The Establishment | Charleston | Our Team

About The Establishment

Scroll to meet our incredible staff


A Team to Serve You

The Establishment has brought together a group of seasoned Charleston restaurant veterans to do what they do best: deliver an incredible food and wine experience with creatively prepared cuisine and impeccable service in a space that is comfortable, relaxed, yet refined.

Back of the House

Meet Matt Canter

Matt Canter

Executive Chef

Matt was raised in a small town in southern Maryland and spent his formative years on the water crabbing, fishing, and boating. He began work in his first restaurant at age 15, washing dishes, prepping food, spending time as a fry cook, and eventually working the line. After high school he attended The Culinary Institute of America in New York and graduated in 2004.

Since his matriculation Matt has spent time working for a wide array or properties, from flipping burgers on the beach to time at The Ritz-Carlton. Most recently Matt was sous chef at FIG and executive chef at Park Cafe in Charleston.

Matt has lived in Charleston for 12 years, has 2 dogs, and rides his motorcycle every chance he gets.

matt (at) establishmentchs (dot) com

Meet Allison Porter

Allison Porter

Sous Chef

Allison hails from Blythewood, South Carolina, moving to Charleston in 2009 for culinary school. Since her matriculation she has graced the kitchens of Tristan, FIG, Minero, The Dewberry, and Grace & Grit. Coming from a family of farmers, Allison has always loved the outdoors and growing her own food. In her spare time she continues on in the family tradition, gardening with family and friends and spending time outside.

allison (at) establishmentchs (dot) com

Front of the House

Meet Brad Mogan

Brad Mogan

General Manager

Born in Pittsburgh and raised on the eastern shore of Maryland, Brad headed south at the turn of the century seeking warmer climes, landing permanently in Charleston in 2003 to attend Johnson and Wales University. Graduating Summa Cum Laude with a head full of industry knowledge and practical experience he had received from mentors during his university experience, including the experience of being general manager of his first restaurant before he was old enough to carry a liquor license in his own name, Brad headed out into the hospitality industry in the Holy City.

Brad worked as the general manager over the next few years at a high volume seafood restaurant and, after a magical dinner at a particularly fantastic Charleston restaurant, decided that he had to be a part of that world. Elevated food and service, the world of wine, and the elegant dance of a well-coordinated dining room had put its hooks in him. Brad challenged himself to work at the best restaurants in the city, learn from talented restaurateurs, general managers, and James Beard award winning chefs to find the common denominator between all the talent of this great restaurant scene. Brad credits his mother for his passion for hospitality. He is now taking what he has learned and applying it to new restaurants, becoming an integral player in the dance he once observed from afar.

When he is not working, Brad and his wife enjoy taking day trips around the Lowcountry, dining out, supporting his Pittsburgh Steelers and giving love to their two ungrateful dogs.

brad (at) establishmentchs (dot) com

Meet Andres Contreras

Andres Contreras

Restaurant Manager

Andres, a second-generation Charlestonian whose parents immigrated to the US from Chile, did his undergraduate studies in Psychology at Johns Hopkins University. Upon his return to Charleston, he began his foray in the food industry as a server at 39 Rue de Jean, a French Brasserie. It was this Charleston institution that nurtured his early interest in food and wine. Needing to be challenged further, Andres began day work at Southern Season, a gourmet food and wine shop, as he studied and tasted wines from around the world.

After a year at Southern Season, Andres joined the management team at Rue de Jean and worked closely with their team to curate their list of over 300 bottles. After seven years under the great tutelage at Rue, Andres was named Charleston City Paper's Best Sommelier for 2017, was included in Zagat Charleston's Top 30 Under 30, and was selected as the Charleston-based keynote speaker for the 2017 Wines of Chile Campaign in the US.

Andres loves reading, traveling, being around people, and, of course, wine. While Chilean and French wines are his passion, he's always looking for his next favorite wine region / producer and an opportunity to share that find with others.

andres (at) establishmentchs (dot) com

A Brief History of The Establishment

The streets and buildings that surround The Establishment, located at 28 Broad Street in Charleston, South Carolina, exude the history that defines Charleston. When heading down Broad St. towards East Bay, one walks a path worn by a litany of figures who were instrumental in the founding of our country and in the writing of its story. When the building housing The Establishment was erected in 1791, George Washington was in our fair city, touring the country to see with his own eyes what his military victories in the Revolutionary War had given to the people over which he now presided.

While in Charleston, Washington attended church services at St. Michael’s Church at the corner of Broad and Meeting Streets, sitting in pew number 43 on May 8th. When he left the beauty of St. Michael’s, our nation’s first president would have seen the Courthouse of the County of Charleston diagonally across the street. At that time the building was preparing to be rebuilt after a fire partially destroyed it three years prior.

Directly across Meeting Street was land used at the time for public hearings, later to become a Federal Courthouse and U.S. Post Office. Across the intersection from this land was the First Bank of the United States, which had just begun its operations in that location months prior. The current Charleston City Hall building was constructed on this site less than a decade later.

This intersection, known locally as ‘The Four Corners of the Law’ for the presence of federal, state, city, and ecclesiastical law, has been operating in this manner since the first days of our Union.

One block down from this intersection is Church Street, upon which George Washington would have seen St. Philip’s Church looking much as it does today, then one block further down, State Street. It is between these two streets, Church and State, in the intersection of what these words stood for to the Founding Fathers, that the real meaning of our name lies. For Washington, the year 1791 included the debate in Congress and among the states surrounding the need for a Bill of Rights. Whether or not these debates were on his mind as he went down Broad St., headed towards the Exchange Building at Broad and East Bay, we cannot know. What we do know is that Madison’s Bill of Rights was whittled from 17 to 10 amendments and ratified that very December.

It is the rich history surrounding us in this location and the legacy of the brave men and incredible minds that built our government that we pay homage to in our name. The First Amendment contains within it the principle that there is to be a separation between church and state. The first part of this principle, that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…" is known in legal circles as The Establishment Clause.

We are The Establishment, standing between Church Street and State Street.