“Nothing is ever free. If you don’t reinvest in the community that supports you, how long do you think you will thrive? How do you gain the respect of those who support you with out earning it,” asks Swig & Swine co-owner and pitmaster Anthony DiBernardo. It’s these questions and this attitude that pushes DiBernardo to not only build a successful barbecue restaurant, but to make it a valuable part of the West Ashley community.
Since opening the doors to Swig & Swine along with partners Steve Kish and Jonathan Kish just over a year ago, DiBernardo has made a point to give back to the community, which has supported him. While getting a new restaurant off the ground is time-consuming enough, DiBernardo still finds time to do hours of volunteer work and donate thousands of dollars in food for various causes.
It’s for these efforts that the West Ashley-James Island Business Association (WAJIBA) awarded DiBernardo with its quarterly Community Award for his volunteer work at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 26 at the top of the Holiday Inn Riverview.
Also serving as the president of the Charleston Restaurant Association, DiBernardo leads by example, demonstrating to other restaurateurs in the area the importance of supporting the community that supports you. Most recently he organized meals for the Charleston Ronald McDonald house for 47 days while the non-profit organization was under construction to add rooms and was without a kitchen.
A few months ago, Swig & Swine teamed up with fellow West Ashley barbecue joint Home Team BBQ for a fundraiser called Holmes Team, which benefited a 5-year-old boy who was suffering from brain cancer.
Within the last year DiBernardo has also provided food at fundraisers for Surfers Healing, Camp Happy Days, Toys For Tots, Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary, St. Andrews School of Math & Science (SOA), and Charleston County School of the Arts. Last year he helped raise more than $10,000.00 for SOA so it could buy new instruments for its students.
Since opening Swig & Swine, DiBernardo has received heaps of praise for his masterful smoked beef brisket and pork, including being named to the The Hottest Restaurants in Charleston by Eater Charleston, Zagat’s list of Top 15 Hottest BBQ Joints Across the U.S., Charleston Magazine’s 50 Food & Bev Faves, and First Place People’s Choice Pork at the third Annual Smoke on the Harbor event.
But the WAJIBA Community Pride Award is a different kind of award for DiBernardo, it recognizes the work he does beyond the all-nighters stoking the coals at Swig & Swine tending to his award winning food. This award comes from his fellow area business owners who have taken note at how DiBernardo has used his success to help others in the community.
“It’s nice to be recognized by your peers for your contributions,” says DiBernardo. “We do a lot for others, not to be recognized, but I think when it gets the right attention you help raise the bar for other businesses and the end result is more going back to the community.”
Swig & Swine is located at 1217 Savannah Hwy. For more information, call 225-3805 or visit www.swigandswinebbq.com. For more information about WAJIBA, email

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