During the renovation of 492 King Street, historical significance and attention to detail played a large role in creating the new space. The building dates back to the late 1800s when clothiers such as Reuben’s, Leon’s and Bluestein’s were a large part of the economy in Charleston, especially in the Upper King Street district. The button wall art installation in the main dining room, an interpretation of a photograph of sous vide leeks, pays homage to that history. Additionally, the fabric ceiling in the downstairs dining area is a replica of a 1902 city map.
The gates that enclose the courtyard were inspired by 30” x 40” Sanborn street maps of different colors, patterns and scale found while researching the building’s origins. As executed, the red rectangles show the 492 King location in an abstracted version of the 1884 map, noted by the circle. All the other lines represent the surrounding streets.
The building sat abandoned since Hurricane Hugo until it was purchased by the Relish Restaurant Group. During renovations, spearheaded by local architect Reggie Gibson, as much of the original building was left intact as possible. The red color in the dining room, called “eating room red,” and the “piazza blue” on the upstairs hall ceiling are both historic paint colors. The base of the bar is paneled in old tin that served as the ground floor ceiling of the existing building, reflecting a dedication to preserving and restoring this unique piece of Charleston’s history.