Hominy Grill Closes This Weekend After Over 20 Years as a Charleston Institution
Long-time diners around the country are mourning the iconic restaurant, known for its magnetic Lowcountry cooking.
Since 1996, Hominy Grill has been a fixture in Charleston—and America—for Southern classics and Lowcountry cuisine. The restaurant's signature shrimp and grits, she-crab soup, and fried green tomatoes put Hominy Grill on the map as a national institution. Chef Robert Stehling, who has long championed local ingredients and heirloom recipes, earned a James Beard Award for Best Chef: Southeast and a on our list of the best restaurants in Charleston. We couldn’t imagine a visit to the city without it. Alas, we will now have to—earlier this month, Hominy announced on Instagram that April 28 would be its last day of service.
“We are deeply grateful to our many supporters in the Charleston community and beyond,” Hominy Grill posted. “It has been a joy and a privilege to have met and fed so many of you along the way.” While other local restaurants have closed due to inflating rent costs and a scarcity of workers, per reporting in Charleston’s Post and Courier, Stehling told the paper he’s just “ready for a break."
“Things have a beginning, a middle and an end,” he told the Post and Courier. “I felt like at this point in my life, I would like to be open to new experiences.”
Long-time diners flooded social media with their favorite memories of Hominy, which was popular with both locals and tourists alike, as people from around the country mourned the news. There were tributes to the chocolate pudding and sausage; people remembered the famous “Charleston Nasty Biscuit.” Some outlets even posted the recipe for the aforementioned pudding.
“Hominy Grill was a thoughtful, tireless ambassador for the Lowcountry, pushing a relatively underappreciated sub-genre forward, at a time when other parts of the country were really only just warming up to the idea of Southern cooking in general,” our own senior editor David Landsel wrote.
But when Hominy closes this weekend, not all is lost. Those who want to take a little piece of the restaurant home can find a few recipes on our site from Stehling: those best-in-town flaky buttermilk biscuits, shrimp pickled in a tangy citrus marinade, and bacon-roasted turkey with sweet-onion gravy. (As he says, “everything is better with bacon.”)
We got our hands on some archival photos from the restaurant’s early days—one of which features a surprise appearance from Lou Reed—as well as newer shots to capture the restaurant's evolution over nearly a quarter-century in operation.
The restaurant's last day of service is April 28.