“'Bartending is one of the last professions that still has a mystique,' Singleton, who is widely known as 'Smiley' and has been at it for 19 years. A teetotaler himself, he describes his regulars as 'very sophisticated, interesting people, who are extremely knowledgeable about the world. I learn a lot from them, and they learn a lot from me. I’ve been known to give lectures from behind the bar.' In keeping with the restaurant’s Southern flavor, Singleton’s most common request is for Margaritas, but there isn’t a cocktail, no matter what you call it, that throws him. 'There are basically four, maybe five, drinks, and everything else is just a variation on the theme.
A Matter of Taste: A Short, Savvy Menu with Lots of Style, by Robert Levey, Oct. 3, 1985
"The restaurant opened just five weeks ago in the former location of the Turtle Cafe. Owners Chris Schlesinger and Cary Wheaton spiffed up the interior with lots of light green high gloss paint and hints of Deco design in the lighting scheme. The open grilling station that is in full view at the back of the restaurant contributes some enjoyable steamy atmosphere."
Our Story, by Chris Schlesinger, 2005
"The East Coast Grill opened its doors on August, 18, 1985. At that point it seemed a pretty risky venture. Although my partner, Cary Wheaton, and I had plenty of restaurant experience, we had no business experience. Restaurants have high failure rates and a lot of folks didn’t think Inman Square was that good of a location. And you know what? If I had known then, what I know now, I definitely would have talked us out of doing such a crazy thing – but we were young, fearless, and had a dream of opening a restaurant."