DI Restaurants: DI Grille buys Two Rivers Tavern; Hammet's Landing closes down; Sermet's sticking with dinner

Owners of the Daniel Island Grille have partnered with Two Rivers Tavern majority shareholder Paul Cronin to rebrand the tavern this month, according to new co-owner Thomas Dowling. Dowling said that he and Brian Mahoney, owners of the Daniel Island Grille (DIG), took over Two Rivers Tavern on New Year’s Day, and will rename it Dublin Down, as they re-introduce the "authentic Irish Pub concept." Back in 2007, Ed and Kathleen MacMillan opened McCaffrey’s in that same space – at that time, the Irish Pub was the first of its kind in South Carolina. The site is patterned after the great Dublin and Belfast pubs of the late 1800s.   

Dowling said that they’ll be making "a tremendous amount of cosmetic changes to the space, fitting to Irish Pubs of long ago." Irish Pubs, Dowling explained, are places where people "can relax and be themselves, take pleasure in the company" and enjoy the art of conversation. Dowling anticipates that Dublin Down will be open for business around Feb. 1, or sooner. He said that, among other things, the two restaurants will benefit by their ability to share resources, adding that the one common denominator between the Dublin Down Irish Pub and the Daniel Island Grille will be hospitality. Said Dowling: "Hospitality is the cornerstone of our success."

How will Dublin Down and The Daniel Island Grille distinguish themselves? "The difference will be in the menu and ambience," said Dowling: "The Grille is for family, friends and fun, with a sports pub feel and ambience" while Dublin Down will "focus on the traditional Irish Pub atmosphere, food and spirits. We will have Irish entertainment weekly and of course dancing will be encouraged," added Dowling. There will be soccer, rugby and other international sporting events for viewing, "but sports won’t be our primary focus," he said.


Island restaurant Hammett’s Landing has closed after six months in business, with owner Bo Hammett explaining that the financial burden drove the decision. Bo and his wife Tamra moved to Daniel Island last spring, after a two-year tour in Boston where Bo ran the kitchen at Atlantic Fish. Bo said that he is considering opportunities in Atlanta and the Washington, DC/Baltimore region, where restaurants currently are doing well, but he did not foreclose the possibility of opening a new establishment in the Charleston area. At one point this fall, Hammett was looking at other retail space in the Charleston area. Hammett’s Landing opened in June, and in late summer/early fall Hammett took on two investors to support the capitalization. But it wasn’t enough to sustain the restaurant, despite Hammett’s aggressive efforts to keep it going. 


Amid the major changes in DI’s restaurant landscape, Sermet’s Courtyard has no plans to re-open for lunch, according to co-owner Dana Vosburgh who said that "we’re quite pleased with how things are going" with a dinner-only setup. Vosburgh did say that if the right opportunity existed, they might consider opening an independent lunch-only restaurant in another island location, "but everything would have to be just right."  Vosburgh explained that running both lunch and dinner from the current Courtyard location is particularly challenging given the limited storage space – thus, he said there are no imminent plans to re-open for lunch. Vosburgh explained, "The small storage that we have for fresh foods . . . inhibits our lunch menu but it actually works out for dinner perfectly because we are buying our seafood and produce daily . . ."

In terms of their courtyard, Vosburgh said that they plan to bring jazz to the island in the spring. Said Vosburgh, "My partner, Sermet, has such a great community of local jazz musicians and the courtyard will be a perfect venue for it."

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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