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Pearlz, the relatively new oyster bar from the T-Bonz group, may be getting some national attention. According to manager Tommy Papale, Bon Appetit magazine has been sniffing around for an article that will highlight the nation's top oyster bars. "I've been saying we're the best-kept secret in Charleston for a while," says Papale, "so I'm hoping this lets the secret out of the bag a little bit." Of course, the publishing world is an ever-changing one, and the inclusion of Pearlz is not a sure thing. You'll have to check the December issue of Bon Appetit to see if they make the cut. –Matthew Gannon


West Ashley's got to be the most affordable place for eager entrepreneurs to experiment with cutting-edge restaurant concepts. You've got world-class Italian fare at dirt-cheap prices (Al di La), an affordable tapas and wine bar (Amuse), a tackle and bait shop that has neither but offers great food and live music (West Ashley Bait & Tackle), and a swanky tiki-lounge (Voodoo). Now comes Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ, with chefs hailing from Blossom and FIG. Located at 1205 Ashley River Road, the new venue will not only serve fresh meats and veggies daily for lunch and dinner, they'll also have live music every Wednesday and Friday. The 900-square-foot ballroom and an adjoining bar and outdoor patio will host mostly blues and bluegrass acts. On the last Friday of every month, The Home Team Album Showcase will let a band perform an entire album of their choice. Kicking off Oct. 27 with The Halloween Double Feature Presentation, Charleston's Love Butter will tackle The Police's Zenyatta Mondatta for their opening set, and Michael Jackson's Thriller when the clock strikes midnight. For more info, call 225-RIBS. –MG

Cooking Up a New College

The City will fete The Art Institute (Johnson & Wales' replacement), opening in April 2007 in the Carroll building at 24 N. Market St., with an invitation-only welcoming gala titled "An Evening with the Stars," featuring dishes prepared by local luminaries such as Bob Carter (Peninsula Grill), Bob Waggoner (Charleston Grill), Frank Lee (Slightly North of Broad), and Art Institute alumni Brett McKee (Oak Steakhouse), Ciaran Duffy (Tristan), and Fred Neuville (39 Rue de Jean). The A.I. execs and city glitterati will convene on Mon. Sept. 25 from 5-7 p.m. at the downtown DoubleTree, in case you want to walk by to try and catch a whiff of the proceedings. –Sara Miller

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