Maître d, foodie, fundraiser, philanthropist, elder statesman, career restaurateur, mentor, and Charleston ambassador – these are just a few titles bestowed upon Mickey Bakst. As General Manager of Charleston Grill since 2004, he has been responsible for Charleston Grill becoming one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the city.
“For me it’s really about the entire dining experience,” explains Mickey. “I want to make sure the guest starts smiling the minute they walk in, and that their delight continues through the evening because everything has come together perfectly … the atmosphere, the service, and the food.”
On any given night Mickey can be found greeting guests at the door, making the rounds at tables, or chatting with the kitchen team. His commitment to Charleston Grill is one of the reasons it was nominated for a James Beard Award for Best Service, and why it has been lauded in social media polls (including Open Table) as one of the region’s best dining experiences. His special talent has not gone unrecognized: Mickey was named Maître’ D of the Year by Restaurant Hospitality magazine, and has been inducted in to the Fine Dining Hall of Fame.
While most people would have their hands full running a world-class restaurant in a city that Condé Nast Traveler has named best city in the U.S. for three years running, Mickey still finds time for “extreme community giving.” His charitable and non-profit work is extensive and includes spearheading the fundraising efforts in Charleston for Hurricane Katrina relief (2005) and Dine for the Nine (a 2009 fundraiser for the firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty). He also founded Feed the Need in 2009, a charity that mobilizes restaurants to provide meals to local soup kitchens, and Teach the Need in 2011, a program that pairs professional mentors with at-risk high school students to learn front-of-the-house employment skills.
Prior to joining Charleston Grill, Mickey was a restaurant partner at the Studio Café in New Port Beach, California and Tapa Wingo in Ellsworth, Minnesota before taking the position as general manger of the nationally acclaimed Tribute restaurant in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Recognized as one of the best restaurants in the nation, Charleston Grill is the recipient of the coveted Forbes Four-Star, the AAA Four-Diamond and the Distinguished Restaurants of North America designations.
Executive Chef Michelle Weaver has created a menu that features contemporary southern cuisine divided into four inspirations: Southern, Pure, Lush and Cosmopolitan – each emphasizing the quality of the ingredients, unique presentations and sophisticated textures. Charleston Grill is located in the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina at the renowned Belmond Charleston Place Hotel. It is open for dinner, with a live jazz accompaniment, daily from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Media Contact: Audra Poole | Audra@audrapoole.com | 604-790-2842