Five Things to Know about Bodega and Share House, From the Uptown Social Crew
Before you go to a new restaurant, what do you want — or need — to know most? In our series The Rundown, we’re sharing all the essentials about some of the latest Resy restaurants.
On King Street, Uptown Social has become one of the most popular restaurants and bars in the district, with an tuned-up sports bar ambiance in a beautifully restored building on the Upper Peninsula. With the success of Uptown Social under their belt, the owners began to explore what would become their next venture.
Seeking to stay downtown, they found a former rail station at 23 Ann Street, where they planned to open two new concepts. But as with many others over the past two years, the full concepts were put on hold due to the pandemic and they pivoted the first concept, Bodega, to a weekend breakfast pop-up at Uptown Social. In February of 2022, Bodega moved into its permanent home, followed by the debut of a sister concept, a coastal cantina called Share House.
Here’s everything you need to know about Bodega and Share House, and what each adds to the growing Charleston food scene.
1. The concepts are located in a former train depot, now transformed.
The 23 Ann Street address that now houses these two concepts was originally constructed as a train depot in 1850, the terminus for the Charleston-Camden rail line. Over 15 months, the team transformed the 8,000-square-foot interior, which also features 200 feet of outdoor patio space.
The team brought on local Charleston artist Jennifer Griffith to design bright murals for the interior and exteriors. For Bodega, she created a gritty-yet-lively New York vibe.
Head next door to Share House, and you’ll notice a more pastel coastal aesthetic, with a large sea glass and crushed shell-topped bar. Walk to the other side of the space, and along the wall is a one-of-a-kind bottle cap mural custom made in collaboration with Island Brands USA.
2. Bodega was inspired by the namesake neighborhood corner stores in New York City.
The more locally known of the two concepts, Bodega was inspired by the corner sandwich/sundry shops that the partners frequented growing up in the New York area. For them, although there was so much incredible food in Charleston, they still craved that classic bodega sandwich on a kaiser roll.
“My dad used to take me to a bodega for breakfast in my hometown every single weekend that was owned by a Greek family who we became close with. We would go there and eat sandwiches and that just became part of me,” said Uptown Hospitality Group co-founder and senior operating partner Keith Benjamin.
“When I graduated college I moved to New York City and there wasn’t a day that went by where I wasn’t grabbing breakfast or lunch at the corner bodega.”
3. Each sandwich at Bodega starts with the kaiser roll, made in-house every day.
Alec Gropman, director of culinary operations, and team perfected the housemade kaiser roll that’s at the core of every sandwich, and created a menu of 10 to 12 sandwiches inspired by a bodega that Gropman frequented while growing up in Connecticut. Bodega — the Charleston pop-up — quickly caught on, becoming a popular weekend stop for people craving the NYC-style breakfast sandwiches.
Now open as an all-day concept in its permanent home, standouts on the menu include The Cow with double bacon, egg, American cheese, and home fries, along with The Smokey Swine. As its name suggests, smoked pulled pork is the key feature in this sandwich, along with egg, pimento cheese, pickled jalapeño, and black pepper barbecue sauce.
At 4 p.m., “Bodega After Dark” begins, with a selection of “Bodega Boards” (their take on charcuterie boards), a fantastic truffle burger, and cocktails like the Espresso Martini, made with Dead Eye vodka and butterscotch liqueur.
4. Share House is the coastal cantina with a late-night vibe.
Like its beach bar interior would convey, the menu at Share House is coastal-inspired, with a focus on seafood and fresh ingredients. Snacks like tuna poke nachos on top of house-cut potato chips and the duck quesadilla are favorites, along with blackened market fish sliders.
An extensive menu of local and craft beer and a unique cocktail menu adds to the coastal vibe. Often found in bars around coastal Maryland and now at Share House, the Orange Crush cocktail — here re-imagined with orange-flavored vodka — is quickly becoming a favorite, with fresh oranges juiced right in front of you at the bar when ordered.
And when the sun goes down, so do the lights, with live music and featured DJs creating a lively late-night vibe right off popular King Street.
5. In a hurry? Grab-and-go options are easy at Bodega along with an extensive coffee program.
At Bodega, all the baked goods from muffins to bagels and the signature kaiser roll used for the sandwiches are made and brought in fresh daily from the Uptown Social Kitchen right down King Street. But as much as the New York-style sandwiches are the main draw, Bodega has an equally impressive coffee program.
Classics from lattes to nitro cold brews are available, as well as “Bodega Bangerz,” a menu of tea- and coffee-based drinks that are unique to Bodega. The AM Tonic combines espresso with local Jack Rudy tonic, soda, and orange, while the Matchy Matcha is a green tea matcha-based drink with honey syrup.