Reimagining ALEXANDER’S A creative spin on time-tested favorites at an island institution BY BARRY KAUFMAN
PHOTOS BY ROB KAUFMAN
When Alexander’s – that is to say, the old Alexander’s – closed its doors in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew’s wrath, few realized that they would stay closed for so long. For six months, the future of a beloved island institution lay in limbo, sending the island’s always-busy rumor mill spinning. Eventually, the truth came out that Alexander’s had been purchased by Palmetto Dunes Resort, a prudent move considering the restaurant’s position as the de facto welcoming committee when entering the community. But with new ownership came questions from a legion of loyal diners – would this be the same Alexander’s we’ve come to know
and love? Would our favorite items still be on the menu? The answers to those questions: yes, you can still get your favorites. But no, this is not the Alexander’s you’ve come to know and love. This is something much more exciting, fueled by a renewed interest in pushing the culinary boundaries and testing the limits of what Alexander’s can be. And of course, most people wanted to know where the bikes went. “People coming in for the first time asked, ‘Where are the Harleys?’” said Executive Chef Sean Carroll. Indeed, the hogs that once greeted diners are gone, replaced by a refined Lowcountry aesthetic that brings a fresh coastal vibe to the timeless elements of brick and white linens that have long defined Alexander’s. “Before I got into position here, Brian (Couey, Director of Food and Beverage) and his team had to do something in this building for the ambience. They decided to do something fresh, clean and crisp, and showcase local art. They did a great job changing it up while keeping the foundation of what Alexander’s always has been.” That same balancing act of new and old was tested during the restaurants first days under its new ownership. “It took a lot of hands on reaching out to regulars,” said Couey. “I literally asked them what items off the menu would you be very sad not to see. They gave me the list, I gave it to culinary team and I told them, ‘We don’t need to make it the same way, but we need to have something better than what they ever had.’ There’s not a single regular who would come
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