Hominy Grill opened at 207 Rutledge Avenue in South Carolina’s oldest city of Charleston in 1996. The building, used since the 1800’s as a barbershop, was converted into an intimate eating and cooking space, complete with the original tin ceiling and Windsor chairs, outdoor side patio, and a larger-than-life “Rosie” mural on the side of the building. Rosie holds a plate of steaming grits and proclaims, “Grits are good for you!”
The chef and owner of Hominy Grill is Robert Stehling, who first learned to cook under the tutelage of Bill Neal. Neal is commonly renowned as a pioneer of Southern food as a cuisine, chef and owner of the famous Crook’s Corner restaurants in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and author of many well-known cookbooks, including Bill Neal’s Southern Cooking and Good Old Grits. In fact, Crook’s Corner is considered by many to be the birthplace of the quintessentially Southern dish, shrimp and grits. Stehling took cues from Neal, working his way up from the dishwasher to the head cook at Crook’s Corner. Stehling then moved to New York for a time to hone his skills under many famous chefs in the City before moving back to Charleston with his wife, Nunally Kersh, in 1996 to open Hominy Grill.
Hominy Grill is both nationally acclaimed and locally loved. The menu features Southern comfort food classics, many of which have been kissed with Stehling’s innovative touch while still evoking the same tastes of “grandma’s cooking.” Stehling makes it a point to prepare every dish from scratch and to use seasonal as well as locally grown ingredients. Hominy Grill is a member of the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Project as well as many other organizations that strive to improve the taste and quality of restaurant food by encouraging organic and sustainable practices. Obviously, Stehling’s dedication to freshness has been paying off. In 2008, Robert Stehling received the coveted James Beard Best Chef: Southeast award.
Hominy Grill serves breakfast, lunch, dinner, and brunch on the weekends. Diners and food enthusiasts alike can purchase many items of Hominy Grill merchandise, including t-shirts with the same “Rosie” picture as the building itself and the official Hominy Grill cookbook, filled with 25 recipes of the best and most beloved dishes on Hominy’s menu.