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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Charleston Nano Brewing opens new outdoor beer garden

New restaurants, new outdoor dining, new cookies and a new beer garden? It’s another big week in local food news. Let’s dig in, shall we?

New outdoor seating area at Charleston Nano Brewery
New outdoor seating area at Charleston Nano Brewery

Charleston Nano Brewing on the city’s West Side has added a cool new offering to pair with its small-batch craft beers.

You can now enjoy them while lounging in the brewery’s new outdoor biergarten, complete with tables, chairs, sofas, speakers and strings of lights adding a festive touch. Designed as a family-friendly gathering space, the biergarten does not permit smoking but well-behaved dogs are allowed.

New beers rotate often, but the current lineup includes a Country Roads Belgian Wit, which you can get plain or flavored with mango or mango-coconut, as well as a coffee or raspberry-lime 1788 Pils, Rye 2 Die IPA, Frankenstein Amber Ale and a wheat beer in either plain, peach sour or raspberry-lime sour styles.

Charleston Nano Brewery is open from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 2 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Short Story adding outdoor seating

Speaking of sipping beers outside …

Biergarten at Charleston Nano Brewery
Biergarten at Charleston Nano Brewery

Amid all the excitement of Short Story Brewing Charleston announcing that popular Morgantown-based pizza joint Lefty’s Place is opening a location inside its taproom on Summers Street – as early as this week, mind you – I forgot to mention that Short Story will also be adding outdoor seating in front of its downtown location as well. They’re working with the city to finalize those arrangements and hope to be serving beers out on a new sidewalk patio soon by summertime.

Crumbl Cookies opens at Southridge

In other local food news, the much-anticipated Crumbl Cookies opened this past Friday with incredibly long lines outside its new storefront location at 2824 Mountaineer Blvd. inside the former Pottery Place at Southridge.

Charleston Nano Brewery
Charleston Nano Brewery

Stretching down past Honey Baked Hams at times, customers were clamoring to sink their teeth into the national chain’s assortment of more than 275 over-the-top cookies in flavors like Milk Chocolate Chip, Cookies and Cream Milkshake, Strawberry Cupcake, Buttermilk Pancake, Triple Chocolate Chip and Classic Pink Sugar.

Only a handful of flavors are offered each week, with menu updates released on Sunday evenings.

I’ll definitely check it out once the crowds die down, but I honestly don’t get the hype. I mean, there are lots of places around town – including a handful of locally owned businesses – that have been baking incredible cookies for years.

I get that there’s a shiny new place in town that many folks can’t wait to try, but I don’t get waiting in long lines for … cookies.

For those who do, the new spot will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday.

Hens & Heifers opens in Elkview

Speaking of openings, the new Hens & Heifers restaurant opened this week inside the old Ponderosa location at the Crossings Mall just off I-79 in Elkview.

A large menu offers 50 appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, skillets, pasta, steak, fish, sides and signature chicken tenders with a variety of sauces.

There’s a lot to choose from and I couldn’t help but chuckle when I saw the steak section. Under the list of ways you can have your steak prepared, the last option says: “Well done – just don’t.” Nicely played.

The new restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.

Elephant Thai taking a break

My heart skipped a beat when I saw a recent announcement by Elephant Thai saying the awesome South Charleston restaurant would be closing for a while. Lucky for us, it’s only temporary.

The post went on to explain they’d only be closing from May 9 through July 6, so they could take care of some routine maintenance and take an extended family vacation.

Thank goodness. Since opening more than two years ago, the popular spot near the Mound quickly became one of the best restaurants in town for Thai food, and the sushi bar added later is absolute fire.

If you haven’t experienced it yet – or just need a fix before they take a break – be sure to head down this week or make plans to welcome them back in July!

Located at 228 7th Ave. in South Charleston, Elephant Thai is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. (Except from May 9-July 6, of course.)

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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at

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