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Charleston’s First ‘Sodary’ Adds More Nonalcoholic Options (and Fondue) to the Bar Scene

Sweatman’s Garden recently opened in West Ashley

A plant wall, plus yellow, blue, and purple couches.
There are plenty of plush seats and plants at Sweatman’s Garden.
Erin Perkins
Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas, covering the food and restaurant scene across North and South Carolina.

What is a “sodary”? It’s not exactly a word anyone will find in the English dictionary, but according to food and beverage vets Danielle and Brent Sweatman, it’s the newest bar in West Ashley offering a wide range of gourmet sodas. The couple recently opened Sweatman’s Garden (90 Folly Road Boulevard) in the South Windermere Shopping Center.

The space, formerly Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen, lives up to the garden name with a thriving plant wall, wood accents, and wallpaper depicting cheetahs and greenery. Danielle says they were going for a “1970s disco jungle vibe.”

The menu starts off with a strong list of fancy sodas with choices like habanero fresca or the OG ginger beer. Brent made a name for himself in the Charleston bar scene when he helped open King Street diner the Rarebit (474 King Street) with his own ginger beer on tap, along with homemade bitters, tonic, root beer, and seasonal sodas.

All of the sodas are nonalcoholic, but for an extra $5, the bartenders can add the customer’s choice of house liquor or a cannabis-based infusion. “We really wanted to make [Sweatman’s Garden] inclusive,” says Danielle, “If you’re not drinking, but all your friends drink, you can come and hang out with them and not feel uncomfortable or weird — and you don’t have to have a boring drink.” The bar also offers beer and wine.

And why fondue? Danielle says she absolutely loves anything chocolate and cheese, but she also says it helps them streamline service since hiring is a bit tough right now. Choices include two savory options (a feta-dill dip or beer cheese) and two sweet options (white chocolate or milk chocolate) served with plenty of accouterments.

Sweatman’s Garden is currently open from Wednesday to Thursday, from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday to Saturday, from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.