Jonathan Boncek file photo
Chef Brannon Florie opens Pier 41 next week
If there's one guy who seems to have the Mt. Pleasant dining scene figured out, it's Chef Brannon Florie. The man behind The Granary and On Forty-One, Florie has been successfully serving Mt. Pleasanters for years and he's about to do it again with the opening next week of his new Pier 41.
Florie describes Pier 41 (1039 Hwy. 41) as a New England raw bar with an Asian twist. "It's similar to 167 Raw, but it has the fried stuff too, like Pearlz," he says. He'd originally wanted to keep the menu short, but adds that part of the key to appealing to Mt. Pleasant's population is making sure his menus offer a little bit of everything for the family-heavy crowds — that means tempura-friend po' boys for Mom and Dad and a burger for the kids.
Florie learned this balance firsthand when he opened The Granary in Belle Hall shopping center in 2014. "We had some people complain because we didn't have Coca-Cola on tap for their kids," says Florie who made some edits to his menu a year after opening, quickly adding grilled cheese and chicken fingers. "I had a lot of things on the menu for me, but I had to change some of those out and add shrimp and grits — more approachable, familiar things," he says. And he's OK with that. "You have to figure out your clientele."
For Pier 41, he thinks he's got the right idea in mind. The 20-seat restaurant will offer everything from seafood towers to lobster-fried-rice mac-n-cheese, and he has a giant wok range to work on, leftover from the previous owner, Bangkok Bistro.
"I was trying sell it and no one wants to buy a wok station, they’re huge, heavy, greasy," he says. "I finally had a buyer, but the day before they were gonna build the bar, the guy called back and said it was too big. So I said we’ll figure it out. I ended up playing around with it and it's an awesome piece of equipment."
When he's not working on his wok, Florie will continue to work next door at his On Forty-One restaurant all while also finalizing details on the new Granary. The restaurant will move to a two-story space where Fonduely Yours and Oriental Gardens used to sit at 835 Coleman Blvd. — if all goes according to plan — in December.
Pier 41 unlocks its doors next Tues. Aug. 23. Pier 41 and will be open Tues.-Sat., 4 p.m.-10 p.m.