Neighborhood Dining Group (NDG) announced on Wednesday that McCrady's Tavern, the three-year-old former Sean Brock passion project, will close its doors Wed. July 31. The restaurant opened under Brock in 2016 with promises of a Gilded Age-inspired menu. At the time Brock said, "The Tavern is an idea that's been bouncing around in my head for a few years now. I've always been obsessed with Pre-Depression American cooking. The food after the Civil War, and before the Great Depression, the Gilded Age, was a really, really cool moment for American cooking."
The tavern may have been founded on the premise of excess, bacchanalia, and foie gras, but recent menu iterations veered more modern American than late 19th century. Where Brock's original menu
included escargot-stuffed marrow bones on the appetizer side, we now find an heirloom tomato salad and fish crudo.
Whether Brock's departure from the group, menu changes, chef changes, or the shuffling of the NDG spaces themselves are the root cause of the tavern's shuttering, it's hard to say. (If you remember, the tavern initially opened after McCrady's moved into the original Minero spot and the Brock taco joint went upstairs into one of NDG's old event spaces.)
In a statement, NDG president David Howard said, "It's been a privilege to operate McCrady's Tavern in this space for the past three years, and I would like to share my heartfelt thanks and gratitude to every member of our Tavern team and to each guest who walked down Unity Alley to dine with us."
The tasting menu-only McCrady's will continue to operate as usual, and NDG says staff members at the tavern will be offered positions in the other restaurants managed by the group in Charleston and across the Southeast. The building located at 2 Unity Alley is now for sale.
As one NDG concept shutters, another prepares to open in the bittersweet cycle of the hospitality industry. NDG's Calhoun Street spot, Delaney Oyster House
, will open "later this summer" in a 19th century Charleston single house. Maybe they'll have some Gilded Age echoes in those old walls, ghosts of the tavern making raw bar visits, perhaps?
Keep up to date with the oyster house's progress on Instagram
and check back soon for details.