Roland and Michael Feldman are brothers, born and raised in Charleston, SC. Growing up on the Stono River, they developed a deep affection for the heritage and cuisine of the Low Country. Gigging Flounder in the creek, steaming blue crabs harvested from their dock, and shucking fresh local oysters were common activities for the young brothers.

As they grew, the boys took notice of the powerful business minds in their community. Working in restaurants owned by family friends, such as Hyman’s and Andolini’s, they gained the insight and business acumen to run well-oiled restaurant enterprises.

After a stint at Magnolia’s restaurant, Roland moved to Denver, Colorado where he attended and later graduated from Johnson & Wales University. Cooking for some of Colorado’s top chefs, he found himself under the guidance of James Beard award-winning chef Jennifer Jansinski. “Jennifer taught me many techniques and provided out-of-the-box ideas, but most importantly to let the love of nature flow through everything I create,” Roland says.

Soon thereafter, Roland returned to his roots in Charleston to begin cooking at Peninsula Grill under the guidance of Chef Graham Daily. “Graham taught me mostly about how to handle myself. About how to stand tall and lead with confidence.” After two years at Peninsula Grill, Roland found himself cooking briefly for talented local chefs including Josh Keeler of Two Boroughs Larder. Along the way, he met Chef Joe Wolfson, and together they purchased a food truck formally owned and operated by the Spam Corporation. “It was a one-of-a-kind truck, and a one-of-a-kind opportunity to build a brand,” says Roland. “BBQ is a craft and labor of love and I felt that applying some techniques I gained from the fine-dining world could elevate it to a delicious and slightly more adventurous level.” Roland and Joe Wolfson operated the truck in Charleston for eight months before Joe decided to pursue other opportunities.

Roland

Roland | Email

While Roland was plying his talents in the local restaurant and food truck scenes, his brother Michael was hard at work managing several thriving local institutions. He became a manager at Hyman’s Seafood from the ripe age of 19, later moving to corporate operating manager of the Andolini’s franchise. With such broad experiences from those large and successful restaurants, Michael was introduced to Peter Evens, owner of Stella Nova, and Marshall Lowe, owner of Music Farm Productions. Michael took the helm of their budding 487 Hospitality concept, running the location for a series of years.

When the hip vegan hotspot MotoBar’s brick-and-mortar location became available the group grabbed it. Peter Marshall and Michael felt that a Blue’s-driven Rock & Roll-themed bar combined with Roland’s “elevated BBQ” concept would serve the space well. This, the group envisioned, would give Charleston a unique taste of soul previously not found in the area. Michael, Peter, Marshall, and Roland all agreed, “What could be better than Southern Blues and Rock paired with Charleston’s love for BBQ and fresh local food options?”

Mike

Michael | Email

The team hired local artist Sean Williams, the visionary behind the Holy City Brewery design, to paint the space and design their logo. “We wanted to play largely off of the energy already present in the space, designed by the MotoBar team,” Roland explained. “The rustic, rusty tones, and modern lighting provided the perfect backdrop for BBQ and rock & roll. Using a local artist and talent such as Sean Williams really brought the magic to our brand.”

Their new restaurant opened in June 2015 under the name ‘Smoke BBQ’ and, along with their food truck, business has been smokin’ hot ever since.