Enjoy the best of the Lowcountry at The Rusty Rudder- North Mt. Pleasant’s neighborhood Restaurant and Bar.
The Rusty Rudder Mount Pleasant serves chef crafted Lowcountry cuisine offering something for everyone including house smoked BBQ, award winning wings, pasta, local seafood, oysters, steak and more. Whether you’re looking for a delicious dinner, happy hour, live music, a friendly place to catch a game or just a great family friendly atmosphere The Rusty Rudder is your go-to spot in Mt. Pleasant.
And don’t forget our awesome outdoor patio and tiki bar equipped with fans and heaters, outdoor fireplace, oyster pit, farm tables, lounge seating, corn hole and TVs.
Operating owners Brian Johnston and Eric Paul opened the Rusty Rudder Mt. Pleasant in summer of 2014 with the idea of creating not only a restaurant that utilized the best flavors of the Lowcountry, but also one that focused on community.
“We have always wanted to create a place where the customers take ownership of it. The relationships we built with my patrons in Lake Norman over the past 15 years of business, are amazing, and I don’t expect anything less here,” said Brian Johnston, part-owner.
Whether you’re a local or just passing through The Rusty Rudder Mt. Pleasant gives you a true laid back local experience.
Brian, along with his business partner Eric Paul, opened the first Rusty Rudder location in 2002 in Lake Norman, North Carolina. Being a North Carolina native Brian grew up spending much time visiting Charleston and he always felt it would a great place to open another establishment. When the idea to open a second Rusty Rudder presented itself in 2014 Brian jumped at the opportunity to join the food and beverage community in the greater Charleston area. It also allowed him to be closer to his parents, brother, sister in-law and two nieces. “I was excited to be closer to family and to pursue all the opportunities with local seafood and lowcountry ingredients that the Charlotte area didn’t have access to,” said Brian.
Having built the Lake Norman Rusty Rudder from the ground up- choosing décor, managing renovations, hiring, being on the line, dish washing and everything in between- Brian understood the community effort that opening a restaurant takes, and knew Mt. Pleasant was a perfect place, to not only do business, but to be a part of the city as a whole.
“We have always wanted to create a place where the customers take ownership of it. The relationships I built with my patrons in Lake Norman over the past 15 years of business, are amazing, and we don’t expect anything less here,” said Brian.
Brian was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and graduated from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Brian returned to Charlotte after college where he managed citywide events for Charlotte Center City Partners. Through networking and new contacts Brian’s interest in opening a local restaurant grew, and soon became a reality. Brian lives in North Mt. Pleasant with his two Labrador retrievers, Rudder and Bailey. When he is not working the line, supporting local community efforts or saying hello to patrons, Brian enjoys football (he’s an avid Carolina Panthers fan), fishing, golf, attending concerts and spending time with his friends and family. When asked what his favorite Rudder menu item is Brian notes, “Everything is excellent of course. But I would have to go with the wings or shrimp and grits.”
Thomas has been engulfed in the world of food and beverage since the age of 16 while working in various positions at his father’s beer distribution company in McKeesport, PA. By the age of 21 he was offered a position with the Marriot Corporation in Orlando Florida where he worked as beverage manager until taking a position with Walt Disney World Resort where he was honored with Disney’s lifetime achievement award, Partners in Excellence.
Thomas owned and operated his own meeting and site selection business for over seven years, traveling the world to bring the best to his clients. In 2012 Thomas decided to make the most of Charleston’s booming food and beverage scene and joined the team at Bacco Italian restaurant where he remained as Front of House Manager until 2016.
Since joining the Rudder family Thomas notes, “the smoked brisket has quickly become my favorite.” When he’s not at The Rudder you can find Thomas dining at many of the other local establishments the Lowcountry has to offer. “I think it is invaluable to see and taste what others in our close knit community are offering,” says Thomas.
Thomas, a die-hard Steelers fan, and his wife Tracey reside in Mt. Pleasant, SC with their rescue kitty, Jordy.