Located on East Bay Street, just south of historic Market Street in downtown Charleston, sits Pawpaw – Southern Plates, a posh new 6,000 SF Southern cuisine restaurant inspired by an indigenous, but often forgotten, fruit tree. The owners commissioned McMillan Pazdan Smith’s design team to transform this once dark and deteriorating bar into a welcoming space for refined Southern fare, drawing inspiration from the eponymous yellow fruit.
Custom light fixtures and cypress wood bring life to the restaurant and enhance the dark tone of walnut and exposed brick. Rusted, blackened steel accents at the base of the bar add a sophisticated, but aged compliment to the clean lines of the cypress and marble. As a nod to the Lowcountry, the banquet framing extends up and over the tables to create a canopy that provides definition to the space within the dining areas. Muted colors, wood-grain tabletops, and a mirror tiled bar add glamour to the bar area. Leather seats and stainless steel penny tile complete the natural materials used to compose the interior finishes. The natural materials of wood and metal — juxtaposed by finish, texture, color and age — come together to form a complimentary palette and create a space that speaks both to the refined and the rustic.
The project completed in 2016.