New Johns Island Mexican restaurant opens

JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (Lowcountry Weekend) - If you love Mexican cuisine, you have a new dining option in the Lowcountry.

Minero Mexican Grill & Cantina opened for dinner on Thursday at the space formerly occupied by The Fat Hen, at 3140 Maybank Highway.

The Neighborhood Dining Group says the opening marked a new chapter for the Minero name. The Johns Island location will continue its legacy of hand-pressed tortillas and Mexican favorites created by the former downtown Charleston Minero, with the addition of new menu items and an expanded indoor-outdoor footprint.

“We’re thrilled to bring Minero back in a new home on Johns Island, one of Charleston’s most exciting areas,” Neighborhood Dining Group President David Howard said. “Fans will recognize the same heart of what we do at Minero – attention to detail, great ingredients, and honoring Mexican traditions – but with a fresh take on both the menu and atmosphere. We can’t wait to serve Charleston once again and are appreciative of the warm welcome from the great residents of Johns Island.”

The kitchen is helmed by Executive Chef Shamil Velazquez, also of the group’s Delaney Oyster House, bringing inspiration from his Puerto Rican upbringing and chef-driven techniques to the newest outpost of the concept.

The menu is anchored by Minero staples like charcoal-grilled wings, tacos, and the burrito, as well as the tradition of making corn tortillas from scratch daily, but with exciting new additions for a fresh take on the Mexican concept.

Velazquez incorporates Latin American influences into the menu, including more seafood dishes, crudos, and ceviches, while drawing from Mexico’s coastal regions for inspiration.

“We knew the Minero favorites weren’t going anywhere on the menu, but we wanted to bring some additional elements, especially to highlight some of the great ingredients we get in the South and along our coast,” Velazquez said. “Mexican food can be celebrated through many different techniques, and I’m looking forward to bring a new perspective to the concept with the same emphasis on local ingredients and quality offerings.”

Click here to see the full menu.

Minero’s menu honors Mexico’s culinary traditions while weaving in inspiration from the culinary South.

The menu features longstanding Minero favorites including Charcoal-Grilled Wings tossed with Valentina; a Salsa Tasting including Benne, Rojo, and Verde; and the Minero Burrito featuring red rice, beans, Oaxaca cheese, crema, poblano, cabbage, cilantro, salsa verde, and avocado.

Exciting new additions include the Fajitas Al Carbon with charred onions, bell peppers, pico de gallo, crema, guacamole, red rice, beans, and housemade flour tortillas; the Yucatán Style Local Catch featuring crispy fingerling potatoes, pickled yum yum peppers, and pibil sauce; and Shrimp & Snapper Ceviche made with a ceviche sour michelada mix, cucumber, peanut, red onion, mandarin, radish and chips. The restaurant offers five signature tacos, including Fried Catfish or Grilled Fish, Cauliflower, Charcoal Chicken, Grilled Steak, and Pork Al Pastor. Select brunch items will be served on the weekends, including Steak and Eggs and Breakfast Burrito with hash brown, salsa verde, and huevos.

Beverages include the classic Minero Margarita with reposado and añejo tequilas, fresh lime, orange juice, curaçao, and agave, guests can personalize their margarita experience by DIY-ing it, adding a pineapple twist, boosting it for a crowd (the “Party” serves six), or even making it extra with a bottle-down Modelito and a choice of sidecar. Frozen concoctions, such as the Frosé Sangria and the El Santanico, and a comprehensive beer list featuring both Mexican and local options round out the alcoholic offerings, while a zero-proof margarita and refreshers provide plenty of options to abstain.

No reservations are needed. Seating is first-come, first-served.

The restaurant hours include dinner service on Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Happy Hour is Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The restaurant plans to add daytime service at a later date.

Patrick Phillips

Patrick joined the Live 5 News team in October 2006.