Iconic downtown restaurant, Jestine’s Kitchen, to close permanently

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A popular downtown restaurant is closing its doors.

Jestine’s Kitchen, which is located on Meeting Street, announced it was closing due in part to the coronavirus pandemic.

“With a dash of this and a pinch of that we were among the first to serve up Jestine’s savory Lowcountry cuisine to my hometown and surprisingly to a national following,” said the restaurant’s owner, Dana Berlin Strange, in a Facebook post Thursday.

The restaurant’s namesake, Jestine Matthews, lived to be 112-years-old. “I am a very lucky lady as I have had the incredible pleasure to introduce you to the iconic Jestine Matthews who raised my lovely mother as well as her four children,” said Strange in her post.

She hoped the restaurant would have had a longer run as well.

“With the quick onset of the scary pandemic I have done everything from takeout to wearing a chicken suit to try and stay afloat,” said Strange.

Strange went on to say, “While I will miss those who have come in expecting southern food with lots of soul, truthfully it is my team who always made me look good. They too have become my family and gave you their best on every single dish.

Their greatest gift to me aside from their loyalty was their enabling me to become a mother to my darling son Berlin who towers over me now. Jestine would have been over the moon with him.”

Strange said the food had to be delicious and up to Jestine’s taste test because the “nod of approval was given every time Jestine’s family came in to eat.”

“With tears, smiles and a heavy heart I must announce the closing of Jestine’s Kitchen. Your friendship will stay with me forever and I know would have made Jestine so very proud. To all of you raise a glass of sweet tea as we all learn to live in our new way of normal.”

Jestine’s Kitchen has been a staple in Lowcountry cuisine for nearly 24 years.

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