Saturday, July 10, 2010

Poogan's Porch-A Southern Institution Serving Lowcountry Cuisine

I thought this to be a rather unusual designation for a restaurant. After all, Poogan is an uncommon name in itself. But when I did some research into the matter, the name made perfect sense.

The story is both exceptional and endearing. Its the American Dream at its best and its telling will warm your heart and put a smile on your face because Poogan was a bit of a wanderer who finally found his place in society and a permanent residence in an old house that was built in 1888 and in 1976, turned into a restaurant bearing his name.

Poogan presided over the renovations and greeted the first happy customers. Like many Charlestonians, the porch was his favorite part of the house, thus the name Poogan's Porch.

Poogan is no longer here and if he could speak, he would tell you, "To succeed in life, never bite the hand that feeds you." Poogan was a scruffy, neighborhood dog.

Poogan isn't the only story that is part of this house-turned-restaurant's rich history. It seems there is a previous owner that likes to make unannounced, surprise visits from time to time. Her name is Zoe St. Amand. She waves at hotel guests across the street at the Mills House and wanders around making mischief in the kitchen bagging on pots and pans--so the story goes.

The Travel Channel voted the restaurant "Third Haunted Place in America" in 2003. It has been a hot spot for celebrities and politicians. In 1989, scenes from the movie "Champagne Charlie" were filmed at Poogan's Porch.

There's something appealing and fun about dining in a restaurant that once was a home.Poogan's Porch is all of that and boasts the credentials that makes it Charleston’s oldest and most reputable culinary establishments. Since opening, it has upgraded the interior of the restaurant. A 1500-bottle wine cellar was built in 2005, which has tripled since opening. It has been given numerous awards.

A dinner for two will average around $75 without wine. Open 365 days a year, Poogan’s Porch serves a Lowcountry lunch from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m., dinner from 5-9:30 p.m. and weekend brunch from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. The restaurant closes for one dinner seating on Super Bowl Sunday--a family tradition. It is located at 72 Queen Street, just down the street from the Dock Street Theater. Menus and reviews.

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