We came across Brooks Reitz after hearing about Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. and their notorious ‘small batch’ tonic. Take note as the JRC co-founder shows us around some of his favourite places in downtown Charleston.
Which neighborhood do you live in?
I live in a neighborhood called Wagener Terrace in downtown Charleston, SC.
What is the name of your street?
I live and work out of my house on Saint Margaret Street. We are just a block away from the marsh.
Where do you spend most of your time?
My full-er time job is as General Manager of FIG, a restaurant in downtown Charleston. In four weeks I’ll be moving to our new restaurant, The Ordinary, an oyster hall and seafood restaurant. So, more and more of my time is spent preparing for that opening, and my office has become the dining room at FIG.
What is your favourite local business?
Charleston is rich with insanely talented entrepreneurs. It’s truly impossible to pinpoint only one local business. My favorites are Rogue Wave Surf Shop, Indigo & Cotton, Black Tap Coffee, Two Boroughs Larder, Callie’s Biscuits, Caviar & Bananas, Sweeteeth Chocolates, Butcher & Bee, the restaurants of the REV Group, as well as the restaurants that I work for. I could literally go on and on about our rich and varied local businesses.
Where can you get the best local bargain?
Who is the most inspiring person in your neighbourhood?
I’d say it’s a close tie between two of my closest friends. Sully Sullivan, one of my roommates, is a photographer, and one of the most talented in town. He is insanely hard-working and I’ve watched his work and career blossom in this wonderful way over the last couple of years. He is always traveling for a variety of jobs, and he’s stayed true to the kind of work he believes represents him. The other, Cyrus Buffum, founded Charleston Waterkeeper. He’s another hardworking young gent who is working to keep our waterways clean and safe for surfing, fishing, drinking and boating. They both inspire me to work harder and stay focused.
Where is your favourite place to go on a sunny day?
If I can get up early enough, the beach. If not, a sunny stroll down King Street, or a run through Hampton Park.
Where is your favourite place to go on a rainy day?
Charleston has some terrible flooding. Fortunately, my neighborhood does not. So, I stay home.
What is your favourite secret place or thing?
When my son lived here, we would go to the Children’s Museum every other Saturday, and then go for pizza at Monza across the street. To this day, the museum is one of my favorite things. Not many of my friends go there – because they don’t have kids – so in some ways, it’s a secret place. There is one room that has a miniature model of Charleston complete with waterways. You can grab a toy boat and sail around the city. The kids go crazy for it. And sometimes, so do the adults. In the back is a room that’s basically built for babies – it’s all soft walls, plush surfaces and squishy toys. I basically watched my son learn to crawl, then walk, then run in that room.
Where is your favourite place to eat?
I have too many favorites. Recently I’ve been inspired by the food being made at Two Boroughs Larder. I’m also often thinking about how delicious a meal can be at Bertha’s Kitchen, a hidden gem just north of downtown.
Where is your favourite place to drink?
Is there any street art in your neighbourhood you like?
Shepard Fairey is from Charleston, and there are remnants of his work throughout the city. I love it.
What is your favourite memory since you have lived on your street?
Large dinners with friends gathered around our dining room table. It’s a bachelor pad, but we still get down like proper adults, and nothing brings friends together like a great meal, generous drink and a well-timed playlist. Oh, and mood lighting. Gotta have it.
Interview by Zara Miller (@zarajoanmiller)
Photography by Olivia Rae James
For last Week’s Up My Street we were lucky enough to be taken around the official The Hobbit movie set by Hobbiton Tour’s very own Henry Horne. Click on the hobbit hole below to read the full interview.