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Maverick Southern Kitchens owner in talks to sell Charleston restaurant company to Halls

Maverick Southern Kitchens is having “very serious discussions” with the Hall family about the possibility of the steakhouse owners buying the restaurant chain, president and founder Dick Elliott told employees this week.

No deal has yet been finalized, but Elliott anticipates an announcement by late April.

While rumors have been swirling for months, Elliott was reluctant to directly address his staff, citing the fragility of business negotiations. He changed his mind after a longtime employee confronted him, asking whether he was selling off the company because of personal health issues.

“He looked very distressed,” Elliott said Friday. “I told him, ‘That’s not true.’”

To set the story straight within the company, Elliott on Wednesday revealed that he’d narrowed down the list of potential buyers to the Halls, who operate Halls Chophouse on upper King Street in downtown Charleston and Rita’s Seaside Grill at Folly Beach.

“We’re certainly continuing very serious discussions with them,” Elliott said. “The critical part is financing.”

According to Elliott, he has “received many inquiries about purchasing some or all of Maverick Southern Kitchens” over the past few years. In January, Elliott told The Post and Courier, “We had a record year in 2014, the last year and the year before that. The second half of 2014 was just gangbusters.”

Elliott in 1989 purchased The Colony House, now the site of the Harbour Club on Prioleau Street. Four years later, he opened Slightly North of Broad around the corner on East Bay Street, installing Frank Lee as chef.

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