In 1982, three restaurateurs had a vision to provide a uniquely “Charleston” dining experience
with a focus on fresh, local cuisine and gracious hospitality. They had the perfect setting
consisting of three buildings and a garden courtyard nestled in the Historic French Quarter, but
they could not agree on a name. With the pressure of opening upon them, founding partners
Harvey Poole, Joe Sliker and Chef Steve Kish decided to simply use the street address as the name.
And so was born one of Charleston’s oldest and most celebrated restaurants … 82 Queen.
Feeling that there was a portion of Charleston’s culinary heritage that was being overlooked, 82 Queen’s original menu featured dishes influenced by the African, French, Caribbean and Anglo-Saxon tastes which permeated the area. 82 Queen’s fusion of these culturally diverse flavors led to the rise of a culinary genre that had been previously undefined – and is now referred to as “Lowcountry Cuisine”.
As the years rolled on, 82 Queen adapted and remained a powerhouse in the Charleston culinary community. With a barrage of now-famous chefs cutting their teeth in the kitchen and some infamous “pirates” conspiring in the courtyard, the stories of things that began at 82 Queen are plentiful.
But as much that has changed over the years, more has remained the same. Poole, Sliker and Kish continued their successful partnership until the sad day that Poole passed away. At that point, Chef Kish turned over the reins to the kitchen and he and Sliker assumed the dining room duties that Harvey Poole had handled so elegantly for almost 20 years. Sliker, a Charleston native and former tight end in the NFL, can be found most nights wandering through the courtyard greeting each customer as if they’ve been friends for years. Although Kish has been “front of the house” for over a decade, he is still at home in the kitchen where he can be found assisting the chefs and servers on many a busy night.
Family is also a theme at 82 Queen. Although not related in the traditional sense, the key staff has been together for so long that they are clearly brothers and sisters. General Manager Johnny Williams began his 82 Queen career in 1997 as a 17 year old busboy. He has since grown into one of the most respected restaurant managers in this town. Patrick Kish, Steve Kish’s son, started in the dish room when he was 12 years old (shhh, we’re not sure that’s completely legal) and is now the General Manager of our second restaurant, Lowcountry Bistro. Business Manager, Diane Henderson, started her career at 82 Queen in 1983 as a waitress. Such longevity of staff in a Charleston restaurant is not only unusual, it is a downright anomaly.
As the Charleston culinary scene takes the world stage and hot young chefs open trendy new restaurants, one would think that a 33 year old majestic original may get lost in the shuffle. But as 82 Queen holds true to the plan of fresh local cuisine, customers seeking an authentic Lowcountry experience continue to fill the 11 dining rooms.
Born and raised in the Lowcountry, Steve Stone is the epitome of a true Charlestonian. Steve grew up in a family of avid hunters and worked as a busboy and dishwasher throughout high school.
After high school, Steve attended culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston. While in culinary school, Steve started his journey at 82 Queen and served as the Executive Chef from 1991 to 2005. After leaving 82 Queen, Steve became the General Manager of Boone Hall Farm’s Farmers Market Store. Steve also created countless relationships with local businesses and farmers throughout his tenure working at the farm.
“I’ve always enjoyed cooking and the restaurant scene,” says Stone, which is what ultimately led him back into the kitchen. “The abundance of fresh local ingredients we have available is what makes cooking exciting. Every day brings new ideas based on what comes in from the farm.”
Steve Kish, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been in the Hospitality Industry for 39 years. Kish began his career in the Lowcountry over 30 years ago, and in 1982, he and partners Harvey Poole and Joe Sliker opened 82 Queen.
Today, Kish is highly regarded in the Charleston community, both personally and professionally. He is a founding member of the Chef Association, a Charleston Restaurant Association Board member, a Taste of Charleston and Oyster Festival Chairman, a husband, a father of two. Kish is the proud owner of 82 Queen, now a long-standing Charleston tradition, Lowcountry Bistro, the casual Southern eatery, and Swig & Swine, in partnership with pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo.
Jonathan Kish leads the Queen Street Hospitality team with a background in management and finance, but with a passion for food and the legacy of Queen Street Hospitality. He graduated from Clemson University with a degree in international management and developed key skills while working with Northwestern Mutual. In late 2012, Jonathan moved back to South Carolina to assist his family with managing 82 Queen and the newly opened Lowcountry Bistro.
Since then, Jonathan has stepped up to become Chief Executive Officer of Queen Street Hospitality, managing all Queen Street Hospitality restaurants: 82 Queen, Lowcountry Bistro, Swig & Swine, and Ashley Lanes Tavern. A leader in Charleston’s hospitality industry, he brings the best culinary, beverage, and service talents to his restaurants to make each restaurant a unique destination with award-winning menus.
His vision for the future is unparalleled as he takes the reigns from his father, Steve Kish. Steve opened 82 Queen, a historic Charleston culinary institution for 35 years, and helped curate the Lowcountry cuisine the world knows and loves today. Jonathan works diligently to represent and preserve this authentic fare and Southern hospitality, while eagerly breaking barriers to elevate Charleston’s culinary scene.
Jonathan, his wife, and two daughters reside on James Island, SC where they spend days on the dock and cooking in the kitchen. Jonathan kids that his youngest is already an oyster aficionado. A brewmaster at heart, Jonathan crafts his own beer which you can find at Queen Street Hospitality restaurants.
Patrick Kish’s introduction to the hospitality industry started at an early age. From washing dishes and bussing tables to serving and bartending, Patrick held nearly every position at his family’s restaurant, 82 Queen, before moving into a leadership role.
He quickly worked his way up to a manager position at 82 Queen by age 20, and held the role of assistant general manager at age 22. Patrick also assisted with the opening of Queen Street Hospitality project, Lowcountry Bistro, where he held the title of General Manager at just 25 years old. Most recently, he helped open the restaurant group’s third concept, Swig & Swine.
Currently, Patrick serves as Chief Operating Officer of Queen Street Hospitality. When he’s not working in the restaurants or busy developing new plans to grow the family business, Patrick enjoys taking time out for music, art, and dining out.
Devin Rizzo lives up to his title as the Director of Operations of Queen Street Hospitality. He works alongside the Kish family at every Queen Street Hospitality restaurant to make sure every operation, big and small, runs with ease.
But the food and beverage world isn’t new to this New York native. Bringing over 15 years of experience to the team, he worked from the ground up in restaurants from the age of 14-years-old to college. Devin ran the Blind Tiger/Merritage before heading to NYC where he worked for Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group, Richard Sandoval Restaurant Group, and Celebrity Chef David Burke Group. He held positions from Service Director, Beverage Director up to General Manager for all groups.
He brought his vast experience back to the Lowcountry to be a part of Queen Street Hospitality. After holding several General Manager positions in the group, he was promoted to DOO. Queen Street Hospitality Group is family owned and operated, and every employee is family as well. Devin preaches this in his everyday work, is the ultimate problem solver, and steps into every management role necessary to ensure the group’s and employees’ success.
In personal time, Devin is out riding his Harley motorcycle and spending time with his future wife Beth and dog, Abby. He is a passionate home cook and a die-hard New York Rangers Hockey fan, naturally.