Charleston and booze goes together like…
PB&J, Office reruns at the end of a long day, Pancakes for a hangover, Flava-flav and giant clocks, your Mom needing tech support to log into facebook,….
…needless to say this town has no shortage of spots to gather, imbibe and socialize over discounted bites. As a disclaimer, this is a list of personal preference and in no order of absolute best. Just places in my years of hanging around and watching my waistline steadily increase that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.
Without further ado, whether you’re in for a visit or just in search of a new spot to try, here’s a few of this guys favorites:
*Oh yea, before we get started, had to mention one Memoriam of:
Many of you normal millennials won’t remember this spot, but that’s because you were probably still googling ‘how to make jello shots’ while rocking your (insert SEC school here) hat. However, this Elder Millennial was a fanboy of what most tourists now know as Poogans Smokehouse. SOCIAL was too big for it’s own good. Unsure of whether it was a fine-dining restaurant, event space, happy hour spot or late night bar. For all it’s flaw though, the bar was where we would gather in mass for the best bang for buck happy hour of brick-oven pizza, fried risotto balls and decent selection of wines…. All half off! Yea, believe me, there was many a SOCIAL carb that fueled me from 2011-13.
May you Rest In Peace old friend…
The entire happy hour menu is $4 at 4:30 p.m. at Edmund’s Oast. Oh and the bites are pretty damn good. The Thai peanut wings, awesome. The deviled eggs, perfect. The Spicy pimento cheese balls, (terribly unhealthy) so friggin (imagine Peter-Griffen accent) good. The fancy Brew-Pub has a casual, but elegant interior that includes a giant wall of their 50+ beers on tap. Beers include local favorites, but also a couple of their own whacky creations like the ‘Peanut Butter & Jelly Lager’. If beers aren’t your thing, the mixologists make a pretty damn good cocktail or the wine list has enough variety for you to find something to imbibe.
Once Charleston decides to turn off ‘insta-sweat’ setting, the outdoor area is expansive. Long communal tables, fire pits and a full outdoor bar make for a pretty decent spot once you can dust off your favorite flannel (or lets be honest 90% of you will be rocking some variety of Barbour jacket),
Ok, so you want sports in a massive bar from a couple former NY ex-pats who know what good pizza actually tastes like? Oh and you want the entire bar half off from 4-8PM everyday? Cool, then you’ll love Uptown. If you live here and know the bar, you know they’re making bank off CofC kids, recent college grads, bachelor/bachelorette parties who come for the 2 DJs up/downstairs, line up tequila shots and dance to music we’ve never heard of… But what do you care, you’re here for a good happy hour and between the pies (pizza, not your grandmas peach pie), wings and drink deals, it’s already a killer happy hr. Add in the fact it’s one of few places you can take a big group, regularly get a table and catch the game…. You had me at March Madness.
If there is one downside, it is parking, but thank goodness for Lyft/Uber
Ah a rooftop not everyone frequents. On top of the Grand Bohemian Hotel, just off the very well beaten path of King St (2 blocks over on Meeting, I bet you take a pedi-cab), and with a confusing enough elevator access situation that it wards off massive crowds. However, M-F from 4-6PM you can grab 1/2 Rosé. Naturally you’ll pair them with truffle fries and a perfect photo for IG of your inexpensive pink drink, fries and sunsetting over the perfectly manicured rooftop w/ plus sized lounge furniture. Lets be honest, it’s a pretty amazing place to kick up your feet and spend a post work Wednesday.
Sooooooooooo-chi (as my great-grandma would pronounce it). If you’re a big fan of raw fish served on fancy plates while being surrounded by similarly fancy people, this is your spot. Actually, jokes aside it’s a killer deal. M/W/F this is one of few happy hrs you’re going to want to book ahead of time. Why? Because this spot offers up 1/2 off rolls from 5-7 w/ a few deals on specialty drinks as well. If you’ve got 2 people, grab a spot at the bar. Just watch out for Lexi’s elbow. She might be so pumped how pretty her 1/2 off Spicy Salmon was presented, that perfect portrait mode photo may come at the expense of a dirty martini on your shirt.
Ahhhh, old habits die hard. For as long as I’ve been happy-houring in Charleston, CO has been there. Like a perfectly toasted grilled cheese sandwich; dependable, delicious, always there. TBH this place has always been less happy hour and more inexpensive variety dinner. Ever have that friend that wants to order one of everything off the menu? That’d be me. Fortunately most of the menu (which truly allows you to eat dim-sum style) converts into 3 tiers of $3, $4, $5 options during happy hour. Think seared ahi tuna tacos, pork belly sticky bunds, seaweed salad, and variety of dumplings. Cozy up to the bar or grab a table with friends. Only downside to CO (and reason I don’t frequent as often these days), is it’s on lower king… Sooooo, parking…. Meh.
There are many (and i mean many) great spots around town for happy hour. As of 2019 these are my personal favorites. I recommend you try all of these and more, as will I. The list is sure to change as each year passes, but one thing we can always count on is there will be no shortage of culinary delights to come from our beloved town.