Charleston Nightlife • A Complete Guide

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Charleston Nightlife


Welcome to Charleston’s #1 nightlife guide.

On this page, you’ll discover the vibrant and varied nightlife scene in Charleston. You’ll find the perfect venue for you and your preferred night out. Whether you want to go all-out clubbing or if you’d like a more laid back dinner and drinks with a view, we’ve got your covered.

Enjoy!

Charleston, South Carolina is worth exploring at night just as well as during its brighter hours, whether you are a regular visitor or are visiting for the first time. You will find a wide range of late-night dining options, drinking establishments, and live music throughout the streets of the Holy City. Even after the sun goes down, the fun never stops in Charleston.

Every night there is bound to be unforgettable, whether at music venues or dance or comedy clubs, friendly pubs or city festivals. Charleston offers several attractions for tourists to enjoy during the day, including cobblestone streets, colorful homes, historic sites, and art galleries. In addition to its acclaimed bars and restaurants, the city also offers a vibrant nighttime scene thanks to its student population and moderate climate.

Charleston’s nightlife scene may be a little tame compared to Savannah (sorry, no open-air container parties here), but there are plenty of options: elegant bar lounges, breweries with live entertainment, and nightclubs with house DJs.

There is plenty of fine dining and relaxed barbecue joints in Charleston, and there are also plenty of bars. You’ll find a variety of options, everywhere you look. You can also find local beer and craft cocktails

Charleston bars and nightclubs 

There is a lot of socializing going on in Charleston. The place you’ll encounter is equally exciting in the evening as it is in the daytime. Whether you wish to party the night away or simply socialize with your buddies on the piazza, the atmosphere here is the right one for you. Whether you’re going out on rooftops or enjoying the best happy hours, there’s something to do in Charleston at any time. While most bars in Charleston are located along Market Street and Upper King Street, there is also a number further out. Enjoy the outdoors on the patio of Bay Street Biergarten, or bowl at The Alley as part of your party plans. For those interested in an exciting night out, Cure Nightclub or Edmund’s Oast are some of the popular alternatives to Charleston’s wildest nightclub. The following bars are great for a drink at a bar at any time of day – including happy hour and some last call – in Charleston:

  1. Edmund’s Oast

In Charleston, they serve both locally sourced, delicious fresh-caught and freshly picked meals at the same time as brews from local Charleston breweries. Located within a short ride or drive to Morrison Drive in downtown Charleston, Edmund’s Oast specializes in cheese plates, Lowcountry beef and poultry, and daily fish specials that changes daily based on supply. Chefs, kitchen staff, and front-of-the-house staff all seem to take their jobs seriously at the Brewpub, maintaining a sense of community and frequent training, all while maintaining excellent food and service. The Edmund’s Oast offers fantastic food and a cozy environment, but beer enthusiasts are sure to find something to delight them, including both local and unique foreign beers. The Edmund’s Oast Brewing Company produces a large variety of beer packaged in kegs, cans, and bottles for distribution to a broad audience. Edmund’s Oast’s dessert menu is not to be missed! You might not have enough room for dessert; take it to-go if you must. Spread among 20,000 square feet, Edmund’s is a brewery, restaurant, and taproom called Edmund’s Oast is located at 1505 King Street, Charleston, SC at Pacific Box & Crate. They believe that “Quality comes first. Everything else follows”.

  1. The Royal American

With an ideal location on Morrison Drive just minutes from the entertainment district of Charleston and the city’s thriving bar scene, The Royal American has attracted a crowd following ever since it opened its doors in late 2011. In its festive exterior and worn-in interior, The Royal American attracts regulars with its no-frills, comfortable ambience and regular live music on weekends. From the stools and standing spots behind the small stage, anyone can witness a great show with vintage string lights and band posters adorning the walls. It’s relatively cheap to drink at bars, and live music is generally only $5 to $10. The Royal American’s affordable and comfortable atmosphere makes it an ideal hangout spot on a weekday after work or on any leisurely weekend night. Aside from great dive bar eats, the Royal American serves some great drinks! Make sure you taste the beef jerky as well as the beef tips. The bar is right next to a stage, there’s an exterior patio, a side patio, and if you’re lucky, you might hear the whistleblowing as a train passes just outside the building. For $8, the stadium cup punch (made of rum, bourbon, or Kool-Aid green vodka) will always be the best choice, as well as a can of beer or a shot of the cinnamon whiskey. Simplicity is key!

  1. Vintage Lounge 

A dark nightclub called Torch and B’s Betty Berry once occupied this space. In an elegant space that suggests a chic European hotel, the space has been transformed by Berry Interiors. In this restaurant, every element revolves around wine, from the cocktails to the wine flights to the range of wines available by the glass and bottle. You can even purchase “The Blind” for just $10, which you can obtain at no charge if you guess its contents. You’ll also find an impressive assortment of charcuterie, cheese and small plates available at this wine bar. The space offers live music and a lovely patio as well as a variety of award-winning interiors.

  1. The Bar at Husk

Are you unable to book a table at the celebrated Husk? Make sure to head to the bar located downstairs of the restaurant. All the burgers, the bourbon selection, and the smooth-but-boozy cocktails have caught your attention, and you finally have the chance to try them. Despite its dark and sexy interior, the bar is not at all like that of a theme park. It’s a long bar and a bar seating area on the exposed brick wall facing it-but open your wallets because, on Friday and Saturday nights, it will be jam-packed with thirsty diners. As a last resort, you can head upstairs or snag a table at the designated restaurant, Husk, if you need space.

  1. Bay Street Biergarten

Unlike what you might think of when you think of a sports bar, Bay Street Biergarten stands out, which is a good thing. The big game can be viewed here without dealing with throngs of people or crowded conditions. Besides a wide range of craft beers, you’ll be able to try an extensive menu that more lends itself to eating rather than sitting and waiting for the game. Bay Street Biergarten serves up small meals to warm you up before you dig into bigger meals like gourmet burgers and sandwiches on the menu. The drinks are more intended to complete leisurely afternoons and evenings spent watching sports. The second patio bar out front keeps the Bay Street Biergarten from feeling overcrowded, although it can hold all of your friends. This sports bar and beer garden are centered around beer, but sports enthusiasts will cherish the rowdy atmosphere as well as the several televisions showing their favorite games.

  1. The Alley

Because of its location in downtown Charleston, The Alley has earned its reputation as Charleston’s only bowling alley. Open seven days a week and with squeaky clean lanes, the retro-style bowling alley is a hot spot for bowlers of all abilities. When you walk into The Alley for the first time, you can see how much more there is to offer than just bowling. At The Alley, you’ll find far more than pub fare. Besides burgers and sandwiches, they have a list of craft beers from local and regional breweries. When waiting for your turn, you can also play arcade games. In addition to the college and pro games shown on the TV screens, The Alley is a true sports bar in every sense of the word. The Alley is the perfect place to watch while drinking and playing! A great selection of beer, bowling, and a huge space to enjoy a game or watch one are just a few of the things you can enjoy at The Alley. Unique to Charleston, it offers an experience you won’t find anywhere else. Aside from eight bowling lanes and arcade games, the space features a restaurant with 150 seats, a bar with a 40ft length, and an event space. You will find a bowling alley here, but there is also a sports bar! Enjoy some local beers while watching a game that’s taking place in the Alley. 

  1. The Cocktail Club

Located on the roof of the company, the lounge features several infused drinks, premium liquors, and drinks made with locally sourced ingredients, along with light snacks. It’s hidden away on top of the Macintosh building in King Street, but it remains a touch of sophistication with its interior and the roof gives it a throwback appeal. The restaurant also uses the rooftop garden to make its syrup and garnishes. Live music isn’t the only event at the bar. Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m., they hold a Bourbon Happy Hour which includes specialty bourbons and ryes for $5. Entering the Cocktail Club is like stepping back into the prohibition era of Charleston. Cocktail craftsmanship and service at The Cocktail Club are of the highest quality. Consider joining the Cocktail Club if you visit Charleston regularly or live-in town. As a member of the Cocktail Club, you will receive a 50% discount during happy hour, no waiting in line, invitations to the bi-annual cocktail party, one complimentary cocktail class per year, and an invitation to member-only spirits tasting. There is a $300 per couple or $200 per individual membership fee.

  1. Rooftop Bar at The Vendue

Amid a refined setting, this bar boasts views of the harbor, live music, tasty small bites, and great beverages. Known for its panoramic, unforgettable views of the Charleston Harbor and East Bay Street architecture, The Rooftop at Vendue was recently renovated, rebranded, and remodeled as Charleston’s Art Hotel. Out-of-towners love The Rooftop for its classic beauty, top-notch hospitality, and cultivated art scene, which introduces them to the classic cultural beauty of Charleston. On weekdays and some weeknights, Vendue Rooftop will be full, especially if the weather is perfect for drinking and dining outdoors. Views are the main reason guests go to The Rooftop at Vendue, but the service, signature cocktails, and craft beer menu are also highlights. What could be better than classic bar service and a view that rivals those in Charleston? That’s exactly what you need. Pin art that is life-size and interactive? Those are also available. If you are visiting the Vendue Rooftop before midnight, you will not be able to catch the gorgeous sunset from here.  

  1. Cure Nightclub 

Cure Nightclub in downtown Charleston features dancing, drag shows, and decent company. This LGBT epicenter offers the city’s best music, the most comfortable, and most fun club environment. People 18 & up are welcome at this LGBT bar, which serves both premium and affordable house liquors. Weekends at Cure Nightclub are packed with people from 2 am to 2 am. The doors are open Friday to Sunday nights. Cure used to be known (and loved) as The Pantheon, but now it’s a nightlife destination for all ages, whenever it’s open–the ideal place to celebrate the weekend (till closing time in Charleston). Check out Cure’s famed drag shows every Friday and Saturday at 11:30 p.m. and every Sunday at 11 p.m. On Sunday fun days, there are no cover charges at Cure, which is one of the gay clubs of Charleston. A variety of local talent headlines the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday drag shows at the Cure. Dance and dress up to spice up your week!    

  1. Voodoo Tiki Bar and Lounge 

With its eclectic mix of tiki goth, fortune tellers, and dive bars, Voodoo has been welcoming everyone for years as well as a Subway sandwich shop, both located in the now-crowded downtown area. The bar slings drinks for years, so regulars are everywhere, and there are DJ parties and Drag Queen Bingo nights. If you arrive early, the place is chill; if you arrive after 10 p.m., the place will likely be hopping. Try flaming Voodoo bowls to share if you’re at a table. Tip: Tiki drinks are the centerpiece here. The concoctions made by Caroline are a must-try while you’re at the bar. In addition to creating infusions for the specials boards, the bar manager has been working in the bar for years.

Exploring some amazing eateries and restaurants 

It isn’t uncommon to find food and drinks served together in Charleston bars. If you want to get a taste of the fun at Club Fish, stop by Fish for a late dinner before it transforms into “Club Fish” on Saturday night, or stop by Royal American for cheap beers and meals any time of the day.

  1. Revelry Brewing

This local brewery is an excellent place to enjoy beer day or night, and offers some of Charleston’s best locally brewed beers for patrons of all ages (over 21). Revelry Brewing’s award-winning selection is highlighted by such beers as Coastal Cream Ale, Funkmaster Brett, and Oh My Darlin’ Scotch Ale. It’s a popular place for locals because Revelry has plenty of outdoor space, including heated areas in winter and shaded areas in summer. At the bar, there are also many tables and chairs. In addition to food (as required by South Carolina law), there’s a cheese and meat platter available. A great hangout spot for an after-work beer or late-night flight-sharing is the Revelry, a casual patio restaurant and bar with a great downtown location. Revelry hosts numerous events all year long. Many of these events are held during the day as opposed to in the evening. Before you visit, don’t forget to check out their Facebook page.

  1. Torch Velvet Lounge Dance and Night Club

Torch, 545 King Street, Charleston, SC – Years ago, Upper King was lightly trodden, when Torch was the newest nightlife on the block. A new nightclub in Charleston has become one of the trendiest nightclubs where one can see DJs nightly and smoke tobacco hookah. Known for its good-looking crowd and comfortable atmosphere, the club has sexy decor and a comfy atmosphere. You can lose yourself on the wraparound couch in the backroom!

  1. Graft Wine Shop 

In addition to the bottle shop, Graft is a tavern where owners like to socialize. At the nine-seat bar, if you sit down at the bar, you can make friends with them. Vinyl is playing, customers come through the door ordering wine, and tasting notes and terroir are discussed on occasion. However, there is no pretense here. Drink good juice, that’s what Graft wants. You probably haven’t heard of most of these wines unless you are studying for the Court of Master Sommeliers exam. Prices are friendly enough to encourage experimentation, and Coravins provide some fancy drinks that aren’t always available at the big-name places.

  1. Stems & Skins

Stems is a great place to learn more about wines and it feels like it is a conversation with a colleague who is friend-like. Because the people who built this place couldn’t cram you all into their living room, so they built it. There are a variety of menus available as soon as you walk in, from cheeses to canned seafood to Coravin by the glass. It all seems downright easy because the service is so great, considering the range of wine types and regions. 

Live Music Venue

  1. Silver Dollar 

There is music almost every night of the week at this college bar located near the College Of Charleston, with a lot of students enjoying the bar each night. There are also some pool tables available, where you can play some sticks.

  1. O’Brions Pub 

The O’Brions Irish Pub serves tasty food and loud music at 520 Folly Rd, Suite A, Charleston, SC (James Island). There are plenty of TV’s for any sports event, as well as live music nightly. In addition to this location, there are two others located in Mount Pleasant. Both are off Highway 41 in Ion.

Exclusive places to stay

  1. Francis Marion Hotel

Located in Charleston’s historic district, the Francis Marion Hotel provides unparalleled views of the harbor. 

  1. Emeline

Emeline’s whimsical accommodations provide a comfortable stay after a busy day spent uncovering all the notable points of interest around the area. Travelers looking for a journey are catered to with thoughtfully designed retreats. The hotel’s comfortable, modern rooms come with branded linens by Matouk and Red Flower amenities, including Crosley turntables and vinyl records. In Charleston’s historic district, Emeline is surrounded by rows of colorful houses on cobblestone streets. Over 13,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event spaces are available to guests. A restaurant specializing in wood-fired food, a coffee shop, an art gallery, and a fitness center are at guests’ disposal.

  1. The Dewberry Charleston

Within walking distance of the Gaillard Center, shopping and dining on King Street, and Museum Mile, The Dewberry has located just steps from downtown Charleston’s vibrant culture. In addition to several event spaces, the Living Room brass bar, the whimsical rooftop lounge Citrus Club and treatments using Lowcountry botanicals and ocean-inspired ingredients, guests will enjoy several waterside event spaces at The Living Room.

Apart from these famous places, you may also try The Meeting Street Inn, The Jasmine House, Zero George Street, etc. to name a few.

Conclusion

So, what are you waiting for? Charleston is a very lively place to explore if you want to try some flavors for live music, great dancing, fusion food and amazing places to visit whether you are a day explorer or a night wanderer, Charleston has a place for everybody. Get be ready to enjoy your next vacation or weekend getaway with friends or family in Charleston and you won’t be disappointed.

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