Longtime downtown restaurant Jestine's Kitchen on Thursday announced via social media that they have closed for good. The restaurant had been serving up Southern classics on Meeting Street for over two decades.
Owner Dana Berlin Strange posted the following on Jestine's Facebook page:
"I am a very lucky lady as I have had the incredible pleasure to introduce you to the iconic Jestine Matthews who raised my lovely mother as well as her four children.
With a dash of this and a pinch of that we were among the first to serve up Jestine’s savory lowcountry cuisine to my hometown and surprisingly to a national following.
I hoped for a longer run after all Jestine lived to be 112. With the quick onset of the scary pandemic I have done everything from takeout to wearing a chicken suit to try and stay afloat.
While I will miss those who have come in expecting southern food with lots of soul, truthfully it is my team who always made me look good. They too have become my family and gave you their best on every single dish.
Their greatest gift to me aside from their loyalty was their enabling me to become a mother to my darling son Berlin who towers over me now. Jestine would have been over the moon with him.
Of course the food had to be delicious and up to Jestine's taste test because the nod of approval was given every time Jestine's family came in to eat. So we knew we must have been doing something right!
To my sister Charlye and my Berlin's Restaurant Supply brothers Edward and Ellison, thank you for your support and just being you.
To my vendors and suppliers your kindness and compassion will long be remembered.
To my mother who had the fortitude and luck to bring Jestine into our world, I love you.
With tears, smiles and a heavy heart I must announce the closing of Jestine's Kitchen. Your friendship will stay with me forever and I know would have made Jestine so very proud.
To all of you raise a glass of sweet tea as we all learn to live in our new way of normal."
Jestine's Kitchen was located at 251 Meeting Street.