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.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Frankly, This Is One Damn Funny Play You Don't Want To Miss--"Moonlight And Magnolias"

What happens when three Hollywood types, who respectfully despise one another and flaunt egos as big as a southern plantation, get locked in an office room for five days subsisting on bananas and peanuts? Oh, let's throw into the mix an overworked, somewhat ditsy secretary. For the answer, schedule a night out at the James F. Dean Theatre from January 16-25 for a viewing of the Flowertown Players latest presentation of "Moonlight and Magnolias."

The title, "Moonlight and Magnolias," was derived from the scene where Scarlett, after fashioning a dress made from green velvet drapes, visited imprisoned Rhett Butler in Atlanta in an attempt to get money from him to pay taxes on her home, Tara. She claimed to have everything she could hope for and "not a care in the world." Rhett noticed her hands, calloused from working in the crop fields, and knew she was lying and said, "You can drop the moonlight and magnolia, Scarlett! So things have been going well at Tara, have they?"

In this wacky farce, a highly paid script doctor and Jewish activist by the name of Ben Hecht and a demanding, volatile director by the name of Victor Fleming are voluntarily accosted by the highly dramatic David O. Selznick to hammer out a new script for the production of his recently stalled epic, "Gone With The Wind."

The problem: Hecht has not read the 1,037 page "big book" by Margaret Mitchell. The solution: Fleming and Selznick decide to act out some of the more important scenes for Hecht, so he can type out the dialogue for the script.

At times reminiscent of the "Three Stooges," the play touches on some of the more controversial issues of the day, which eventually leads to a situation where the three of them get entwined in a hilarious confrontation over the scene where Scarlett slaps Prissy, a young slave-girl. Hecht doesn't like it, Fleming has no problem with it. Fleming was rumored to have slapped Judy Garland while directing "The Wizard of Oz," which is brought up from time to time by Hecht during their incarceration.

Director Chrissy Eliason, over her many years with the Flowertown Players, has established a well deserved reputation for bringing together the perfect cast partnered with beautifully detailed sets, and with "Moonlight and Magnolias," she added another accent mark to that reputation. From props to costumes, Chrissy and her crew coordinate creative chaos on a set that will each night end up looking like an explosion in a paper mill.

Chad Estel as Ben Hecht and Daniel Rich as Vic Fleming were comically confrontational throughout. Chad's funniest moments came while agonizing over a typewriter distressingly pounding out the infamous script and Daniel's was the comical imagery of Vic laying on the floor mimicking Melanie Wilkes having a baby. David McLaughlin portrayed the dramatic and determined to preserve the integrity of the book David O. Selznick with Emmy flair and Hanna Weston as Selznick's compliant secretary immersed in a ocean of Hollywood machismo was delightful--ditsy accent included.

Frankly, this is one damn funny play. It is hands down the funniest I have seen at the James F. Dean Theatre in Summerville. It was masterfully directed and superbly entertaining. You will go bananas over "Moonlight and Magnolias."

Purchase tickets here.

I attended the "Friends and Family" showing.

(Kelsey Palmer; Assistant Director, Stage Manager; Dianna Devito, Sound/Light Operator; Jeff Wolf, Costumes; Dianna Reeves, Light Design; JC Conway, and Set Design and Construction; Ernie Eliason)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sumptuous Food And Super Fun Guaranteed To Be On The Menu--Charleston Restaurant Week January 2015

Charleston has more fine dining establishments per capita than any other city in the South. All are ready to cater to your taste buds with their own personal blend of locally grown produce, herbs and spices perfectly matched to the offering and sprinkled with a generous serving of pleasant ambiance and old southern hospitality.

One of my favorite events of the year, there is no better way to acquaint yourself with Charleston's world renowned chefs and top restaurants than through its highly anticipated culinary gala called Charleston Restaurant Week--now underway and running until January 18, 2015. The list of participating restaurants is long and illustrious offering options ranging from 3 courses for $20 to 3 courses for $50--some restaurants offering 4 courses. The list also includes restaurants offering lunch options ranging from 2 courses for $10 to 2 courses for $20.

So, whether you plan on making it a family affair or a romantic evening out, sumptuous food and super fun is guaranteed to be on the menu. I have provided ten of my past favorite choices accompanied by a review. My selections from the list are Edmond's Oast, Poogan' Porch and Michael's on the Alley. For a complete list of participating restaurants, you can click on this link.

What is better than spending a day with a special someone? Beginning that great day with a fantastic meal at a downtown Charleston restaurant. The restaurant was the Husk on Queens Street. My expectations were high going in. I had read nothing but rave reviews from various sources. I got further confirmation...

82 Queen
Looking in from the street, you look up a narrow, beautifully landscaped alleyway. Alleys are common features in Charleston and part of its picturesque charm. At the end we could see a couple of well-dressed young ladies and after navigating the alley, we discovered they were the hostesses for the restaurant. We informed them of our 5:45pm reservation. With reservation confirmed...

High Cotton
I had a change in plan for Charleston's Restaurant Week. Sermets Downtown was to be first on my list of restaurants, but I received an invitation to join a group of White Gablers at the downtown restaurant High Cotton. So, I couldn't pass it up. High Cotton...

39 Rue de Jean
This would be my first visit to the posh 39 Rue de Jean--a French brasserie located between Meeting and King on one of Charleston's most notable streets. With the Charleston Museum close by, the museum's newly constructed glass enclosed building housing the first locomotive built in America...

Sermet's Corner Downtown
From the 3 for 30 offerings found on Charleston Restaurant Week's list of participating restaurants, I narrowed my choices down to two restaurants-downtown dining establishments I had on my cuisine radar since the last event and both located on eclectic and bustling King Street. It wasn't easy arriving at the definitive decision...

Slightly North of Broad
It is often said, "Nothing is perfect." We say this in keeping ourselves well grounded and in maintaining a reasonable balance concerning our expectations of things and rightly so, because speaking from a human standpoint, perfection is an unattainable standard. But despite our misgiving to label anything perfect, we do use the word to describe exceptional experiences...

The Fish House
It was to be an unusual day for me. I would be stepping out of my comfort zone. Store hopping was in the works. This is a rare event and the kind of activity I generally shy away from, but is at times knowingly necessary. There was this space that needed filling and an idea for a wall arrangement. I was joined by a friend who, by the way...

RB's Shem Creek
In 2002, the scene on Shem Creek would have been much different than the stunning waterfront we experience currently. A 35-seat eatery located in an old fish shed next to Red's Ice House was reduced by an accidental fire to ashes and rubble, leaving a blackened and charred heap that was once RB's Seafood Restaurant...

Boathouse Restaurant
The roads into the Isle of Palms from Summerville were sparsely traveled on this Thursday. Lowcountry residences were gathered around their tables with family and friends feasting on turkey and pumpkin pie, except for the few of us who selected to eat out at one of the various restaurants that chose to open their doors for the festivities...

Pages Okra Grill
It was a busy weekend in Charleston with all the festivities. The Boat Show started on Friday at the Charleston Convention Center, Winterfest at Patriots Point on Saturday, and the worlds largest oyster festival on Sunday at Boone Hall Plantation. If I went to the boat show, I would probably end up buying one. For now, that folly is reserved for the near future...

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Chilling Beginning To The New Year On The "Edge of America"--Bill Murray Style

It was a chilling beginning to the new year for many on the "Edge of America." Happy Lowcountry residents and visitors did more than "Freeze Your Bill's Off" at the "2nd Annual Bill Murray Look-a-Like Polar Plunge."

In the spirit of Bill Murray's request "Can I have another one of these with some booze in it?(Groundhog Day)," celebrants boozed their bills off. With four dollar Smirnoff Bloody Mary's and Seagram's Vodka Screwdrivers coursing through their bodies for anti freeze, thousands of new year celebrants joyfully ran into the 50 degree waters of Folly Beach. "I make it a rule never to get involved with possessed people... Actually, it's more of a guideline than a rule(Ghostbusters)," but I could not resist the urge to join them. As a footnote, I feel it necessary in light of my facetious reference to "boozed" to insert this: It was all done in modesty and for a good cause.

The event started at 11AM. The early morning sun warmed the cool sands of the beach in front of the Tides near Folly Beach Pier as the gentle, rolling waves of the ocean kissed the shoreline. Encouraged to dress as their favorite Bill Murray character, the steadily growing crowd gathered and waited for the judging to begin, which took place at 12:30PM--a half hour before the actual plunge was scheduled. Awards were given out for the Best Guy, Best Girl, Best Team and Best Overall Bill Murray costumes. By the time the judging ended, thousands of celebrants filled the beach and the wooden decks of the Tides. Not everyone came dressed as Bill Murray wannabes. In a way, it oddly looked like an overdue quasi Halloween event.

With awards handed out and 1PM rapidly approaching, the plungers gathered at the yellow taped starting line, while spectators holding cameras and cell phones lined the edges of a section of Folly Beach about three hundred feet long and a hundred feet wide that would serve as the corridor leading to the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

They cheered and chanted as the minutes ticked by. Some, probably second guessing their decision to be associated with this group of crazies and others repeating over and over, "I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful... I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful... I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful...(What About Bob)," as a way to psyche themselves up for the frosty awakening to the new year shortly to take place.

And then, the tape dropped and the herd of frenzied Bill Murray misfits ran into the calm, cold waters on the "Edge of America" and froze their Bill's off; many of them running out of the water quicker than they ran into it. After taking pictures of the initial plunge, I put my camera down, removed the unnecessary articles of clothing and joined them.

Actually, froze is somewhat of an exaggeration. Fifty degree water really isn't cold at all. I have swam in cold water before. The feet and the legs are the easy part. Acclimating the upper extremities is the difficult part of the experience, but if you dip into the water quickly without thinking about it, the shock is lessened. It's exhilarating and it's refreshing.

So, feeling good from head to toe, it was time to savor a four dollar Seagram's Vodka Screwdriver and high five fellow plungers on the decks of the Blu Restaurant. It was a polarific way to start the new year.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Once A Showplace Among Summerville's Distinguished Plantation Past

The azure rays of the winter's afternoon sun streamed through the gnarled branches of the numerous trees scattered around on the solitary, circular piece of landscape. As I surveyed the surrounding topography, the reason for selecting the site to build a house became obvious. It was the highest point on the sprawling 3000 acre royal grant, which was given to a merchant of London by King Charles II.

Over the span of its grand history, three different houses would grace the hilltop; the last would be considered one the largest mansions in the southern part of South Carolina. The land grant was known as the Newington Plantation, so named by Daniel Axtell after an estate in England.

To say the least, the Axtell family was a genealogical jigsaw puzzle. There were four different Daniel Axtells around the same time, not including the Daniel Axtell, who was executed for the regicide of King Charles; also the father of the Daniel Axtell, who was given the royal land grant by King Charles II, which became Newington Plantation.

Daniel Axtell, the grant owner, was married to Rebecca Holland and they had a son whose name was Daniel Axtell. Daniel Axtell, the son, died in 1681 on a ship bound for South Carolina from England; he was coming to visit his parents at Newington. Daniel Axtell, the grant owner, died three years later in 1684. Lady Rebecca inherited the plantation.

To make things even more complicated, a Daniel Axtell of Marlboro, Massachusetts moved to South Carolina in 1690 and became part owner of a saw mill in the area of what later would become Summerville. His wife's name was Thankful Pratt and they had a son named Daniel.

In time, Lady Rebecca gave the plantation to her daughter Elizabeth, but willed three hundred acres of the grant to Daniel Axtell from Massachusetts and to his son Daniel, two hundred acres. Daniel Axtell from Massachusetts was the nephew of Daniel Axtell the owner of Newington, the land grant. By the way, Daniel and Thankful's first child was a girl named Elizabeth. So, there you have it, the Axtell enigma.

The first of the three houses was started in 1680 by Daniel Axtell, but after laying the wooden frame he died, never seeing its completion. In 1705, Lady Rebecca was granted 1000 acres of land on the north side of the Ashley River and around 1711 gave Newington to her daughter Elizabeth, whose last name was now Blake. Around 1715, the first house was burned in the Yemassee War, possibly by Indians. Sometime later, the second house was built. At the time, Lady Axtell was living in the house with Elizabeth and her grandson, Colonel Joseph Blake. The colonel was one of the richest men in the low country. As to the demise of the second house, one source says it burned and the second states it was reportedly removed by Colonel Blake to make way for the third house. The year was 1730.

It was a magnificent plantation home. Built with bricks and in the Georgian style architecture with elaborate cornices and moldings, it was called "the house with a hundred windows." The front overlooked grand English gardens with terracing and hedges and a large reflecting pond. The approach was lined with a double row of live oaks. It had an open floor plan in the southern style with a central hall flanked by four rooms, two on each side for maximizing air circulation during the hot, summer months. The second floor followed the same pattern with a great hall or ballroom. At the time of the Revolutionary war, the house was considered a showplace.

In 1837, the plantation was sold to Henry A. Middleton. It burned in 1845 and laid in ruins until 1876. In that year, Middleton leased the property to the United States government as an experimental tea farm, under the direction of Dr. Charles Shepherd.

Newington is an intrinsic part of the distinguished plantation history of Summerville, as is the famous Pinehurst Tea Plantation it ended up a part of. The reflecting pond is all that is left, aside from the solitary piece of hilltop now encircled by a subdivision of homes. Take the pilgrimage to the crest of the hill, circle its preserved grounds, walk among its remaining trees. Then, step back with the reflecting pond directly behind you and with you mind's eye scan the circular landscape. With the help of the historical record and a little imagination, the subtle outlines of "the house with a hundred windows" and its grand English gardens can be seen shimmering in the warm, azure rays of the winter's afternoon sun as they filter through the trees and wash over the aura of Plantation Circle.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Celebrate Charleston's Bill Murray Connection--"Come Freeze Your Bills Off"

Bill Murray is a big name anywhere, but with pun intended, sliding around Charleston, South
Carolina, he is a huge name. Famous for unexpectedly slipping in and out of parties and gatherings, during a rain delay at a Riverdogs' game, he ran unto the infield like a ground hog and slid all over the rain-drenched tarp to entertain the crowd who laughingly soaked up the Murray hijinks. As the owner of the Riverdogs, he has been seen on any given night during baseball season catching and throwing out ceremonial first pitches or coaching first base.

Recently, before it was auctioned off in November, a painting of Murray hung in Coastal Coffee Roasters of Summerville as part of a "Bring Bill to Summerville" event and countless numbers of locals and visitors sought to have their pictures taken with the painting depicting Bill hoisting a cup of java into the air--painted by April Aldrich. The money from the auction was given to a charity of Murray's choice. However, Bill is no stranger to Summerville. He was a show stopper when he visited the James F. Dean Theatre in Summerville for a performance of "Forever Plaid."

As 2014 comes to an end and 2015 begins, Murray's Charleston connection is honored in the "Annual Bill Murray Look-a-Like Polar Bear Plunge" at the beachfront of the Tides Hotel on Folly Beach. Why anyone would want to plunge into the near 54 degree waters of the Atlantic Ocean on New Year's Day is anybody's guess, but I imagine it could be useful in shaking off a night of partying. This is the second year for this event and all attendees are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Bill Murray character and "freeze their Bills off." Murray's Bob Wiley character in "What About Bob" is my favorite followed by Phil Connors of "Ground Hog Day."

Registration for the plunge and contest begins at 11am at the information booth and judging of the Bill Murray Look-a-Like Contest begins at 12pm. The panel of judges will present awards for Best Guy, Best Girl, Best Team and Best Overall Bill Murray. The plunge takes place at 1pm.

Folly restaurants and bars will open early so that guests can enjoy pre-plunge Screwdrivers and Bloody Marys for just $4 each. And post-plunge festivities will be happening all day at restaurants
and bars all over Folly.

Not connected to Bill Murray, there are two other plunges taking place around the area. The "Dunleavy's Pub Polar Plunge" has been around for 19 years and since 2003 the Pub and their patrons have helped raise thousands of dollars for Special Olympics South Carolina. Dunleavy's Pub at 2213 Middle Street on Sullivan's Island will open at 9:00am and the plunge takes place at 2:00pm. For this cold dip, you are encouraged to create a costume for this one or simply show up in your favorite swim suit.

"Plunge into the New Year at Kiawah" is the third--no connection to Bill. The plunge takes place at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in front of The Sanctuary at 12:00pm. There is an "After Plunge Party at Loggerhead Pool Deck with music plus food and beverage offerings. Again, you are encouraged to dress up for Best Costume and Group Costume awards.

So, kick off the year shockingly right and slip into the chilly waters of the Atlantic Ocean Bill Murray style. It is a fun way to cap off a night of celebrations that will be taking place all over the Holy City. Let me know if you are going to be a participant and write a comment. For a list of end of the year celebrations go to Charleston events. Consider a visit to the Homegrown Brewhouse in Summerville and have a beer with Bill.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Ding, Ding, Ding, The Trolleys Are Coming To Summerville

The nostalgic green and red colored transportation vehicles Summerville residents have seen traveling the streets of the downtown area on Fridays and Saturdays this past year will be increasing their presence in 2015. The Lowcountry Loop Trolley will be offering their hop/on, hop/off service to Summerville seven days a week beginning in February. It will establish stops throughout Summerville from Nexton to the old plantations on Ashley river Road.

Rightfully declared the "Birthplace of Sweet Tea," Summerville is benefiting from a unique heritage that has been brewing since the early 1800's and quoting a phrase my dear uncle often uses, "How sweet it is." Throughout 2014, sweet tea and tours have put the town in the Lowcountry spotlight. As a beneficial result, the "Sweet Tea Trail" was formed and the "Sweet Tea Festival" was established.

The town's beautiful Visitor's Center celebrates the heritage by offering complimentary cups of sweet tea to its visitors and the Summerville Dorchester Museum celebrates it by hosting the now famous Summerville Trolley Tours. The "Good Eats on the Sweet Tea Trail" tour with story teller Tim Lowry and local historian Barbara Hill has been a huge success and has been highlighted in magazines and on news features. In partnership, The Lowcounty Loop Trolley has become a common sight in town.

The proposed schedule
The new Summerville trolley service will be called the Green Line.  Monday through Saturday the proposed service will begin at 8:00am at Azalea Park, but you can pick it up at nine other locations at varying times running every thirty minutes. You choose where you would like to pick it up and at what time. All you need to do is drive your car to the stop, arrive at least five minutes before the scheduled time, and park your car. Once on the trolley, you can hop on or hop off anywhere along the line throughout the day. Cost will be $14.

Hop/on, hop/off locations will be Hutchinson Square, Summerville Visitor Center, Azalea Square, Magnolia Plantation, and Middleton Place. For visitors, it will have planned stops at hotels like the Nexton Courtyard Marriot, the Wingate Hotel at Charleston Southern and other Summerville hotels. Sunday shuttle will run from 10:30am to 6:30pm.

Thinking about having lunch at Fast and French, walking the Old Market or shopping King Street? The Green Line will also offer a convenient service the old Southern Railroad System used to offer Summerville residents--access to downtown Charleston without having to drive your car. From the Charleston Visitor Center, you can pick up the Red Line with stops at places like the Naval and Maritime Museum, USS Yorktown, and Charleston Harbor Resort. Several tours also leave from the Visitor Center such as the Island "Sip and See," "Plantation Tour and Taste Special," and "Chop, Shop, and Dine."

Want to spend the afternoon at the beach on Sullivan's Island or Isle of Palms? The trolley has stops there too. Do you like to kayak or paddle board? How about a stroll on a boardwalk overlooking a beautiful waterway, dining by the water, or cruising on a party catamaran? Shem Creek is the perfect place with RB's, Water's Edge, Red's Ice House and the Palmetto Breeze. Other places you will have access to include the IOP Marina, Mt. Pleasant Towne Center, and historic Boone Hall.

When Summerville was declared the "Birthplace of Sweet Tea," the possibilities have become "sky's the limit." The resulting festival and trolley tours have sweetened the sweet tea cup of growth. With a huge potential sitting on the city's limits, the Lowcountry Loop Trolley service planned for the town will assist in releasing that potential and help manage the flow without increasing the traffic.

So, put out the southern welcome mat of hospitality and complimentary cup of sweet tea. Ding, ding, ding, the trolleys are coming to town.