James Island's Stereo 8 closes its doors

The sounds of silence


Over its two years in business, Stereo 8 tried a lot of different marketing approaches to get people into the Folly Road restaurant — live music, free mixed tapes, and, in one random epistle they mailed City Paper Music Writer Kelly Rae Smith, branded rolling papers.

Alas, it wasn't enough to keep the James Island restaurant afloat. On Facebook today, Stereo 8 has announced its immediate closure.

"In the end, it came down to our inability to manage and operate a full-scale restaurant within the confines of an extremely large facility with fundamental issues that simply could not be overcome," writes co-owner Joe Walker.

In her 2015 review, then restaurant critic Allston McCrady wrote about how Walker had hoped to emphasize his love of global cuisines while sharing his passion for music, but the restaurant's revolving door of chefs — 2Nixons' Jeffrey Stoneberger and former SNL writer Vanessa Middleton among them — seemed to hinder the concept.
"Walker knew he wanted a strong music component before he even knew what he wanted to serve. But if that makes you nervous about the food, don't be. The dishes are as eclectic and intriguing as the playlists. Super eclectic, in fact. It's as if someone traveled the world and said, "I want to take all the things I enjoyed eating in Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Morocco, and Mexico and serve them up in one restaurant." Boom. That someone is restaurant consultant David LeBoutillier, known for helping launch successes like McCrady's, 39 Rue de Jean, Coast, and Poe's Tavern. Considering that Stereo 8 has been through four chefs in three months, LeBoutillier's culinary vision is the one constant. I doubt James Islanders are looking for celebuchefs anyway — just good food."
What's next for the large space is unknown.

Add a comment