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on Tuesday, 16 October 2012. Posted in Personalities, Magazine, Follow This!, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Fall! 2012

By: Kathleen Curry


jack headThe US fast food market wasn't always dominated by national franchises. If you were born in the 1960s or later, like yours truly, you haven't known it any other way. On a local scale, Jack Hurley of Jack's Cosmic Dogs (JCD) is determined to change that. 


Originally from Burlington, Vermont, Hurley has linked fixtures of his youth to the present for 11 with a hotdog stand and its ever-evolving menu. The original location is on Hwy 17 North, the other two are on Folly Road and Hwy 61. In 1991, Hurley moved to the Isle of Palms with his wife Priscilla, and sons Morgan and Skylar. Something sparked when he saw a roadside building off Highway 17 North."If a place ever looked like a hot dog joint, that was it." Its menu would feature homemade chili, freshly made coleslaw, longneck Nehi soda, hand-cut fries, soft serve ice cream, shakes, malts, moon pies, and draft root beer, in addition to hotdogs. Its interior would be a bright cheery diner with booths and two-seater tables, and wacky antiques from Hurley's personal collection, like a robot, a plastic tea set chandelier, a kids go cart, and rockets are inside and outside.  On another wall, next to a framed and autographed copy of a Men’s Journal article about JCD (more on that later), there’s a framed 1970 program for William & Mary Football team. Hurley played offensive end; he was coached there by the young Lou Holtz, Marv Levy, & Bobby Ross. ‘Years later, Hurley got a photo with Holtz, and Holtz autographed the program.  ‘Does Hurley see parallels between sports and entrepreneurship? He says, “Competitive sports develops a great work ethic, makes you want to win, and you develop ease with working all types of people to get that win.”  Outside, there’s a JCD authentic airstream trailer with rockets on top; it is used for catering events. Inside and out, the whole package blends well with a retro-style logo designed by Gil Shuler and animated hotdog paintings by Mario Valdes. 

Featured Chef Fred Neuville

on Wednesday, 05 October 2011. Posted in Personalities, Chefs, Eat This! Fall 2011

As a 30-year industry veteran, former assistant director at the School of Culinary Arts in Denver and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, chef Fred Neuville has been the founding chef and partner with some of Charleston’s favorite restaurants. Neuville has received several coveted industry awards from the American Culinary Federation, the Southern Bridal Show, the Celebrity Pro/ Am competitions and the Western Regional Conference and has been featured in national publications such as Bon Appetit and National Geographic Traveler. Ready to fuse his passion for food and family, Neuville opened Fat Hen (Lowcountry French) with his wife Joan and family in 2007 as an outpost for culinary delights and domestic enjoyment.

Featured Server Stephen Sager

on Wednesday, 05 October 2011. Posted in Personalities, Eat This! Fall 2011, Servers

Stephen grew up in Weymouth, Mass., and earned a business marketing degree at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island. He moved to Charleston in 2002 and helped open the original Tristan. After it closed, he bartended at Carolina’s before moving on to Peninsula Grill. His hobbies include planning his wedding, watching football, playing golf and enjoying the great food and wine Charleston has to offer.

Jason Groce: “Stand Up to Standing in Puddles”

on Wednesday, 05 October 2011. Posted in Personalities, Bartenders, Eat This! Fall 2011

Based on the number of jokes that start out with a line about someone or something walking into a bar, you could deduce with reasonable certainty that drinking establishments are rife with comedy. After years of bartending, I can personally attest that there is some merit to that theory. As alcohol is consumed and inhibitions vanish into the night, behavior changes and people tend to get clumsy. This can create funny situations, but do bars and comedy really go together all that well?

Jonathan Calo - Cocktails from Creation to Consumption

on Friday, 01 July 2011. Posted in Personalities, Bartenders, Eat This! Summer 2011

It’s almost funny how one of Charleston’s best-kept secrets is hidden in plain sight. But then again, that was always the motif of the speakeasy. Illegitimate parlors behind/above/outback of legitimate businesses that provided what the American people wanted and what the American government told them they couldn’t have. And Charleston has had a long, torrid and creative relationship with circumventing alcohol law. From the Blind Tigers ofthe State Dispensaryera to the hundreds of operating speakeasies during prohibition--come hell or high water, Charleston was never going to be separated from strong drink. However, in 1933 when prohibition was repealed, the clandestine drinking spots were allowed to come out of their shadows and the speakeasy was relegated to the historical lore of America’s love affair with alcohol.

Featured Chef Charles Arena Jr.

on Friday, 01 July 2011. Posted in Personalities, Chefs, Eat This! Summer 2011

As a 1998 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Executive Chef Charles Arena brings sixteen years of experience in the food and beverage industry to The Boathouse. Jean Jacques Rachou at La Cote Basque in New York is just one of the highly rated chefs Arena studied under before coming to Charleston. Once in Charleston, Arena became the Sous Chef of Tides at the Beach Club, a Tom Colicchio Consultant Project where he quickly formed strong relationships with local farmers and fisherman and began to participate in the Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Today he continues this tradition and supports local initiatives in his diverse menu. Since 2007, Arena has been sharing his talents as an Adjunct Professor at The Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College. Those who have dined at The Boathouse have said he has stepped up with some very daring and flavorful combinations. Thatalone is worth the attention.

Featured Server Amanda Harwick

on Friday, 01 July 2011. Posted in Personalities, Eat This! Summer 2011, Servers

Amanda Harwick is a Senior at the College of Charleston, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She is a Lowcountry native. When she is not studying, she is a Food and Beverage workaholic. When she is not working, you can find her at the beach, daydreaming about her future business ventures.