The Page family (Tony, Ashleigh, Courtney, and Chase) took the slow and steady route to culinary greatness, launching their restaurant in a smallish space on Mount Pleasant's Coleman Boulevard in 2006 and moving to a larger building down the street five years later. Now, long after Page's Okra Grill was established as one of the most popular eateries in the Lowcountry, its owners are about to take their recipe for success into other parts of the tri-county area and other aspects of the dining industry.
Although Page's already operates food trucks in Nexton and Moncks Corner; the restaurant will soon add catering to its repertoire, and, before long, another Page's Okra Grill will open its doors in Nexton.
"We always wanted to get into catering, but we wanted to wait for the right time so we could do it right - up to Okra Grill's standards," says Chase Page, the founders' brother and currently the operations manager for the two mobile units. "Great food, great value and great service. We feel like we can take everything we have learned over the years and provide great catering for our community - weddings, corporate events, sit-down catering, buffets, office lunches, private food truck events, and family dinners. We are excited to meet new folks and provide great food for them but also to serve our same loyal regulars, just in a different way."
The new 10,000-square-foot restaurant, to be built where the Nexton food truck currently does business at 142 Brighton Park Blvd, will include a large catering kitchen and private dining areas. It is expected to start serving customers sometime in the 2023 calendar year. Until then, the catering business will operate out of the Mount Pleasant location, with a menu offering many of the same dishes that have propelled Page's to the top of many of the area's "Best Of" lists, including Ashleigh's iconic Shrimp & Grits.
Chase says catering customers can expect "some surprising items" as well.
The Nexton version of Page's Okra Grill and the catering business will mirror the traditions that have been a hallmark of the restaurant for nearly 17 years.
"One of the most important things in the business is culture - the way you treat your staff and customers. It's totally separates from your processes. We kind of captured lightning in a bottle at Coleman," Chase points out. "Part of that is the quirky personalities of everybody involved. When our family started Okra Grill, it grew like wildfire, and we had to learn the hard way how to run a restaurant. It's all about the little things we like to do to make staff and guests feel like family."
Chase says he hopes the new restaurant will take some of the pressure off the Coleman Boulevard location. Page's Okra Grill in Mount Pleasant has become so popular, there are times when customers must wait for an extended period of time to be seated. Next year, Lowcountry residents will have the option to enjoy Page's Okra Grill's food and hospitality at either of the two locations.
With both the catering business and the new restaurant, Page's Okra Grill follow the same business model that has been proven so successful since 2006.
"We'll do it the way we've always done it," Chase explains. "Slow and steady. We don't want to lose any of the magic we've built up over the years."
To learn more about one of the Lowcountry's most popular restaurants, visit www.pagesokragrill.com.