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  • Writer's pictureSteven Keith

Finally, a week of really good local restaurant news!

After a string of unfortunate closings that wiped out a handful of popular local restaurants, it’s nice to be able to celebrate a few very exciting new openings and expansions.

Big barbecue beef rib from Bogey's Driving Range
Big barbecue beef rib from Bogey's Driving Range

From a new barbecue restaurant at Capitol Market to a new Italian and pizza joint on the West Side to the reopening of a downtown gelateria, here’s a tasty preview of more dining-out options in store.

Bogey’s restaurant coming to Capitol Market

Popular Tornado-based barbecue restaurant Bogey’s Driving Range will open a second location in Charleston within the next six to eight weeks to become Capitol Market’s first new indoor tenant in more than 10 years.


After a months-long search that resulted in more than 50 applications to fill the space formerly occupied by Fresh Seafood Company, market officials announced “Bogey’s at Capitol Market” as its new restaurant during a media event last Wednesday.

Bogey's Burger with fire-roasted corn
Bogey's Burger with fire-roasted corn

Fans and followers seemed ecstatic after the announcement, taking to social media to rave about the restaurant’s smoked meats, sandwiches and more served out at its original location.

I’m really glad to hear that because – full disclosure – I currently serve as President of the Capitol Market Board of Directors and want to see all of the small businesses, farmers and food producers there succeed.

Work crews have already started renovations for the restaurant, which will include a complete new build-out featuring counter seating wrapping around its perimeter in the space across from Holl’s Chocolates and next to The Wine Shop.

Bogey’s menu at the market location will include signature items like its addictive slow-smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends caramelized in a sweet-and-spicy BBQ sauce, its thinly sliced Tri-Tip Philly with balsamic herb glaze and caramelized onions, and a smoked turkey club with bacon, lettuce, tomato, cheese and garlic thyme aioli.

Grilled shrimp tacos from Bogey's
Grilled shrimp tacos from Bogey's

You’ll also find the same fire-roasted corn on the cob and smoked-and-grilled cheeseburger they serve in Tornado, plus an award-winning WV Hot Dog that has been named best is the state by Taste WV.

So yes, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the Mountain State’s top dog at Charleston’s Capitol Market, a grilled beef wiener smothered in smoked chili, house-made slaw, mustard and onions.

Other items to enjoy include apps like Loaded BBQ Nachos, Buffalo Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Smoked & Grilled Chicken Wings, plus Grilled Shrimp Tacos, a yet-to-be-named big fish sandwich and a few wraps and salads.

There will also be Pulled Pork BBQ, a Pork Belly BLT, the Dirty Birdie fried chicken sandwich, a selection of classic BBQ sides and a showstopping dessert made with homemade banana bread pudding covered with whipped cheesecake and topped with fresh bananas and vanilla caramel sauce.

Concept rendering for Bogey's at Capitol Market
Concept rendering for Bogey's at Capitol Market

That dessert – along with those aforementioned burnt ends and assorted sliders – were big hits among the free food samples handed out at last week’s press conference.

Bogey’s co-owners say they can’t wait to become a part of one of Charleston’s top attractions.

"It is truly an honor for Bogey’s to join Capitol Market, which has been a long-standing pillar in the Charleston community for decades," Andrew Ford said after the announcement. Added Jay Nelson: “We can't wait to bring our handcrafted and homemade food to the capital city and partner with the local farmers in new ways.”

I know a guy who’s very close to this process (wink-wink) so I’ll keep you updated as an opening dates gets closer.

Sergio’s opening soon on West Side

Popular (and still new) Hurricane restaurant Sergio’s Cucina Italiana & Steaks is very close to opening it second location in the old Books & Brews on Charleston’s West Side, although this location will be called Sergio’s Cucina Italiana & Pizza.

“Signs are up! Hood is up and operating! Staff has been hired! Are systems are a go!” owner Sergio Lugo-Mata announced last week, referring to the remodeled space at 222 West Washington St.

Pending final inspections scheduled this week, he said the new restaurant’s opening date should be announced in the coming days.

In addition to pizzas, pastas and other Italian favorites, Lugo-Mata said this new Sergio’s will also carry pepperoni rolls, in an apparent nod to the previous restaurant located here. Books & Brews was well-known for its decadent, delicious and deep-fried pepperoni rolls.

Stella’s Gelato reopens for summer

A boutique café offering artisanal gelato, ultra-premium extra-virgin olive oil and Italian barrel-aged balsamic vinegars has reopened for the summer in downtown Charleston.

Tucked just around the corner of the old Blossom Deli on Quarrier Street, Stella’s Gelato & Specialty Market at 202 Hale St. is now open from noon to 6 p.m. every Wednesday through Sunday.

For more information, call 304-344-2426 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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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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