A Charleston native, Darren Smith worked in several area restaurants as the culinary scene was beginning to bloom. While running restaurants in the Mt. Pleasant area he met his wife Cyndi. They were married in 1992 and set a plan in action to open their own restaurant. Rivertown Bistro opened it’s doors in June of 1994. Located in historic downtown Conway, the contemporary urban restaurant continues to garner many culinary accolades for its ever evolving seasonal menus and exemplary wine list. Chef Smith continues to follow his focus of thinking globally while purchasing locally and reaping the rewards of his own garden.

Continually forging relationships with other local farmers, artisans and fish mongers he is able to create a menu that encompasses many cultures and cuisines while remaining rooted in the lowcountry. Basically, Darren and his crew of chefs cook what they like to eat, whether its homey comfort, cutting edge eclectic, or just simple fresh seafood.

For two decades Rivertown Bistro has been the destination dining restaurant for all of its surrounding counties. Locals have their favorite dishes and are always interested in what is being pickled, aged, fermented, and what the next hot sauce may be. Away from the restaurant, Darren has a strong commitment to giving back and has participated in many Meals on Wheels events for the Lowcountry food bank, and more closer to home, has helped open and run The Shepherd’s Table, a soup kitchen for the Conway area.

2005 brought the arrival of the Smith’s daughter, Sophia, and she has become a permanent fixture and constant joy at the “Bistro” from seating guests in the dining room to helping in the pastry kitchen. Sophia is growing up to be a true restaurant child ensuring that her father stays committed to his craft, firmly footed in the present, cognizant of the past, with an eye on the future.