How far would you travel for your favorite breakfast?
co-owner and chef Tim Wickey is hoping his soon-to-open Johns Island breakfast and lunch spot will attract the island's growing population — the restaurant is part of a development adjacent to a new apartment complex — as well as folks from across the bridge(s).
The tile is down, the light fixtures are up, and the menus are printed — Wickey and wife Lesley Mastranunzio say they should be up and running, if all goes to plan, in the next couple of weeks. "He's such an incredible chef," says Mastranunzio. "We're hoping to etch a stamp on Johns Island."
Opening a breakfast-centric restaurant is full-circle for Wickey, who started his culinary career as a short order cook at Friendly's when he was just 15. Wickey went on to attend culinary school in New York, building a career over the years that included working as a country club chef, corporate chef, and running his own cafe in Charlotte, N.C.
KiSS Cafe is located at Crowne Commons Way next to a pet store and wine bar
Wickey says at KISS he'll source ingredients locally "as often" as he can. That means Storey Farms eggs, Kurios Farm tomatoes and arugula, King Bean cold brew, Charleston Tea Plantation tea, and Normandy Farm bread.
He'll also make his own hot sauce, pickle his own cucumbers, source real maple syrup from Vermont and New Hampshire, grind his own sausage, mix his own pancake and waffle batter, and brine his own corned beef. The cafe will not have a walk-in, dry storage, or heat lamps — "servers will know breakfast is served fast and hot." Eventually, Wickey says he hopes to utilize their patio space to grow a small herb garden.
The breakfast, lunch, and drink menus are all available online
. You'll find your standard morning time fare with fun features like "The New Yorker" a breakfast sandwich on a hard roll with two eggs your way, bacon, and cheddar cheese; Green Chile Ranchero with green chile, two eggs, bacon cracklings, jalapeno crema, black beans, and corn tortilla strips; and a Sloppy KISS Grit Bowl with Anson Mill grits, cream, butter, sea salt, green onion, and a myriad of toppings.
For lunch they'll have soup, salad, sandwiches, and a couple of entrees: a salmon plate and shrimp and grits. Libations will be beer and wine only, with sake bloody marys and mimosas always on deck.
The couple says that being open six days a week (closed on Mondays) from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. will allow them time to live a little, and not stress over the rigmarole of late nights and dinner service. "Breakfast is comfort food for me," says Wickey. "I've found that Charlestonians will travel once they find that dish they want."
Keep up to date with KISS Cafe by following them on Instagram
and at kiss-cafe.com.