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Photo of Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer

Managing Partner

He formed the Charleston-based hospitality and consulting group The Indigo Road in 2009 when he began working with the celebrated restaurant Oak Steakhouse on historic Broad Street. He went on to open O-Ku, The Cocktail Club, The Macintosh, Oak Table, Indaco, Oak Steakhouse, Colletta, Mercantile and Mash, Bar Mash, The Cedar Room, Town Hall, The Granary & Donetto. Several projects are also in the works including O-Ku in DC, Raleigh, and Nashville, Tiny Lou’s in ATL and Sukoshi in Charlotte. He attributes the company’s rapid growth and success to his loyal and dedicated team; maintains the philosophy that great service starts with well cared for employees. By promoting from within and continuing to create new opportunities for his staff, he developed a strong company culture that is reflected within the walls of each of his concepts, resulting in an unwavering level of hospitality experienced by guests and patrons. 

He served as VP of food and beverage for the Ginn Clubs and Resorts where he managed eleven properties in the Southeast and the Caribbean, while still developing other hospitality concepts for the company. Eventually served as the lead developer for Ginn Resorts and developed over $100 million in hotel and club space. His passion for and commitment to the hospitality industry has been palpable since the age of 13 when he worked as a dishwasher. Later promoted to a line cook at the legendary Houston’s in ATL, his unassuming beginnings in the hospitality arena granted him a comprehensive understanding of the restaurant industry that later led to the success of establishments throughout SC and FL. Following his experiences as a member of the opening team at Magnolias, one of Charleston, most celebrated restaurants, He was charged with the task of opening Magnolias’ sister restaurant, Blossom. Co-developed and trained the staff on The Fourteen Elements of The Guest Experience which helped establish a lifelong commitment to service. In 1995 he was recruited as wine director and service manager of Canoe in ATL which received a James Beard nomination for Best New Restaurant in 1996 and was also named one of the Top Five Anticipated Restaurant openings in 1995 by USA Today. Returned to Charleston to become a founding partner for Eidolon, a consulting company specializing in luxury restaurants whose client list includes Planters Inn, Peninsula Grill and Hanks Seafood (the latter two are both past recipients of the Best Restaurant awards in Esquire), and 2nd Empire in Raleigh, N.C. Took another hiatus from Charleston to work with The Ritz Carlton St. Louis where he co-created the largest private dining wine cellar in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain, earning praise from both Wine Spectator and Santé magazine. He then returned to Charleston to become managing partner at the esteemed Peninsula Grill. 

Under his management, Peninsula Grill garnered a Relais & Châteaux designation and recognition as one of the country’s best restaurants in Esquire, USA Today and Wine Spectator. In January 2017, The Post & Courier named him the 2nd most powerful food and beverage industry player in Charleston, recognized not only for his growing presence in the hospitality business but also for his charitable and community efforts. A longtime supporter of Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry and Charleston’s Feed the Need coalition, also founded Ben’s Friends, a food and beverage industry support group for professionals who struggle with substance abuse and addiction.