When Scott Shor opened Edmund’s Oast, the farmhouse-style gastropub inspired by hop-drying houses of the 1600s, in Charleston, S.C., last year, he’d planned to eventually add a covered outdoor area. In January, he made good, opening The Bower, a 3,400-square-foot space next to the main restaurant, meant for overflow and smaller social events such as wine tastings and showers. Thus far it’s been a mix of successes and lessons.
Beyond events: extra seating
On busy nights, The Bower’s 100-plus seats fit Edmund’s overflow, but “there’s always a service challenge when you add on 30 to 40 percent more capacity,” says Shor. To cope, he adds staffers.
Beer by the numbers
The Edmund’s bar trades a span of random tap handles for uniform, easy-to-read handles and placards. “It’s important to have customers come in and understand right away,” says designer Dan Sweeney.
Hustle and flow
The Bower has its own bathrooms and bar to ease usability. A door separate from the main entrance allows guests access to the restaurant, but the owners didn’t originally provide covered passage for servers, something they’re rectifying now.