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Café Charley now open in Dusty Bend

Posted: August 21, 2017 6:56 p.m.
Updated: August 22, 2017 1:00 a.m.
Jim Tatum/C-I

Chef Charlie Newman in the kitchen of Cafe Charley, which opened Aug. 2. Newman has been a fixture on the local and regional fine dining scene for many years. He has been in the restaurant/hospitality industry for nearly 50 years.

Café Charley has opened in Dusty Bend.

The new restaurant is the creation of a long-time icon of fine dining in Camden, Chef Charlie Newman. 

Newman opened the doors of his small but popular eatery in July.  

Newman has worked and owned restaurants in North and South Carolina for nearly 50 years. He spent the last 15 years, from 2002 until May, as executive chef at Springdale Hall; prior to that he was with the University of South Carolina’s Faculty Club for several years.

Café Charley was a project he wasn’t expecting to do but is happy he was able to 

“It’s been very busy, especially for lunch,” he said. “In fact, today, we served 132 -- we can seat 53. Friends from Springdale Hall have come out and supported us -- I’m very pleased and gratified by that and by the response of the community.”

Newman, who left Springdale Hall in May, said he had not really planned to open a restaurant. However, while he was out one day, he said he happened to see a for lease sign in the window of the space. Curious, he called the number on the sign, only to find the property was being handled by a long-time friend, Richard Markley, who told him he had a deal pending but would let him know if anything changed.

It did. 

Markley called Newman a couple of weeks later, showed him the space, they negotiated a lease, and Newman went to work.

He said he spent about two and a half months preparing to open, including cleaning and redecorating. 

“There was quite a bit to do,” he said. 

Café Charley’s menu is a little different from other venues in town, which is as it should be, he noted. Breakfast features from-scratch biscuits and breads, hearty traditional breakfast platters and favorites such as eggs benedict, French toast, buttermilk pancakes, and steak (filet mignon) and eggs.

The lunch menu features a variety of signature sandwiches and specialty dishes, fresh seafood and chef specials, a lunch buffet and a soup and salad bar with soups made fresh daily. 

Café Charley is currently open for breakfast and lunch, and Newman says he has no plans to expand the restaurant or change the schedule.

“This is the first time in years I’ve been able to be home at night,” he said. “I am enjoying that a lot.”

Café Charley, in Dusty Bend at 2315 Broad St., is open Tuesday through Friday 6:30 a.m. until 2-p.m., Saturday from 7 a.m. until noon, and Sunday 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. For more information call (803) 272-0244.

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