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New Mexican-Inspired Eatery Maya Opens Friday

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From The Indigo Road Hospitality Group, Maya is a regionally-inspired Mexican eatery set to open its doors on Friday, September 24th in downtown Charleston. When the group decided to retire new American, farm-to-table establishment, The Macintosh earlier this year, Restauranteur Steve Palmer and Indigo Road Chief Restaurant Officer Jon Murray began to envision the next chapter for the lively space on Upper King Street—one that pulls inspiration from past travels and experiences, a common theme for the restaurant group’s portfolio.

Born from the love of Mexico’s coastal region, where the jungle meets the sea, Maya’s breezy interiors, flavorful bites, and tropical cocktails offer a resort-inspired retreat from the everyday.

On the Menu & Behind the Bar
 

An alumnus of NYC’s Michelin-starred Claro, Executive Chef Brett Riley is well-versed in the authentic cooking techniques and traditional formulas of Mexican cuisine. Guided by these principles, the menu captures Mexico’s unique regional landscapes through an inspired and curated menu featuring shareable ‘antojitos’ or starters, tacos, formidable ‘platos fuertes’ or composed plates, as well as ‘a lado’ or side dishes. Celebrating authentic Mexican ingredients and techniques, the restaurant’s in-house masa program utilizes a traditional nixtamalization process and corn sourced from Mexico to produce fresh tortillas, chips, and tostadas for the selection of classic and reimagined Mexican dishes with hints of coastal influence. Menu standouts include Esquites made with Fresh Corn Off the Cob, Ancho Chile Mayo, Serrano Chile, Epazote, and Cotija Cheese; Duck Carnitas Taco with Confit Duck, Guac Taquero, Escabeche, and Chicharron; and Gobernador, a quesadilla rendition of the classic taco with Chipotle Shrimp, Poblano Chile Rajas, Red Onion, and Cilantro. At Maya, there’s no shortage of innovative offerings, including several plant-based and vegetarian offerings from Flor de Calabaza tacos made with masa tempura fried squash blossoms to potato and cheese stuffed Entomatadas.

Spirit-forward cocktails—available on tap, frozen, and handcrafted—are brought to life with authentic Mexican ingredients like Spanish Vanilla, Morita Chiles, Tamarind, and Sotol. Anchored by the “a la casa” Margarita and Paloma, both available on tap, the beverage menu offers a selection of innovative cocktails from the Hotel Oaxaca, made with Mezcal, White Flowers, Pineapple, Lime, and Peach; to the Pajarito with Rum, Saffron, Smoke, Cinnamon, Lime, Passion Fruit, and Absinthe. Mirroring ingredients and flavor profiles of the restaurant’s culinary offerings, Silver Spoon incorporates Mole alongside Mexican spirits Añejo Tequila and Sotol; while the Tarragon in the Wind is made with Bourbon, Lemon, Orange, Coriander, Oak, and Tarragon. Guests can also enjoy a selection of worldly wines curated by Sommelier Vonda Freeman, Mexican cervezas, and a plentiful list of spirit-free mocktails.

The Space
 

Inspired by the Mexican coastline where the jungle meets the sea, good times and positive vibes await guests at Maya. Expertly designed by Charleston-based David Leboutillier of The Restaurant Studio, Maya’s interiors welcome nature indoors and embrace the region’s eco-design and Zen modern aesthetic. With coastal vibes flush with bright whites, reclaimed timber, and organic furnishings, the dining room features 44 seats alongside a 16-seat bar and standing-only drink rail for guests seeking a casual, social outpost.

The minimalistic aesthetic and natural elements—including pottery pendant lighting, palm fronds, cascading greenery, and candle lighting—immerse guests into a retreat indicative of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, where daytime cocktails at a laid-back bar transition to a dance party under a full moon. On the open-air patio, the 10-seat bar and 34 additional outdoor seats offer front row access to the restaurant’s evening activity, including live music, open-fire cooking demonstrations on the restaurant’s comal, and more.

Hours of Operation

Maya will open its doors to the public on Friday, September 24 for dinner service, Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. with extended late-night hours until 2 a.m. Thursday-Saturday. Additional hours for brunch will be announced at a later date. Reservations can be made via Resy, though walk-ins are also encouraged. For more information, please visit www.mayachs.com.
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