Sean Mendes will reopen Island Bar & Grill as Blues Burger Joint in April
If Sean Mendes can do for burgers what he's done for fried shrimp, James Islanders are some very lucky citizens. The owner of Roadside Seafood — whose fried shrimp Robert Moss and Eric Doksa named one of the top five in Charleston
— has just bought Island Bar & Grill (815 Folly Road) next door and will reopen it as Blues Burger Joint on April 2.
Why April 2? "That's the day three years ago that I opened Roadside," says Mendes. "It feels like a good date."
But the timing means Mendes has just a month to turn the former dive bar into a swinging burger spot and music venue, while operating his already successful original business.
"It's gonna be a bar toward the later stage of the night. We'll open at 11 a.m. and have hand-ground burgers and spiked milk shakes," he says. The space will be casual and will also include what Mendes calls some off the wall stuff like a gator burger, pimento cheese fries, lump crab jalapeño guacamole, and a fried lobster roll. But don't expect too much shrimp.
"We have so much of that next door. We will do a few things though, like wasabi shrimp," Mendes says.
As for the blues part, Mendes plans to bring local acts in to play even during the day. But all that isn't until next month. For now, Mendes is running IBG as the bar it's always been, albeit with a 10-plate menu with things like wings.
"Locals are loving the feel and what’s gonna be taking place," says Mendes. "We want to give a good send off to IBG since it’s been there for so long though. We're not going to change too much, just class it up a little bit."