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.
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.