FLORENCE, S.C. – A new restaurant has opened in Florence. Downtown Southern Funk held its grand opening on Friday inside Seminar Brewing Company, 551 W. Lucas St.

Owners/chefs are Adam Silverman and Callie Streett.

Silverman said Downtown Southern Funk opened on June 1, slowly phasing in new menu items.

“We are separate (From Seminar Brewing) but we work hand in hand together,” Silverman said.

Silverman said Seminar Brewing has its own beers, and the businesses have the same “let’s have fun with it mentality.”

The name is just one example.

He said about seven years ago he started thinking about the name for a restaurant. He said he wanted something that included downtown. He wanted it to be “Southern and funky.”

“Our signature dish is Southern Sushi,” Silverman said.

This house specialty has creamy grits and filling rolled in a collard green leaf. Fillings include pulled pork barbecue, buffalo chicken and mixed vegetables.

“It is sliced like sushi,” Silverman said. “We take recognizable ingredients and put a new twist on them.”

Two of their most popular items, in addition to Southern Sushi, are beer-poached Mahi Taco and the Zook Dog, he said.

The menu includes wraps, quesadillas, and build-your-own pizza on wood-fired crust, sandwiches, paninis, burgers and salads. The restaurant also has a children’s menu.

Silverman said they have a lot of vegan and vegetarian options.

He said they are committed to bringing their customers the freshest ingredients possible.

Silverman said that on Saturdays he manages the City Center Farmer’s Market on Cheves Street, and it gives him a direct link to farmers and local produce.

“They are proudly listed on the menu,” he said.

He said that once he and Streett decided to concentrate solely on Seminar things progressed quickly.

“It was a very rapid opening,” he said. “It took about two weeks.”

Silverman said he is 50 years old and spent about 35 years in the restaurant business.

“I have been here 14 years,” he said. “Callie has been here about 20 years.”

“We take Southern ingredients and recipes and think outside the box,” Silverman said.

He said they bring an outsider's perspective to the food industry although he has worked in this area for a while.

“I used to own the Library (restaurant),” he said.

He has also worked with Victors, the Country Club of South Carolina, the Darlington Country Club and Tracks café, he said.

“It’s pretty new for me,” Streett said. “I absolutely do some of the cooking and love every minute of it.”

“She is the creator of the ‘funky sauce,’ our signature zesty sauce,” Silverman said.

The restaurant seats about 75 people and offers inside and outdoor seating. Silverman said the beer garden seating is dog friendly and includes shade and even a hammock.

The restaurant has curbside pickup, on- and off-site catering, and delivery.

“If there is a way to get our food to you we will do it,” Silverman said.

Downtown Southern Funk is open seven days a week. Hours are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

For more information or to order, call 843-665-9200.

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