Coterie is the intersection of food, drink, people, culture, and ideas. It’s a melding of customs and concepts, drawn from Jeremy’s extensive work and travels in Asia, and his experiences in New York and California.
As a concept, Coterie has been the long-standing dream for Jeremy and Viraj Borkar, a culinary entrepreneur based in New York City. They met while working on Project Sara, a pop-up restaurant and catering company, and immediately hit it off thanks to their common love for Indian cuisine and exciting flavors. This shared bond led to more pop-up experiences, with Viraj curating the food and Jeremy designing a cocktail menu. In 2017, Viraj presented Jeremy with an interesting opportunity: heading up the bar program at an upscale restaurant in Colaba, Mumbai. After two years living in South and South East Asia, Jeremy decided to bring a distilled version of his experiences to Charleston.
In partnership with Chef Viraj Borkar, Jeremy wanted to tell a new story: one that presented Indian cuisine in an approachable setting with a distinctly southern charm. Coterie serves all-day fare and features creatively curated Indian food, but without the clichéed, bombastic flare that often accompanies Indian restaurants – making it inviting to everyone who appreciates a good meal, and a great cocktail.
Viraj – Chef/Partner
Viraj is an Indian-born chef-entrepreneur based in NYC. He obtained a degree in hospitality from IHM Mumbai, and gathered hand-on experience in Dubai and India. In the US, he trained at the Culinary institute of America, and went on to work at top dining establishments, including Tabla, Eleven Madison Park, Jean-Georges, ABC Kitchen, and Bocuse D’Or with James Kent. From here, he went on to help secure Tamarind Tribeca’s Michelin Star and a James Beard win for Rasika, by directing and implementing new business strategies, operation designs and menu engineering.
Through Phil Suarez, Viraj was introduced to Bass Ratnam, and the pair would go on to co-create INDAY. For INDAY, Viraj co-created 3 operating models, 37 different menu reiterations, and labor models to suit the brand’s ambitious needs.
Viraj founded Project Sara, a restaurant model that gives up-and-coming chefs a platform to demonstrate their talent – a platform that he used to advocate for immigrants, as well. He also created and tested a program for restaurant employee wellness.
It was during Project Sara Viraj and Jeremy met. Their bonding was over two common grounds – their love and passion for cocktails and their respect towards cross cultural pollination of flavors woven together.
Syd – Sous Chef
Sa’Quan – Head bartender
Charleston born and Brooklyn raised mixologist, Sa’Quan, returned to the low country during high school. In 2014, Sa’Quan joined a program called Teach the Need which helped high schoolers learn and understand the basics of working in a restaurant and what it truly means to be hospitable. This pivotal moment changed his career path from Computer Science to Food and Beverage.
Holy City’s close knit industry creatives including Tommy Hall, Femi Oyedriran and Mickey Bakst opened a meadow of opportunity which lead Sa’Quan to 9 years of experience in Chucktown’s well known bars and restaurants.
Fueled by his passion for mixology, he plans to continue innovating and developing new drinks that patrons will love.
Jeremy & Jital – Founders
Founded by Jeremy Buck, restaurateur/craft cocktail specialist and his wife, Jital Vaghela, former international apparel design consultant. They opened the doors of Coterie, Downtown Charleston in 2020 with a focus on experience, community, and hospitality. Coterie spotlights the art of elevated libations and beautifully curated modern Indian fare by Viraj Brokar in an artisanal space.