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ConcepTrak, A Trade Magazine: Concepts in Action

Offering "outside dining inside," Redbone Alley is a unique concept in both décor and menu. The two-story full-service restaurants are designed to recreate the feeling of outdoor dining in historic Charleston, SC, with two levels of seating among streetscape facades of brick and stucco buildings, brick pathways surrounded by greenery, painted murals and a splashing fountain. The regional ambiance is complemented by a menu of "New Southern Fusion" cuisine. This innovative cooking style, utilizes traditional Southern Flavors, but is also influenced by French, Mediterranean, African, English and West Indian cooking. A closer look reveals:

  • Specialties emphasize Southern elements as well as global flavors
  • Grits and pastas also indicative of Southern positioning
  • Sandwiches round out menu with traditional choices

Inside the Menu

Redbone Alley specialties are a collection if dishes emphasizing Southern elements complemented by more multi-cultural components. A sampling of these entrees includes:
  • Mixed Grill - a trio of grilled marinated beef tenderloin, select shrimp and tender chicken served with Carolina plantation rice, sugar snaps and a house salad ($14.99)
  • Angels on Horseback - blackened pork porterhouse "ridden" by a fiery skewer of bacon-wrapped shrimp sided by Redbone risotto and stewed limas ($13.99)
  • Chicken Planks - deep fried chicken tender planks with a choice of sauces: Jamaican jerk spiced, honey mustard, traditional Southern or Buffalo style, served with lemon slaw and a choice of side dish ($9.99)
  • 3-Way Shrimp Platter -six blackened, six grilled and six fried shrimp with creamy tartar sauce, lemon slaw and choice of side dish ($12.99)

Guests may want to start their meal with one of Redbone Alley's appetizers. These offerings also illustrate a global slant with items such as Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas, Individual Satays, Mexican Pizza Dip or Bermuda Triangles - triangular puff pastries filled with garlic, chicken, bacon, cream cheese and chives lightly baked. Prices range from $3.99 - $6.99

Grits and Pastas

In keeping with its commitment to fresh, quality ingredients, Redbone Alley relies on local ingredients wherever possible, including fruits and vegetables, long-grain rice and coastal seafood. Grits and pasta dishes illustrate this. The menu points out that these dishes, like all real Southern foods, are made to order with only the freshest local ingredients and "loving Southern care."

Selections include:

  • Smothered Chicken and Shrimp Ettouffee - smothered shrimp and chicken in a rich Tasso ham gravy over Redbone's famous cheese grits ($12.99)
  • Fettuccine Mosaic - grilled chicken and shrimp tossed with fettuccine Alfredo ($11.99)
  • Chicken Leo - double breast of fried chicken with smoked ham and mozzarella cheese on pasta Alfredo ($11.99)
  • Low Country Shrimp and Grits - Redbone's spicy fried shrimp on creamy cheese grits topped with smoked ham, mushrooms and scallions ($12.49)
  • Chicken Pontalba - Redbone's famous cheese grits topped with spicy fried chicken tenders, local sausage and low country hashbrowns ($11.99)

Though not exactly Southern-inspired, a number of steaks are also offered. Priced from $14.99 - $17.99, offering range from filet mignon and a marinated ribeye to a Peppery Strip Steak topped with peppercorn butter. A skewer of bacon-wrapped shrimp can be added to any order for $2.99.

Sandwiches

A collection of sandwiches offer more traditional menu choices. French fries accompany each at no additional charge. Options include:

  • Buffalo Chicken Fajita Wrap - buffalo fried chicken wrapped in a soft tortilla loaded with lettuce, tomato and crumbled "Clemson" bleu cheese ($7.99)
  • Cajun Hardtack - blackened chicken and shrimp topped with roasted bell peppers and Monerey Jack on a Kaiser roll brushed with remoulade sauce ($7.99)
  • Grilled Shrimp BLT - lemon buttered grilled shrimp, bacon, lettuce and tomato with tsaziki sauce in a soft pita ($6.99)
  • New South Filet Mignon Sandwich - tender filet mignon medallions on a toasted hoagie with garlic mashed potatoes and Tabasco fried onion rings ($10.99)

Company Characteristics

Redbone Alley got its start in Florence, SC, in 1993. The concept was named after a coon hound belonging to founder Dale Barth's Daughter. A second unit followed in Columbia, SC, in 1998, and the third unit will open in Sumter, SC in October 2000. Long-term expansion plans call for one to two units per year over the next five years, with initial focus on the Southeast. Ideal locations are smaller communities with lots of families.

Restaurants range from 8,500-14,000 sq. ft. and seat approximately 225 guests. The unique design recreates the feeling of outdoor dining in an indoor setting. Two-story historic fascades flank a "street" created to be reminiscent of historic Charleston. An open atrium and a back porch with glowing lanterns as well as painted Low Country landscape murals add to the décor. A relaxed and friendly atmosphere complete the experience. The restaurants also offer live entertainment on weekends and a retail clothing line based on the Redbone Alley hound.

Key management includes founder and owner Dale Barth; Stever Zutell, operations manager; and Will Green who handles public relations and communications.