Throw Lumber Jill’s | 4650 Ladson Road | Suite 205 Summerville, SC 29485

Axe throwing in Johns Island SC

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The Most Exciting Live Entertainment Game in South Carolina

If you're looking for an adrenaline-filled, pulse-pounding way to have fun all day, grab an axe and get your throw on at Lumber Jill's! Axe throwing is the newest, most popular live entertainment game in the Lowcountry. It's kind of like darts...but with axes! Axe throwing is great for a few hours of amusement, stress relief, team building, and even corporate events in Johns Island, SC. Whether you're looking for a great way to celebrate the weekend or want a new idea for your company event, Lumber Jill's has got you covered.

The Lumber Jill's revolution began after co-owners Jill and Heath spent a date night with friends throwing axes in Charleston. After having so much fun, the entrepreneurial couple quickly realized they could create their own take on axe throwing. Soon after, Lumber Jill's was born!

The name Lumber Jill's isn't just a play on our co-owner's name - it involves a really interesting piece of history too. Across the pond, the Women's Timber Corps "manned" the lumber yards in England while the men were serving in WWII. They affectionately became known as Lumberjills, Britain's answer to Rosie the Riveter. Without these brave ladies, Lumber Jill's wouldn't exist. We would be remiss if we didn't salute them for the example they set!

At the end of the day, we want to provide every one of our guests with an outstanding axe-throwing experience. So, grab your friends, co-workers, family, or favorite people and join us for an axe-throwing party you won't soon forget.

Service Area

Axe Throwing Leagues Johns Island, SC

Why is Axe Throwing in Johns Island, SC So Popular?

Axes haven't been this popular in America since "The Shining" hit theaters way back in 1980!

In cities all around the nation, axe-throwing facilities are popping up left and right as a fun, healthy way for people of all ages to congregate and enjoy a night of friendly competition and stress relief. In the last few years, the sport of axe throwing has exploded - so much so that the World Axe Throwing League was assembled in 2017 to coordinate international axe-throwing competitions. Since that time, many axe-throwing events have popped up on national TV stations like ESPN.

 Axe Throwing Johns Island, SC
But why is axe throwing so popular? Here are just a few reasons why Lumber Jill's and axe throwing as a whole is a hit in South Carolina:
stress-relief
Stress Relief

Perhaps the most popular reason folks love axe throwing in Johns Island is for stress relief. We've even heard some customers say it's a cheaper form of therapy! In reality, axe tossing gives you a therapeutic release that is hard to replicate. A few hard throws with an axe and your body releases a flood of endorphins, which help increase your energy, improve your mood, and facilitate healthy blood flow. If you have pent-up anger, nothing feels better than chucking a heavy axe at a target. Hitting a bullseye is even better!

exercise
Exercise

Since axe throwing is such an exhilarating activity, many people don't realize that they are exercising their arms, legs, abs, pecs, and even back when they come to Lumber Jill's. Like high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, axe throwing works several muscle groups at once. These exercises strengthen your core and help define your muscles. When coupled with a healthy diet, regular axe-throwing activities can even help you shed a few pounds.

Corporate Comradery
Corporate Comradery

You might be surprised to hear that axe throwing is one of the most sought-after company event ideas in Johns Island, SC. Sure, your colleagues might think it's a little weird to host a corporate meeting at an axe-throwing facility. But once your co-worker hits their target, they'll quickly understand how much fun they can have. Perhaps more importantly, axe tossing is a safe, fun way to conduct trust exercises and build team morale overall.

Unique Way to Have Fun
Unique Way to Have Fun

When you get right down to it, axe throwing is good, clean, healthy fun. Axe throwing helps relieve shoulder tension, while laughing helps engage your body's core. When you throw in an adult beverage or two, laughs become easier and fun flows more freely. You can't help but have the time of your life at Lumber Jill's in the Lowcountry.

Family Fun
Family Fun

Axe throwing isn't reserved only for adults - kids can get in on the fun and excitement too. Our warm, inviting atmosphere inspires people to embrace their inner champion, even if they're under 18. At Lumber Jill's, we can accommodate kids ages 10 and up. Before we pass them an axe, we will evaluate their skill level to ensure their safety. Contact us today for more info on birthday celebrations and whole facility rentals.

At Your Next Corporate Event

Status quote, average, ordinary...these are qualities that no employer would want out of their employees. So, why host a team-building event at a venue with the same characteristics?

If you're on the hunt for corporate event venues in Johns Island, SC, you just hit the jackpot. We may be a little biased, but Lumber Jill's is a fantastic corporate event venue for companies looking to try something new.

Axe throwing for corporate events is fun, high-energy, and safe for all your employees. We're talking an adrenaline-filled day with your own private axe-throwing lanes. Get your clients or your team out of the office and give them something to be excited about!

Here are just a few reasons to reserve our facility for your company get together:

 Axe Throwing Center Johns Island, SC
  • No Suit or Tie Required: Feel like taking a casual day? No judgments here! The only thing that matters is that you hit your target (or try your best to do so).
  • No Rain Delays: Unlike some outdoor venues, Lumber Jill's won't delay or cancel your event if it starts raining outside. We're here to make your corporate event more fun, rain or shine.
  • Skill Not Required: Never thrown an axe in your life? Have poor hand-to-eye coordination? Don't sweat it. Our coaches are know how to teach first-timers the positions and techniques they need to have a blast.
  • Large Groups Welcome: Do you have 20 or more people confirmed for your corporate event? We can make room for your whole team! Give us a shout and let us know about your upcoming event. That way, we can block off your desired day so you can have our entire facility to yourself.
  • Safety First: We take safety very seriously at Lumber Jill's. As such, we have implemented several safety rules to protect your team and ensure they have the best time possible.

Birthdays, Celebrations, and Reunions, Oh My!

In addition to our standard reservations, we are happy to offer celebration, corporate, and full facility rental packages. Planning a surprise birthday party for your best friend? Celebrating a life event with that special someone? Looking for a spot for your family reunion? Axe throwing in Johns Island, SC is the perfect activity for your group! For the most memorable (or hazy) celebration, don't forget to ask us about alcoholic beverage service and additional lane time.

If you want to spice up your next birthday party or take your bachelorette party to the next level, our celebration package is the perfect fit. This package includes:
  • 2 lanes
  • 1 designated coach
  • 1.5 hours of axe throwing
  • Free shirt for a special guest
  • Table coverings
  • 1 drink for each guest
  • 12 axe throwers
  • 45 total minutes of throwing time
 Axe Throwing Location Johns Island, SC

Please note that our celebration package is designed for customers over the age of 12. Two adults must be present at all times.

Common Questions. Helpful Answers.

We understand that axe throwing isn't your typical date night or even guy's night activity. We get it - you're hurling real axes at a target that is only a few feet away. On the surface, that can sound a little scary. But don't worry, many of our first-time guests have questions about how our process works too.

This is a great question and one that we receive quite often (crazy, right?). Axe throwing at Lumber Jill's is absolutely safe. In fact, safety is our #1 priority and has been since day one. Our knowledgeable axe-throwing coaches are trained to keep a keen eye on every axe thrower, whether they're solo or with a group. If, for ANY REASON our coaches feel like a person shouldn't throw an axe, they will not be permitted to do so. To help keep our facility safe, please refrain from bringing your own axe to Lumber Jill's. The same goes for any other kind of throwable object.
The easiest, fastest way to book your axe-throwing lane is to make your reservation online. Walk-ins are welcomed, but we cannot guarantee that we will have a spot open for you or your party. For inquiries about corporate events, facility rentals, or large celebrations, please contact us directly at (843)-879-3030.
We suggest you wear something that you find comfy and easy to wear for a few hours. Don't wear anything that will restrict your movement. The biggest "no-no" we have in terms of dress code is open-toed shoes, which are not allowed. If you pop in for a last-minute axe-throwing session, and need a pair of shoes, don't fret. We offer shoe rentals for $3 per person.
Unfortunately, we are not permitted to allow outside axes at Lumber Jill's. The same goes for any other object like throwing stars or throwing knives. We've got all you need to have the time of your life, including throwing axes.
Yes, absolutely. We are proud to have a wide selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to keep you cool and hydrated. If you're feeling hangry, don't worry. We have plenty of tasty snacks to munch on if your tummy starts to rumble.

Axe of Kindness

One of the best parts of owning Lumber Jill's is our ability to give back to our local community. We are always on the hunt for new, inventive ways to serve our citizens. That's why, once a month, we host Axe of Kindness night to shine a light on an important organization, charity, or good cause. These exciting events give our customers a compelling way to make a real difference in someone's life.

If you have a donation request or are interested in hosting a fundraiser with Lumber Jill's, send us your info at

aok@throwlumberjills.com.

Latest News in Johns Island, SC

Kiawah Island real estate investment firm to build golf course on 885-acre Johns Is. tract

A real estate investment firm that owns the developer of Kiawah Island plans to build a private golf course on Johns Island and invest in new and existing resort and residential project locally and across the Southeast after raising $225 million in a new fund.South Street Partners plans to turn the nearly 900-acre Orange Hill tract into an 18-hole golf course community with homes. It will include a short course and a practice facility for members of Kiawah Island Club. The property between Bohicket and River roads is now used as an ou...

A real estate investment firm that owns the developer of Kiawah Island plans to build a private golf course on Johns Island and invest in new and existing resort and residential project locally and across the Southeast after raising $225 million in a new fund.

South Street Partners plans to turn the nearly 900-acre Orange Hill tract into an 18-hole golf course community with homes. It will include a short course and a practice facility for members of Kiawah Island Club. The property between Bohicket and River roads is now used as an outdoor sporting site by the private club.

The land use allows for a golf course and associated amenities as well as residential development, said Chris Randolph, a South Street partner. He said plans are still evolving for the site, and it hasn’t been determined how many homes will be part of the Orange Hill development.

The golf course will take up about 300 acres.

Part of the property is in a planned unit development through Charleston County that allows 181 home sites, a golf course, clubhouse, pro shop, amenity center and about 212 acres of preserved land.

“We are working with the county and other constituents on Johns Island for a plan that everyone is happy with,” said Randolph, whose firm is headquartered in Charleston and Charlotte.

A representative of the Johns Island Community Association did not immediately respond for comment on the proposed development.

He hopes to start development of the as-yet unnamed layout next year, followed by 12 to 18 months of construction. He also said it was too early to provide a cost estimate for the course, which will be one of the few to be built in South Carolina in recent years.

Randolph said the course would provide members with an additional golfing option and take some of the playing pressure off of the club’s two existing layouts, Cassique and the River Course, where usage has increased sharply during the pandemic. The average member played 40 more rounds in 2021 than in 2019, according to South Street.

“We think there is a new market of people who have recently moved to Charleston who would have an interest in joining a golf club like this given its proximity to the city and especially since it offers members access to the rest of the Kiawah Island Club amenities,” Randolph said.

Get the best of the Post and Courier’s Real Estate news, handpicked and delivered to your inbox each Saturday.

The course will be designed by Beau Welling of Greenville, who previously worked with River Course designer Tom Fazio. Welling also is partners with Tiger Woods in the golfing great’s golf course design business.

The vision for the new course is to create a playing experience that looks like it could have been crafted more than 100 years ago, according to South Street. It will be built around grand live oaks and feature “undulating fairways ... and Old World slopes and contours.”

The company’s future plans for Kiawah include additional residential development as well as the opening of the oceanfront Cape Club adjacent to The Cape on Kiawah, a condominium development on the sea island’s western end. The Cape Club is expected to break ground in August.

South Street also recently acquired the 131-year-old Two Meeting Street Inn on the Charleston peninsula for nearly $7.7 million. It will be refurbished and become an overnight accommodation for Kiawah Island Club members when it reopens in 2023.

Randolph said raising the money for the golf course and other developments was challenging during the pandemic but the effort attracted “outsized investor demand” because of “compelling opportunities.”

South Street Partners’ other investments from the fund include the acquisition and development of the 20,000-acre Palmetto Bluff community in Bluffton near Hilton Head Island.

The company also has its sights set on other resort properties across the Southeast from south of Washington, D.C., to Florida and west to Texas.

“We are continuing to look for opportunities,” Randolph said.

Those could include existing properties or new developments.

South Street also owns The Cliffs communities across the mountains of South Carolina and North Carolina as well as The Residences at Salamander in Virginia.

The 12 Best South Carolina Islands to Visit

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.You’ve already been charmed by Charleston, maybe even made the trip to some ...

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.

You’ve already been charmed by Charleston, maybe even made the trip to some of South Carolina’s best small towns like Bluffton, Georgetown? and Mount Pleasant. But there’s a lot more awesomeness waiting to be discovered in the Palmetto State…or, shall we say, just off the coast. South Carolina has some really incredible islands that are perfect for vacation, whether you’re intrigued by pirate lore, love exploring salt marshes, fancy a birdwatching holiday or just need a stress-free escape where wild horses run free.

1. HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

One of South Carolina’s most popular tourist destinations for a plethora of reasons, Hilton Head Island offers an incredible mix of natural wonder, upscale delights and outdoor activities. You can book whale watching and dolphin spotting boat charters, hit the links, go cycling, hiking and kayaking, play tennis and polo, do some shopping, snap pics in front of the red-and-white-striped Harbour Town Lighthouse and, of course, catch some rays on the beach.

2. DAUFUSKIE ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

No doubt you’ve heard of Hilton Head Island and Savannah in the neighboring state of Georgia. Sitting just off the coast between these well-known vacation destinations is a tiny hidden gem called Daufuskie Island with a population of just 500 residents. There aren’t hotels or big-name attractions. Instead, it's a place of peace, quiet and magical natural wonders—bottlenose dolphins bob in the waters and loggerhead turtles nest on the shore.

3. KIAWAH ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

In terms of true vacation destinations, Kiawah Island is a hole-in-one. It has a huge gated luxury beach and golf resort with loads of swish accommodation and amenities like world-class fairways. You don’t need to be a guest to explore the island, which is open to the public. Daytrippers from Charleston often drive over to enjoy the sandy beaches, hiking and biking trails, tours at Heron Park Nature Center and Marsh Island Park.

4. CAPERS ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

A pretty, undeveloped barrier island oasis, Capers Island is the perfect spot for a family vacation. Beaches, maritime uplands and salt marshes provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventure. It’s excellent for birdwatching and wildlife peeping. Be sure to bring your camera to the eye-catching “boneyard beach” where old tree stumps dot the sandy expanse. Bonus: accessibility from Charleston means no long travel days with the kiddos.

5. DEVEAUX BANK, SOUTH CAROLINA

By now you’ve likely gathered that birding is a big deal in South Carolina. Deveaux Bank, a horseshoe-shaped spit of sand at the mouth of the North Edisto River estuary, takes it to the next level as the island actually encompasses a 215-acre sanctuary that’s a protected nesting habitat for many sea and shorebirds. If you’re keen to see eastern brown pelicans and black skimmers, hightail it over to Deveaux Bank.

6. SEABROOK ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

Seabrook Island is a downright dreamy place to live or visit. A lot of people choose to reside in this private, oceanfront community. That’s because it’s pretty as a picture with natural beauty galore, nationally recognized birdwatching, two award-winning golf courses, near-empty beaches, a racquet club, an equestrian center and stunning houses we’d happily call home. And the fact that it’s just a few miles from downtown Charleston yet retains a sense of seclusion definitely helps, too.

7. BEAR ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

A nature lover’s dream, Bear Island feels rugged and remote despite sitting just an hour outside Charleston. This undeveloped and pristinely beautiful 12,021-acre Sea Island is part of the ACE Basin estuarine reserve area and managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. That translates to ample opportunities for bird watching (it’s among the top-ranked spots for twitchers in the entire state) and wildlife viewing, fishing, hiking and biking.

8. EDISTO ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

Where to Stay: “No Saints” Beach House (sleeps 4), Two-Bedroom Unit at Wyndham Ocean Ridge Resort (sleeps 6), Vacation Home Near Beach (sleeps 14)

For a fantastic family-friendly holiday, consider Edisto Island. A laid-back Lowcountry Sea Island not far from Charleston (some people even call it home and commute into the Holy City, just to give you a sense of proximity) that’s approximately 68 square miles and has loads of low-key appeal in the form of sandy beaches and outdoor activities for all ages, including hiking and camping in Edisto Beach State Park.

9. FRIPP ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

Fripp Island doesn’t scream "Shiver me timbers" in that really obvious sort of way. But its treasure hunting past is really interesting and the legends live on. Though, these days, the most seaward of the barrier islands feels a lot less pirate and more residential vacation resort with sandy beaches, tennis courts and golf courses. It’s also a designated wildlife sanctuary. Visitors and residents frequently see great blue herons, wood storks and dolphins.

10. PORT ROYAL ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

Where to Stay: Anchorage 1770 Inn, Best Western Sea Island Inn, The Beaufort Inn

If you’ve spent some time in South Carolina or are generally familiar with the Palmetto State, Beaufort probably rings a bell. Port Royal Island is the island where the aforementioned seaside city resides. There are beautiful beaches, scenic walking trails, boat tours and tons of opportunities for birdwatching. It's also a popular pick for foodies, specifically seafood lovers who come from far and wide to sample fresh-caught Lowcountry fare.

11. CALLAWASSIE ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

Callawassie Island may be one of the hundreds of barrier and sea islands, but this 880-acre private slice of paradise just 17 miles from Beaufort sets itself apart from the rest with its coastline, tidal creeks, lagoons, salt marshes and moss-draped trees. There’s also a butterfly garden and a golf course. Callawassie Island is accessible via the half-mile-long causeway that connects it to the mainland as well as by boat.

12. JOHNS ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA

Where to stay: Renovated Cottage (sleeps 6), Bed and Breakfast Porch Rockin’ (sleeps 13), North Beach Pet-Friendly Cottage (sleeps 10)

Sure, bigger isn’t always better. But, then again, sometimes size ups the appeals of a place. Sprawling 738 acres, Johns Island, the largest island in South Carolina and famously a filming location for The Notebook is enchantingly beautiful with miles of wooded trails, farms and lakes. Back to the whole size thing…its most famous feature, the massive ancient Angel Oak stands a whopping 65-feet tall and shades an area of 17,000 square feet.

Upcoming Johns Island restaurant will serve ‘traditional meets modern’ Mexican fare

Chef Alex Yellan is nearing the opening of what he hopes will be his dream Mexican restaurant.Named Colectivo, the destination at 2901 Maybank Highway will cater to a local Johns Island crowd, serving Mexican food that Yellan himself craves — dishes you might actually find in Mexico, perhaps with a cheffy twist.“I think for me that’s one of the things that’s most exciting, is having the chance to cook for a larger portion of locals,” Yellan said. “It’ll be cool to be a part of that grow...

Chef Alex Yellan is nearing the opening of what he hopes will be his dream Mexican restaurant.

Named Colectivo, the destination at 2901 Maybank Highway will cater to a local Johns Island crowd, serving Mexican food that Yellan himself craves — dishes you might actually find in Mexico, perhaps with a cheffy twist.

“I think for me that’s one of the things that’s most exciting, is having the chance to cook for a larger portion of locals,” Yellan said. “It’ll be cool to be a part of that growing Johns Island crowd out there.”

Born in Arizona, Yellan spent a summer living with a family in Mexico during college, taking residence there again in his 20s with a former co-worker. Colectivo’s menu will be influenced by this experience and techniques he learned throughout his career in professional kitchens.

“We’re trying to find that line between traditional and modern,” Yellan said. “Mexican food is living and breathing just like any other cuisine.”

After leaving his post as executive chef at downtown Charleston wine bar The Tippling House, Yellan started testing out Colectivo dishes at a friend’s house. Carnitas ribs, shrimp cócteles, bone marrow birria sopes, cochinita pibil and potatoes with Edam cheese are a handful of dishes that could land on the forthcoming restaurant’s menu, which will feature a mix of small plates and larger mains.

Colectivo’s tacos and burritos won’t arrive as they do in other Charleston restaurants. Similar to a barbecue restaurant, meats will be served by the pound along with sides and stacks of house-made tortillas.

The idea is to share among the table.

“You’re going to see the chef on some plates, but when it comes to the meats, I’m kind of over the idea of doing the chef-curated taco,” Yellan said. “What we just want to have is really nicely cooked meats with their garnish and their salsa and everyone’s grabbing at it and enjoying that family-style.”

Mexican meats and sides aren’t the only thing that will be shared at Colectivo, which will open for dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays. On Mondays and Tuesdays, Yellan will lend the 75-seat venue to former Xiao Bao Biscuit colleague Jamey Fairchild, who will serve food from his Gingerbug pop-up. Guests who visit on those nights can expect Thai curries and charcoal-grilled snacks.

Colectivo is targeting a fall opening. Before the restaurant debuts, Yellan plans to host a series of pop-ups starting in August.

James Island residents express concern over proposed development filling wetlands

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - People who live on James Island are rallying together and encouraging an email campaign against a development off of Folly Road and Grimball Road Extension.The development would build 68 townhomes, 5 workforce units and commercial space. It would also allow for filling in 0.23 acres of freshwater non-tidal forested wetlands.Greg Payton lives on Donnie Road, right off of Grimball Extension. His family has lived in the home and community for more than 100 years. The proposed development would back up t...

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - People who live on James Island are rallying together and encouraging an email campaign against a development off of Folly Road and Grimball Road Extension.

The development would build 68 townhomes, 5 workforce units and commercial space. It would also allow for filling in 0.23 acres of freshwater non-tidal forested wetlands.

Greg Payton lives on Donnie Road, right off of Grimball Extension. His family has lived in the home and community for more than 100 years. The proposed development would back up to his home. He says he is worried about a lot of things, including stormwater runoff and traffic.

“They want to fill in the wetlands, and they’re going to have to cut down some trees, so if it rains, where is the water going to go? It’s going to come on our families, it’s going to be in our backyards and we’re going to be flooded under,” Payton says.

He also has concerns about how the amount of people moving in would affect traffic and the livability of his neighborhood.

“I say each unit is two cars, that’s 140, where are they going?” Payton asks “People have to go to work in the morning, how long will it take for people to come down Grimball Road Extension?”

He says he wants to attend a public hearing about the plans.

“We want to make sure that if they are going to build something, that they do it correctly,” Payton says.

The applicant developers are requesting to fill a little less than a quarter of an acre of wetlands. That filling would not have “a substantial adverse impact,” according to an Army Corps of Engineers initial study. The study found the filling would have ‘no effect’ on any federally endangered or threatened species.

The applicant is asking to fill .2 acres to construct a commercial parking lot and the other .03 to install a stormwater drainage structure, according to a June 24th, 2022, Army Corps of Engineers’ notice.

The report says the applicant will preserve the remaining .75 acres of wetlands to compensate for any impacts.

The Army Corps of Engineers is taking comments on the project through Monday, July 11. Operators of the ‘Save James Island’ Facebook page are encouraging people who are opposed to sending an email reading in part:

“I oppose the filling of any wetlands (no matter how ‘small’)…this historic area is plagued by flooding and drainage issues, and the preservation of natural wetlands and trees are our best and least-costly defense. Pleas hold a public hearing so the Army Corps of Engineers has ALL of the information, including the voice of the people who live here.”

The applicant appeared before Charleston City Technical Review Committee in April and is working to resolve some of the comments before coming back with a revised plan for the development.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Minero’s 2nd act provides space for new Johns Island restaurant to reach its full potential

For those who frequented Minero during its tenure on East Bay Street, driving from downtown Charleston to Johns Island for charcoal-grilled chicken wings, cheese-crusted burritos and catfish tacos might not feel right.That is until you pull into the spacious gravel parking lot and walk through the large covered patio to the hostess stand where you’ll put your name in the queue. A wait is almost guaranteed — especially as the new restaurant works through an industry-wide staffing shortage — but Johns Islanders and oth...

For those who frequented Minero during its tenure on East Bay Street, driving from downtown Charleston to Johns Island for charcoal-grilled chicken wings, cheese-crusted burritos and catfish tacos might not feel right.

That is until you pull into the spacious gravel parking lot and walk through the large covered patio to the hostess stand where you’ll put your name in the queue. A wait is almost guaranteed — especially as the new restaurant works through an industry-wide staffing shortage — but Johns Islanders and others who made the drive on June 22 didn’t seem to mind.

Some formed a short line at the indoor-outdoor bar for a margarita or pint from nearby breweries Estuary Beans & Barley and Low Tide Brewery. Others gathered outside, where there’s plenty of room to roam.

The new compound is a far cry from the tight downtown quarters Minero occupied from 2014 to 2020, a venue that required patrons to walk up steep stairs to a small, albeit quaint, dining room. Now, it takes just a couple steps for the up to 175 people that Minero can seat indoors and out to order the dishes and drinks that gained a following during its downtown days.

While the original Minero was wildly popular, the new space offers the restaurant room to reach its full potential with a lively ambiance that pairs with new and exciting flavors from executive chef Shamil Velazquez.

‘The guests know this food’

Velazquez isn’t new to the Charleston area. For three years, the Puerto Rican-born chef has been demonstrating his ability to deliver sophisticated, elegant food in a casual setting at Delaney Oyster House on Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston. Before that, he helmed the kitchen at a now-closed Husk outpost in Greenville, where he served the hyper-local Southern cuisine that’s become synonymous with the restaurant first opened by Sean Brock.

So we know Velazquez has range in the kitchen, but recreating Minero’s favorites presented a new challenge for the chef.

“The guests know this food, they know what they’re looking for, they know what it tastes like,” Velazquez said. “So I have to make sure it looks and tastes exactly the same as they had it so that food memory recall can just activate when they take that first bite of that wing or that catfish taco.”

Velazquez credited Minero chef de cuisine Teikel Stafford for helping with the transition. Stafford was a part of the opening team at the original Minero back in 2014, making him the ideal candidate to lead day-to-day operations on Johns Island, giving Velazquez the flexibility he needs to also lead the kitchen at Delaney Oyster House. Charcoal grilled wings tossed in Valentina hot sauce ($16), burritos ($13-$19) and the beef and chorizo double cheeseburger ($17) are among the options that returned to Minero when it opened in June.

Minero’s menu of seemingly rudimentary appetizers and entrees are anything but, starting with the tacos. Corn and flour tortillas are made in-house, a two-day endeavor. Right now, the kitchen is churning out more than 300 of each daily for fried catfish, al pastor, chicken, steak and cauliflower tacos (2 for $11, 3 for $16).

“We’re just striving for the best quality taco we can possibly provide to the guest,” Velazquez said. “It’s definitely been the most challenging thing to do even though it seems like the simplest.”

Labor of love

Tortillas aren’t the only labor of love at Minero. Others hint at Velazquez’ upbringing in Santa Juanita, Bayamón, located on the outskirts of San Juan. Eating empanadas was a near-daily occurrence for Velazquez during his youth in Puerto Rico. But the fried and filled savory turnovers weren’t initially slated for Minero’s menu, despite the success of his Caribbean beef empanadas at Delaney Oyster House.

Velazquez and his team instead set out to serve taquitos — a tightly rolled fried taco of sorts — but the cooking process was drying out the pork filling.

They turned to the empanadas ($15), one of Minero’s top sellers since its opening.

“We wanted to have some sort of fritter on the menu, and empanadas were at the bottom of the list just because they are very labor intensive,” Velazquez said. “We get to roast the pork for 24 hours the Puerto Rican way; Puerto Rican with a couple little Mexican flavors in there.”

The crispy kan kan pork tomahawk ($44) also combines Puerto Rican and Mexican flavors. Drawing on the popular island combination of pork and guava, Velazquez brines a custom-cut of pork before marinating it with sofrito, a paste-like sauce commonly made of onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro and other ingredients, depending on the chef. The colossal chop is then par-baked, fried and tossed in a guava barbecue sauce and served with avocado, sweet plantains, red rice and beans.

“It’s a lengthy process, but I think it’s worth every penny. It’s definitely something you have got to get used to because the skin is not something that everybody’s into,” Velazquez said, discussing the crisp, chewy skin that develops around the edge of the chop. “For me personally, gnawing on the skin and all that, it reminds me a lot of home and my childhood.”

The few flashes of Puerto Rican influence fit at Minero, and that’s by design. Velazquez’ detailed approach to the menu combines a desire to draw on nostalgic tastes while staying true to the Minero concept.

“I’m obviously not Mexican. I didn’t grow up with that culture, but it’s very similar in the sense that Mexico is also all about sharing and using the best resources around you to create something delicious to share with your family,” Velazquez said. “That resonates well with me, and that’s why I’m able to put some of my dishes and crossover between the two.”

Perfecting the process

Nearly half of Minero’s seats are located on the covered patio, separated from the dining room by an open garage door, where the bar is located. An outdoor overflow space is equipped with cornhole boards and benches, allowing patrons to have a place to sip on a drink from the bar while they wait for a table.

Having ample outdoor space was a big priority, said General Manager Kevin King, who joined Minero after previously leading day-to-day operations at Husk.

“We were definitely expecting to be busy so we wanted a place for people to feel comfortable,” King said, discussing the bar. “We have the garage door open, so you have that nice open feel.”

Speaking of the bar — King developed a cocktail menu that draws on the original Minero with a few new twists. The Minero Margarita ($13) is served as it once was, with reposado and añejo tequilas, fresh lime, orange juice, curaçao and agave. Between that, Minero’s do-it-yourself margarita and a “lite” variation served with blanco tequila, lime and sparkling water, King says they are selling quite a few margaritas.

The entire cocktail menu, which also features a frosé sangria ($10) and other boozy beverages, is void of sugar. Instead, King steeps lime husks in agave to create what’s called a lime cordial that adds citrus and sweetness to many of the drinks.

Minero is a big place, and diners might notice empty tables if they visit in the coming weeks. It’s a prime example of why patience and kindness are key in today’s dining landscape. King said decisions on how many tables the restaurant can handle are made daily with the goal of not overextending the staff.

“There’s a huge demand for the space,” King said. “You can do as much training as you want, but when it comes time for game time, we have to be on it.”

So far, getting enough business to dial in their process has not been a problem, as a line of excited diners usually forms just before 4 p.m. Wednesday though Sunday, the days Minero is currently open.

That line could get even longer and more frequent once the business reaches full capacity, allowing for the addition of its highly anticipated lunch and brunch services.

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