunity to support small businesses and artists that offer handcrafted items! I have a definite love for handcrafted items, especially soaps - I remember, for a few years running, buying enough to last QUITE a while. Lol. My youngest (now 11) loves to come with me as well, and the $20 I normally give her to spend is quickly and happily put to use."
Vanessa--"Love, love, love it. It's Summerville's time to shine and we always do!"
Megan--"This will be our first! Can't wait!! Yay for Spring!"
As for me, I enjoy the live musical entertainment. It is also a great event to meet new acquaintances and of course, people watch.

It was a cold season in the Lowcountry. As we wave farewell to the winter, we happily welcome the warmer days of spring and embrace its arrival with colorful enthusiasm. The azalea bloom, just getting underway, is setting the stage for the premier event of the year. Come and experience Summerville's southern beauty, charm, and community pride. Come and celebrate the Flowertown Festival March 27th to the 29th. Admission is free and parking is free. Times Friday and Saturday are 9:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Summerville 2015--Springing Into Action At Every Turn Of The Corner

What do you do on the warmest day since late October? Going to Sullivan's Island to catch up on some long overdue beach time was my first capricious thought. Sitting on the wooden deck of RB's along the water's edge of Shem Creek was my second. As the roulette wheel of random options spun around and around in my mind, more predictably appeared. After all, in the Lowcountry, the places are many and the choices are numerous. Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, the mental pointer whimsically stopped on the idea of taking a leisurely stroll around Summerville to catch up on some of the latest and upcoming additions to the downtown area's growing culinary scene. My spring walk took me to West Richardson and Short Central where the colors of spring painted the dogwoods and a chorus of saws filled the warm air.

Alessandra's has moved to the corner of Short Central and West Richardson. Enclosed with black posts and broad beams, the restaurant has added a large, outdoor patio to its new venue. Reviews for this restaurant are mixed, but many locals consider it a favorite. It was always a great place to enjoy a pizza and people watch on a Third Thursday. One of its highlights was the live piano music.

Summerville is getting its first oyster bar. Shuckin' Shack is moving into the space vacated by Allessandra's. Presently under construction and soon to open, it specializes in fresh steamed and raw seafood (oysters, shrimp, clams, crab legs, mussells). It presently can be found at two locations, both in North Carolina--Carolina Beach and Wilmington. Coastal Living named Shuckin' Shack as one of their 22 favorite seafood dives and it was voted Best Wings at the Carolina Beach location.

The biggest surprise of the day was not so obvious when looking across West Richardson from Short Central towards longtime bar and grill favorite, Montreux. I knew the Montreux was in the process of redoing its outdoor patio, but when I approached the corner of the building and the back space came into view, I was pleasantly blown away. The outdoor venue had been turned into a beautiful piazza with pergola style dividers, stone pavers, strategically located fans for cooling on those steamy nights of summer and a full bar with big screen televisions. It is now open to the public.

Montreux was voted #1 Bar, #1 Happy Hour, #1 Date Spot, and runner-up Best Place for Trivia by locals in the Summerville Journal Scene's 2014 Reader's Choice Awards. How the bar and grill got its name is an interesting read. For the full story you can click on The Story of Montreux.

Summerville is rapidly reclaiming its rightful place among the Lowcountry's premier tourist destinations and 2015 is shaping up to be a pivotal year. With the incorporation of the Lowcountry Loop Trolley in February, Summerville is now directly linked to Charleston and points beyond with the Trolley's Hop On, Hop Off service--reminiscent of its early railroad days when it was the first stop out of Charleston. The ever popular Good Eats on the Sweet Tea Trail Trolley Tours have been scheduled for March, April, and May. The B.I.R.D.S. Project is in place to assist locals and visitors in discovering the downtown area and its history. Sooner than later, Summerville will have its first craft brewery--Oak Road Brewery. Lest we not forget, it is the home of the best monthly party in the Lowcountry known as Third Thursday.

Walk it, ride it, shop it, dine it. At every turn of the corner, the signs of a prospering Summerville are as discernible as the blooming dogwoods of spring 2015. Things are heating up.

Friday, February 20, 2015

A Charleston Bed And Breakfast That Has Stood The Test Of Time

Strolling down Broad Street, you can't miss it. Standing proud and adorned in the finest iron works, the John Rutledge House has stood the test of time--with a little help. During its two hundred and fifty-two year history, it has weathered two natural catastrophes, quenched a conflagration of a great magnitude, and evaded the destructive forces of political dissension. Inspired by love, it is now a prominent, 4 diamond rated bed and breakfast.

John Rutledge was a leading figure in the countries early years. He was a delegate to the South Carolina Assembly, the Stamp Act Congress, the Continental Congress, the U.S. Constitutional Convention, where he signed Constitution, and six years the Governor of South Carolina. He built the home on Broad Street in 1763. It was a wedding gift for his young bride Elizabeth Grimke, the daughter of Charleston lawyer Frederick Grimke. Elizabeth is known in the history books for having breakfast with George Washington when he was a guest at the Rutledge House while on a Presidential visit to Charleston in 1791.

The house went through a renovation in 1853. A third floor was added at this time along with architectural enhancements, Italian marble fireplaces, parquet floors and the elaborate palmettos and eagles ironworks believed to be the work of famed nineteenth-century wrought iron manufacturer, artisan, and entrepreneur Christopher Werner.

On Dec. 11, 1861, Charleston would experience a night of terror and disaster. It would be called the Great Fire of 1861 and it consumed much of the cities famed landmarks. With the flames literally at the home's doorstep, surprisingly, it escaped the conflagration, but the building next door was completely destroyed--St. Andrews Hall was the location where the Articles of Secession were drawn up. The house did take a hit from a Union cannon ball that put a hole in the upper right side on the front.

For more than a hundred years after the Civil War, it served as a residence, office, and a school. Eventually, its hallowed halls fell silent. It remained that way for several years. Then, in 1989, an effort to return it to its former glory with a major restoration was undertaken. When completed, the beautiful inlaid floors, decorative plaster work, and welcoming staircase that was inspired by love and presented as a gift were back in place along with an array of modern conveniences and ready for the next phase of its continuing history. It opened for business as the John Rutledge House Inn.

The Inn has 19 rooms and suites, all elegantly appointed with period pieces and reproduction furniture--some suites have 12 foot ceilings and whirlpools. Two secluded carriage houses are also available. For a view overlooking Broad Street, you can sit on its piazza, and for a more intimate setting, there is the private courtyard--both ideal places to enjoy the complimentary breakfast and afternoon teas offered by the Inn

The rates range from $260 for a Ground Floor suite to $445 for the Grand Suite with prices in-between depending on accommodation. The Inn is pet friendly.

Surrounded by the best of Charleston, the John Rutledge House Inn is ideally outfitted for you and your family to absorb the ambiance of the cities famed hospitality and historical charm. With a glorious history of its own reaching back 252 years, for a brief moment you will live like a Charlestonian Rutledge being served the traditional afternoon tea and evening brandy. Inspired by love, it has stood the test of time.

Just a short walk down Broad Street from the John Rutledge House Inn is Fast and French.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Majestic Medway--Another Lowcountry Antebellum Plantation With A Summerville Link

In 1930's Summerville, only one solitary building stood in tack amongst the rubble of what was once the block of buildings adjacent to the Town Square on the east side of South Main Street. Ominously destructive, the stormy winds of progress was the tempest of purpose. Among the debris of strewn bricks and tattered beams was the skeletal remains of the tunneled pathway that led to the old Arcade Theater. The silent movies accompanied by piano and violin had become reticent. The solitary building was its replacement. Known by the town's residents as "The Show," the new theater was built by the Legendres.

Sidney Legendre, a member of a prominent New Orleans family, owned a house near Golf Rd on South Main Street. He and his brother, Morris, owned a string of theaters throughout the South. Their headquarters was in Summerville. Shortly after exploring Abyssinia for the American Museum of Natural History as part of the Sanford-Legendre Abyssinia Expedition in 1929, Sidney married the expedition's co-leader Gertrude Sanford. Many of the big-game heads she collected from 1923 to 1929 traveling the world as a big-game hunter in South Africa, Canada, and Alaska lined the auditorium walls of the new theater.

Gertrude became famous for her work as a spy in World War II and was the first American woman captured by the Germans, but pulled off a daring escape of which she tells about in a book she wrote entitled "The Time of My Life." Gertrude once said, "I don't contemplate life. I live it," and she did. In time, Gertrude and her husband amassed a large estate called Medway Plantation located in Mount Holly within Berkeley County. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Medway's imprint on the illustrious history of the Lowcountry is far reaching. Considered the oldest masonry residence in the Carolinas, the plantation's first home was built in the late 1600's on the Back River, a tributary of the Cooper River, by a settler from Holland named Johan van Arsens-- married to Sabrina de Vignon.

After his death, his widow married Landgrave Thomas Smith around 1687, who was appointed governor of the Province of Carolina in 1693 and was one of the wealthiest men in the Province. It was sold in 1701 to Edward Hyrne, but went back to the Smith family when Hyrne defaulted on the mortgage. Despite this misfortune, Hyrne is credited with playing a role in the building of the original house. In 1984, the Hyrne family seal was discovered to be impressed into some of the bricks around a doorframe.

The property changed hands numerous times since until in ended up in the ownership of Peter Gaillard Stoney in the mid 1830's. During this time, it grew rice, provided timber, and produced the famous "Carolina Grey" bricks made from the local clay along the river bank. Growing labor-intensive crops like rice ceased to be economical. As time passed, the rundown estate was used for recreational hunting.

While visiting the Lowcountry and horseback riding one day, the Legendres stumbled upon the neglected Medway. Speaking about their discovery, Gertrude later wrote, "Something about it haunted us both." In 1929, the Legendre's purchased the plantation for $100,000, restored the house and expanded the estate to cover 6,695 acres. Medway also has four guest houses, three staff houses, a lakefront lodge, a riverside boat landing, formal gardens and a stable. The plantation has served as a retreat for writers and artists in recent times. As an environmentalist, Gertrude turned it into a nature preserve before her death in 2000.

Medway Plantation is one of ten haunted places in Berkeley County. It is believed to be haunted by a grieving young bride whose husband died on a hunting trip. According to legend, the young hunter was mistaken for a deer and killed. His young bride reportedly cried herself to death inside the historic home. After returning to Medway for the first time in years, Bokara Legendre recounts the first night she spent in her redone bedroom. "There was a problem with the fireplace, and the chamber filled with thick black smoke. As a member of the plantation staff put out the fire, he glimpsed an apparition."

Image by Katherine Wolkoff
Medway Plantation is another historic landmark with a Summerville connection. Shaded by giant oaks and climbing ivy, it is absolutely enchanting and beautifully haunting. Gertrude Legendre often quoted a sentimental poem written about Medway describing it as a place where "restless Time himself has come to rest." Bokara believes the apparition haunting the estate today is her mother. Unhappy about some of the changes to the old house, it would appear to her daughter Gertrude has joined restless Time. I wonder what she thinks of the removal of the big game heads from the theater her and her husband built on Hutchinson Square?

For more about Summerville go to Visiting Summerville.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Little Free Library In Summerville--Sharing A Passion For Reading

Tucked away on the winding streets, among the tall pines and old oaks, sits one of the most elegant properties of Summerville. Dating back to 1925, it was built by one of the town's richest families, the Prettyman's.

With a business founded on Summerville timber, they established the Prettyman Lumber Company. One of the first sawmill operations in the area beginning in 1902, J. F. Prettyman built his own logging railroad north of town to provide the steady flow of highly demanded timber.

The W 2nd South Street residence is no longer owned by the Prettyman's. Guarded by a short brick wall topped with a black wrought iron fence at its street entrance, a long brick walkway with a tall flower urn at its center leads you to its welcoming front door while a long brick driveway disappears into the properties thick foliage beyond the house where a beautiful cottage sits.

Comfortably surrounded by an impressive gardenscape accented with birdhouses and pergolas, the three-story, Georgian style house is flanked by tall chimneys and sweeping porches. The homes present owner was tending to his passion when I pulled into the driveway. For the next half hour or so, the gray-haired, soft spoken, 81 year resident of Summerville shared with me some of the more interesting features of his beautiful home and personal stories of growing up in Summerville.

Pointing to a group of trees beyond the rod iron fence and speaking with a eloquent southern accent, he related how as a young boy he would climb the fence to get to a hickory tree on the other side. As an avid jogger, he often ran past the house and dreamed of owning it. From time to time, he would stop to converse with the black gentleman who took care of the property at the time and would tell him, "Someday, I will own this property." And so, he fulfilled his dream.

He continued, "The property dates back to the Civil War. The cottage behind the house was originally the carriage house. The exterior wood is all cypress and the interior floors are covered with oak and pine. The wood planks run the full length of the floor without any seams." And then, he related the most interesting part of our conversation about the house. "One of the house's fireplace mantles and a window were salvaged from the old Francis Marion Plantation."

My focus now turned to the reason for my stop, his passion. George is an avid reader, who desired to share his chosen hobby with fellow Summervillians. To do that, he hired a carpenter to build a glass door enclosure in the shape of a house with one shelf, which then was mounted on a post and installed near the entrance of his driveway accompanied with a sign reading, Little Free Library, with the additional encouragement, "Take a Book, Leave a Book or Both."

George got the idea from an article in the Post and Courier where an illustration was provided on how to make it. Actually, Little Free Libraries are a community movement that offers free books housed in small containers similar to George's. They are also referred to as community book exchanges, book trading posts, pop-up libraries, and Noox (Neighbourhood bOOk eXchange). They are popping-up everywhere in the United States and the world.

The idea was popularized in Hudson, Wisconsin in 2009 when Todd Bol mounted a red and white, wooden container designed to look like a school house on a post on his lawn. He did it as a tribute to his mother, who was a book lover and school teacher. The far reaching goal is to promote literacy and the love of reading and build a sense of community with a sharing of skills, creativity and wisdom.

Locals have expressed their appreciation to George for his initiative to share his passion and valued contribution to the Summerville community by leaving notes in his Little Free Library thanking him.

Summerville is well-known for its historic character and hospitality. It is a southern comfort zone wrapped in a warm blanket of community sunshine. George's neighborly gesture confirms those qualities are still tightly woven into the evolving fabric of our Town. From time to time, you may see him tending to his Little Free Library. Be sure to thank him for the little bit of sunshine he brings to our growing town. And if you take a book, make sure you leave a book the Timrod Library would be proud to display.

Speaking of reading and books, be sure to attend.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Eating At Eva's On Main In Summerville Is Like Coming Home

There is no flashy, neon sign marking its location at the one window, one door, discreet red brick building that sits unpretentiously across from historic Hutchinson Square two doors north of the iconic James F. Dean Theatre. Upon entrance, you are greeted with much the same.

The interior is mother's dining room simple with Charleston blue walls covered half way up with white panels topped off with chair rail molding. A window bar spans the front with a view of the Square. On the walls, groupings of decorative plates fondly recall a cherished practice of yesteryear.

When you have a loyal following that spans a lifetime, simple is all you need. Longtime locals come for the down home fixings. It's beloved owner called the fare "southern cuisine."

The celebrated history of Eva's Restaurant has been well documented. An article from the Journal Scene hangs near the entrance. Established in 1944, it has been at 129 South Main Street since 1952. Like the theatre, it's been an anchor of constancy among the grouping of buildings east of the Square that otherwise have weathered many changes over the years. Sadly, Eva Hinson passed away in 2011 at the age of 96.

Not long after, ownership changed hands. Now called Eva's on Main, the new owners made a few changes to the interior and decor, but dedicated to integrating its storied past with the present, Eva's imprint and legacy remains in tact, and that is the way her longtime customers like it.

Like the theater, Eva and her restaurant have been designated a Summerville icon. Some of her patrons and closest friends dedicated a portrait to her in 2011. It presently hangs on the wall near the kitchen entrance surrounded by a grouping of her esteemed plates. It bears the inscription: "Mrs. Eva brought residents of Summerville together to share good food and happenings in their lives for over half a century."

One of those friends and former mayor of Summerville, Berlin G. Meyers, knew Eva since grammar school. Meyers, a constant regular since the early days, can be seen every morning around 7:00 am sitting at the same table, in the same chair, savoring his prepared-on-schedule white grits, one egg scrambled, bacon, white toast, and coffee.

Other longtime customers, Michael Murray and his mother, Margaret, consider Eva's to be their extended family. "I love coming to Eva's," 88 year old Margaret said with a smile. "The nicest part is you get to see friends." Margaret plays the organ at a local church. She will tell you stories about her first piano and her years living in Turkey, but longs for Vienna, Austria. Michael, also a seasoned world travel, says he looks forward to eating at Eva's when he returns home. "You get a good tasting, well rounded meal." He also believes people who eat at Eva's live a long time. How's that for a plug.

Keri Whitaker-Journal Scene
Eva's family is growing. Reggie became a loyal customer six months ago. He said of his regular server, "Robin called me by name from day one. The hospitality I am shown makes me feel like one of the family. The staff is always introducing me to new acquaintances. Everybody knows everybody." Then he added, "The food is always served hot."

Eva's on Main is like no other restaurant when it comes to the customer-business relationship. As an expression of appreciation, on their travels, customers would collect decorative plates and give them to Eva, who then would hang the plates on the walls of the restaurant. Since the change, many of them have been stored away, but small groupings remain as a reminder. Patrons drink from coffee cups commemorating 60 years of business given to Eva by a local group.

On the day of my visit, I witnessed an extraordinary display of appreciation. After something spilled, an older gentleman and frequent customer got down on the floor and helped clean it up. I was told this same man clears his own table and takes the dishes to the kitchen to be cleaned.

The food has always been prepared Eva's way. "It must look good and taste good." Three of the kitchen staff have a combined total of ninety years of service. Truly southern ladies, Beanie, Patricia, and Sarah knew Eva personally. When I asked about Eva, they chuckled and respectfully exclaimed, "She was a pistol," and then added, "She was very caring and helped everybody. She didn't want anybody to leave hungry."

Sarah, Patricia, and Beanie
The day I visited, a Friday, the specials were Old Fashioned Meatloaf (prepared Eva's way), Fillet of Whiting, and Fried Pork Tenderloin with rice. Buttered Corn, Black-Eyed Peas, and Collard Greens were the vegetables. Deserts included Banana Pudding, Chocolate Silk Pie, and German Chocolate Cake. Everyday is different. A chalk board on one wall and on the front of the hostess desk lists each days specials.

The generous serving of Old Fashioned Meatloaf smothered in a mild tomato sauce was succulent and tasty--the sauce great for corn bread dipping. The Fried Pork Tenderloin prepared in thin strips was savory. I generally do not eat Black-Eyed Peas or Collard Greens, but enjoyed them none-the-less; the Collard Greens were of a pleasant flavor and consistency. The Banana Pudding was delicious.

The staff from hostess to cook are friendly and hospitable. Restaurant manager, Judy Spencer, orchestrates an efficient house with a personable touch making herself available to satisfy whatever need that may arise. She knows her customers by name.

The presence of Eva still can be felt at the restaurant she made famous, not in a ghostly way, but by the spirit with which she did things--simple, southern, and Summerville. Eva's on Main is easy going and the prices are easy on the pocket book. A wooden plaque hanging over the window bar says it all, "Family and friends gather here." It's like coming home.

Perfect for people watchers
For menu and times of operation go to Eva's on Facebook.

Upcoming events: Food and Wine Tasting with Eva’s Restaurant, Summerville at Accent on Wine-Tuesday, January 27th at 5pm to 7pm.