At 6,500 square feet, the Wiki Wiki Sandbar building at 106 East Ashley Ave. on Folly is a luxury beach house on steroids — it's 2,500 square feet bigger than a $2.1 million oceanfront home we found nearby while casually house hunting.
From the mind of Karalee Fallert, the same restaurant whisperer who brought us Taco Boy and The Royal American, the tiki-themed restaurant will serve dishes inspired by both Hawaiian plate lunches and Southern homestyle cooking — think slow cooked meats accompanied by sides like rice, macaroni salad, and starchy root vegetables.
So many rooms, so little time.
Inside the building designed by architect Kevin Hoertdoerfer, there will be five different rooms, each with a theme designed by a local artist. According to a press release, "The Octopus Bar will feature the work of Jeff Kopish; the Diorama Room, which will tell the story behind Wiki with work by Hirona Matsuda; the Sunset Room will feature a sunset-inspired Venetian plaster design by Suzanne Allen; the Wave Room will feature a massive sculpture made of Japanese glass floats by KHA, and a traditional tiki bar will reside on the top floor with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean."
Fallert's latest project Wiki Wiki will have Jason Dupree as executive chef and Xan McLaughlin as beverage director. When we chatted with McLaughlin a couple of weeks ago, he said he'd been doing his due diligence as bev director. "I went to a tiki convention — didn't even know those existed! Drank a lot of rum, learned a lot. I'm excited, [Wiki] it's going to be a monster. Definitely nothing Folly or Charleston has seen before."
We'll keep you posted as we get closer to Wiki's grand opening. With promises of "Pacific-themed dinners, festive drinks, live music, and grand weekend brunches" there's no guarantee that, once we enter, we'll ever decide to leave.