700 Modern Grill & Bar
700 Modern with John Cranston
My husband and I stopped in at Seven Hundred Modern Grill & Bar on Front Street. John Cranston, owner and operator of the restaurant, stood at his usual place at the end of the counter, sipping a cup of coffee. He took a few minutes out of his day to join us for lunch and a chat.
Originally from New Jersey, John has been here in South Carolina for about three years and running his own restaurant for the latter part of his time here. “We opened up Zest further down the street and a couple of months later, it burned down. That was at the end of 2013,” he said of his first restaurant.
Our waitress had come and taken our order. After handing her the menus, I asked. “What about the name of this restaurant? Down there it was Zest, but here it’s Seven Hundred Modern.”
John got up to retrieve a take-out menu. On the back was the explanation of how the name of the restaurant and the new logo came to be. To quote it, “The Seven Hundred Modern Grill & Bar is a symbol for the inspiration of our new restaurant. On September 25, 2013, the seven hundred block of historic Front Street in Georgetown, South Carolina had seven buildings burn to the ground. The stripes in our flag represent the seven buildings that we lost that day. The star represents a member of our family who was taken from us on October 24, 2013, Chef Christopher Kirwin. We look to rebuild the future with you.”
“Where did you get the names for your menu items,” I asked. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised with his answer.
After taking a sip of his coffee, John answered, “We used the different businesses to name our dishes on our menu like, the Colonial Salad for the Colonial Florist, Maritime Chicken Sandwich for the Maritime Museum or the 719 Burger because that was our address when we had Zest, 719 Front Street.”
“That was a pretty good idea,” I stated. Back to the sign, I asked, “Who made the sign?”
“He’s a local designer,” John answered, “His name is Russ Bratcher. We also used local help when we built this place after Zest burnt down.”
“And your staff …” I asked, leaving the question open.
“We have a lot of loyal staff here. They’ve been with us since the very beginning.” John named a few: “Melanie, Louie, Charlie, and Leslie, who is also our new sushi chef.”
The restaurant has a nice atmosphere and although they do serve alcohol, including mixed drinks, they
do not present themselves as a local bar hang-out. Instead, they’re a very nice and well-organized food industry. It’s certainly one of my favorite places to eat.
I love their salads and their sweet potato fries. They give quite a hearty helping of them and they are very delicious. Of all that I’ve tried from this restaurant, I can say there wasn’t anything I did not like. The staff is always friendly and wonderful to be around. They go out of their way to make the customer feel comfortable so as to enjoy their dining experience. If that isn’t enough, John’s wife, Pia, is a co-owner of the burger place down the street. Now that I know she’s there, I’m definitely going to have to stop in and say hello to her. I did wonder where she had ventured.
As our waitress returned with our order, we finished our conversation. I had ordered the Spicy Crab roll and an order of sweet potato fries while my husband had the grilled fish sandwich with mixed fries. It was lip-smacking good, too.
On a separate note: Seven Hundred Modern is the only place in Georgetown where you can get good sushi. For those who don’t know, Sushi means “sour rice,” and used for rice rolls while Sashimi means “raw fish.” In America, they cannot serve authentic raw fish like what is served on the Orient so your sashimi is usually pan seared in order to meet the FDA requirements. Now that we all know that, be sure to stop in and order some delicious sushi or sashimi.
The restaurant hours are Sunday thru Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays they open 11 a.m. to 10 at night. Happy hour is from 4-7 Sunday thru Thursday (this is my favorite time because some of the sushi is half off).
Additionally, John has local musicians lined up for a bit of musical entertainment on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.