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Alexander Briggs extends hours, updates menu

Dara McGee, Contributing Writer

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he restaurant Alexander Briggs, once known for its fancy fare, is now trying to become more ‘fun.’

David Gherardini, his father and two of his uncles brought in pounds of lumber in 1985 to build a restaurant dedicated to supplying people with “affordable and good food.”

Gherardini’s son, Michael, managed the business for 12 to 13 years. He now handles the media-based work that comes with the job.

“That’s way out of my wheelhouse,” Gherardini said with a slight chuckle.

He has been in the restaurant business since the late ‘70s, so he knows a thing or two about being a restaurateur.

Open the front doors of Alexander Briggs, and to the left is a bar.

Alexander Briggs also has a game room in the back and a little music lounge to the left. Each room caters to a different personality and demographic type.

“We have pool tables, darts, of course the poker machines. We have more games coming,” Gherardini said.

Gherardini’s mission is to let young people know the restaurant is in Charleston and a fun place to be.

“You can come back to the backroom and we would crank the amps up to about an eleven,” he said.  “If that’s what you’re looking for, loud and fun, that’s what’s going to happen in this back part.”

There is also a “live music” room, which has sound equipment and a mechanical bull.

Gheradini said he is really excited to see these in use.

“We’ve had a couple of events back here, but they were mainly catered parties, birthday parties and things like that. Back here is where I always ran music,” Ghereardini said.

Bands, deejays, and other musical artists have unveiled their talent in this room.

There has been a brief hiatus to the music scene at Alexander Briggs.

Gherardini said that the demand for live bands and live music in general has declined, but he said the restaurant has plans to continue it again.

Instead of its fancy cuisine, Alexander Briggs will now focus on comfort food.

“The noodles, the chicken parmesan, the spaghetti, the Italian beef. A lot of it is comfort food that I have grown up with, and the people in the area have grown up with,” he said. 

Back in April of 2017, Alexander Briggs decided to turn over a new leaf and take a stab at fine dining.

Gherardini said he loves fine dining and going out to nice fancy restaurants, but it was a lot more than he was trying to provide for his restaurant.

At the time, the market they were aiming for was a more mature audience, instead of young college students.

“(From now on) we’ll be doing a sandwich and pasta special every day at the supper hour, and then we’ll carry in some specials into late night,” Gherardini said.

There are plans for a late night happy hour as well.

Gherardini said he wants to make sure that college

students are not afraid to come out and try something new.

Alexander Briggs’ new hours will be  from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on weekdays. On the weekends, it will close at 2 a.m.

Happy hour starts at 10 p.m and will end at 11 p.m. with drink and food specials.

Gherardini  said once he gets the fine dining transitioned to a more relaxed setting, he will expand into earlier in the day.

Gherardini wants to give his customers variety, he said.

Even though Alexander Briggs is over 30 years old, it is a relatively new establishment when it comes to other businesses and eateries in Charleston.

“We’ve been all over the place, you know, since we’ve started until now … we’re making this shift,” said Gherardini. “We just want people to know that we’re affordable, and we’re excited to put the word out there.”

Alexander Briggs is located on 509 Van Buren Ave. Its phone phone number is 217-345-2380.

2 Comments

  • Doris Daze

    No, Alexander Briggs is not over 30 years old. Anyone in Charleston can tell you that Alexander Briggs, the “fine dining” place, started up just a few months ago. The chef who started it isn’t even mentioned here.

    Friends & Co., previously at this location, is another matter. But that’s not Alexander Briggs.

  • sosus

    This is a very odd and puzzling article. This is not an “old” place. The building is old and it has had other names, as “Doris Daze” says, but this business “Alexander Briggs” was mentioned last year some time (?) when it was announcing that it was GOING TO BE opening soon. Then there was nothing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an ad, a sign, another article, anything at all. It never appeared to be open from the outside appearance, but it was hard to tell. Now apparently they are changing the menu (what?) because, it is implied, the previous menu (what?) didn’t attract the “mature” clientele they were planning to attract. (what? what? and again, what?)
    And they have a mechanical bull and video gambling? What in the world is this place? And “mature” customers don’t like Italian beef, not to mention mechanical bulls? And “immature” customers have only been waiting for a mechanical bull and spaghetti and very loud music? This is very confusing and uninformative. What this business seems to need is some coherence and some advertising – or something.

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Alexander Briggs extends hours, updates menu