By MARTIN MOBLEY
Country Chronicle (Blythewood, S.C.) editor
Sam Kendall’s, a Camden fine dining establishment, plans to open its second restaurant in Doko Meadows in Blythewood in late fall.
The way was cleared for the town’s newest economic development project with approval April 26 of a $900,000 loan by Santee Cooper’s board of directors.
In a telephone interview with the Country Chronicle on May 1, San Kendall’s owner Jonathan Bazinet confirmed the restaurant would open in Blythewood.
"The deal is not consummated yet; some minor details remain to be worked out," Bazinet said.
The restaurant, expected to open in late 2013, "will feature a limited menu with classic American cuisine, including steaks, seafood and pasta dishes," according to Bazinet, who said Sam Kendall’s also will offer an extensive wine list.
"Sam Kendall’s offers contemporary American cuisine in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere, according to its website, www.samkendalls.com. "Our goal is to provide an outstanding dining experience from expertly-crafted dishes to exemplary service."
The 4,800-square-foot restaurant is expected to open with approximately 60 employees, Bazinet said.
The Santee Cooper loan is comprised of a combination of utility tax credits (UTC) and proceeds from the Santee Cooper Revolving Fund. The loan will be repaid over 10 years using proceeds from the restaurant’s lease.
This program allows local utilities, in this case Fairfield Electric Cooperative, to pass the money on to local businesses for projects that will create and retain employment in rural areas.
Total cost of the building portion of the restaurant project is $1.2 million, plus sitework and in-ground utilities (dedicated existing project assets) valued at about $260,000, according Blythewood Town Administrator John Perry. Fairfield Electric is contributing $460,000 of the UTC to meet the project’s total cost.
A formal announcement about the restaurant is expected sometime this month.
Perry has told Blythewood Town Council that he then-unidentified restaurant "can build a market here based on its reputation elsewhere."
Sam Kendall’s also will serve as caterer to The Manor in Doko Meadows.
Blythewood’s board of architectural review recently approved a conditional Certificate of Appropriateness for the building, which was code-named "Project Booster."
According to the Santee Cooper press release, the building will be located in "Doko Meadows Business Park" and will "serve as an incubator for 325 acres of commercial property surrounding the park, helping to draw new commercial industry and jobs to the area."
(A version of this story originally appeared in the May 2, 2013, edition The Country Chronicle.)