CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The popular restaurant district is growing and stretching out across the peninsula. New hot spots for foodies are stretching up East Bay to Morrison Drive and beyond.
On the east side of downtown, a new restaurant is embracing an old neighborhood and getting positive responses from it's residents in return.
At first glance, 35 Hanover Street looks like an abandoned convenience store. However, walk through the doors, and you're met with a fresh, eclectic bar and restaurant
"Yeah, it's a little different from the inside, on the outside," said Taylor Grant, owner of Palace Hotel. "We decided to leave it the same and let the experience be when you walked inside."
Grant says his restaurant has been coined an upscale "dive." It boasts a menu that includes gourmet hotdogs and organic, local food. It's gaining a buzz on foodie blogs and even snagged a top spot on Zagat's latest list for best food in Charleston.
"I think it's a shock for people to come down here and see the food that we're cranking out and the style and atmosphere that we've created on this side of town," said Grant.
Pam Zaresk from the East Side Neighborhood Association has been an East Side resident for over a decade and has seen the neighborhood change.
"A lot more development, a lot more interest in the neighborhood, a lot of people realizing that there's some wonderful homes here," said Zaresk.
Zaresk and her neighbors are enjoying the new dining option in their area.
"They did a lot of work in there to make it very welcoming, it's a great little place," said Zaresk.
She hopes more businesses will come to her neighborhood.
"I think there's a lot more commercial opportunity that's going on here," said Zaresk.
Arnold Mack, homeowner on Hanover Street for nearly 15 years, lives directly across from the Palace Hotel and is hoping it at least gets a new coat of paint.
"I think it'd be much more glamour to the neighborhood," said Mack. :Some things you can leave, some things you can't. If it's going to be something that attracts people, I think it should be a little more presentable."
For now, Grant and most of his fellow neighbors are happy with how it looks.
"It fits right in," said Zaresk.
"That helps maintain the character of the neighborhood," said Tom Clarke, lives next door to the Palace Hotel.
"We're going to stick with it and see how it plays out," said Grant.
The East Side Neighborhood Association said they were very impressed with how respectful the Palace Hotel has been to it's fellow neighbors.