A modern trattoria, Sorelle, thrives in a trio of historic townhouses where Old World meets new
Overlooking Charleston’s historic Broad Street, a sophisticated dining destination has arrived, melding Italian culinary traditions with Southern opulence. Taking a cue from its 1800s-era origins (the building was the site of a Hebrew school run by two sisters), it’s named Sorelle, or “sisters,” in Italian.
Charleston’s Beemok Hospitality Collection (BHC), which also owns Charleston Place Hotel, enlisted the renowned design group Meyer Davis to restore the building to its original grandeur. The group behind the design of many dynamic restaurants and hotels took that assignment one step further by offering a modern take on the neoclassical structure.
“We found mouldings and relics from the building, and we tried to re-create what would have been there from details that were leftover. After the re-creation, we were able to innovate and layer in contemporary moods within that, so the tension between the new and the old is effortless,” says Will Meyer, lead designer/owner of Meyer Davis, on reimagining the space.
They were inspired by the contemporary culinary scene of Italy where historic buildings are renovated in order to deliver fresh interpretations on traditional foods—a hallmark of founding chef-partner Michael Mina’s cuisine. “There’s a sense of Southern opulence and graciousness about entertaining in this style that people really appreciate. It welcomes people into a good time, and I think that’s the Southern way,” Meyer explains.
With six different concepts under one roof, a surprise awaits around every corner. The stunning two-story foyer leads into an all-day mercato, cafe, wine room, and a maximalist bar where locals indulge in caviar dumplings and frosty dry martinis. Up the stairs, aged herringbone oak floors lead to an Italian marble pasta counter, a striking main dining room, and exclusive chef’s table.
This labyrinth of spaces provides a seat for everyone, whether they’re swinging by for a masala chai latte or sinking deeper into a Tiger Leather banquette for another round of guest-favorite ricotta tortellini. According to Casey Lavin, president of BHC, this is the goal of the family-owned hospitality company. “At the end of the day, the world needs more moments to celebrate what we already have and to come together,” he says. “We’re passionate about creating inspiring places for just that.”
Graphic Italian Marble Tiling
A geometric mosaic of dark-green-and-white tile provides a captivating entrance while paying homage to traditional Italian artistry with a contemporary edge. Meyer Davis designed this graphic tilework of interlocking Verde Guatemala Green and Arabescato marble; re-create the look at home with this graphic option from Stone Center tile. $29.99 per sheet; stonecenteronline.com
Sarus Tiered Mobile Chandelier
The expansive wingspan of the Sarus Mobile by David Weeks Studio provides streamlined juxtaposition to the multitiered dining room. Design your own lighting installation through davidweeksstudio.com, or for a more affordable option, the tiered mobile chandelier from L Modern Lighting gives a similar effect. $610; lmodernlighting.com
Green Velvet Dining Chair
Much of the seating throughout Sorelle was sourced from Artistic Frame out of New York. Their Tonda Sidechair covered in forest green velvet provides a plush option for dining room seating. Prices vary; artisticframe.com
Hand-Painted Landscape Mural
A custom landscape mural by MJ Atelier adorns the walls of the dining room. While this meticulously crafted mural of Italian vistas layered with Lowcountry water scenes cannot be re-created, you can achieve the look with hand-painted wallpaper by Gracie Studio; the New World panel depicts an immersive surrounding. $1,000 per panel; graciestudio.com
Sculptural Hanging Pendant
The transportive foyer is illuminated by striking hanging pendants of sculptural glass, suspended at different heights from the multistory ceiling. The Myrna Pendant by Ladies & Gentleman is available in a number of materials and customizations for a similar statement. $5,400; ladiesandgentlemenstudio.com
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- by TLP Editors
- by Lena Melentijevic