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New restaurant downtown is ‘a celebration of Aiken’

November 29, 2018

Angela Richardson describes the The Whitney Restaurant & Bar as “a celebration of Aiken.”

She and her husband, Scott, own the downtown business, which officially opened last week.

The Whitney is named in honor of William C. Whitney, who was a leading member of Aiken’s Winter Colony before his death in 1904. He established the Whitney Trust to promote sports such as golf and polo locally.

A pencil portrait of Whitney, drawn by Scott, hangs on a wall in The Whitney. The other decor includes a drawing by Scott of Dogwood Stable’s 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, a photograph of Dogwood’s late president, Cot Campbell, and art featuring Hitchcock Woods.

Shoes worn by golfer Kevin Kisner and a racket used by 2016 court tennis world singles champion Camden Riviere also are on display.

As for the atmosphere, the Richardsons designed The Whitney’s interior to be “an intimate gathering place where you can feel comfortable with your friends,” Angela said.

There is a red oak, mahogany-stained bar. The chairs and stools are upholstered in leather. And the lighting is subdued.

The menu is continental, said Angela, who serves as The Whitney’s chef.

Among the entrees, which range in price from $14 to $32, are pesto shrimp linguini, blackened salmon, chicken piccata, filet mignon and a Park Avenue pork chop.

“During our soft openings, there was a standout favorite, The Queen’s Roast,” Angela said. “The beef is fork tender. It’s braised in chunks, and it’s slow-simmered. It’s got nice bordelaise sauce, and it’s served with creamed potatoes and a ‘chef’s choice’ vegetable. The feedback on it has been amazing.”

Also on the menu are several salad options, a soup du jour, mussels, seared Ahi tuna and a shrimp cocktail.

“We source the freshest food we can find,” Angela said.

The Whitney is at 148 Laurens St. S.W., where the Richardsons’ Una Mas Taqueria used to be located.

Una Mas closed Sept. 1.

Angela said the same undisclosed Aiken investors who backed her and Scott when they had Una Mas also are involved in the Whitney.

Una Mas offered Latin American-style street food in a casual setting.

“We thought that Una Mas was a great addition to downtown,” Angela said. “It had a good reputation. We had a beer and wine license, and we made the decision to entertain expanding to a three-way license (to add liquor). That meant we needed to put in a bar.”

As the plan for the bar “started getting nicer idea wise,” Angela continued, “it was outpacing the Una Mas concept. When the two things ceased to line up, we made the decision to stay in this location and just bring a new concept to life. It was an evolutionary process.”

Scott is in charge of The Whitney’s bar.

The operating hours of The Whitney are 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

“Reservations are highly recommended,” Angela said.

For more information, call 803-226-0911 or 803-226-0914.

There is a Whitney Restaurant & Bar page on Facebook.

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