With hurricane season upon the Lowcountry and Tropical Storm Idalia out of the way, it’s time to answer everyone’s most pressing question when the rain and wind pick up in Charleston: What’s open? (second only to: “Where can I find sandbags?”).
It’s no secret that Charleston loves a party, and (provided conditions are safe enough to do so) we don’t let bad weather stand in the way.
Even if you’ve only lived here for a short amount of time (hello to 30+ people moving to the area each day), you know that hurricane parties are a thing. Is it advised to get drunk while a Category 3 bangs on your doorstep? Probably not, but if the house is boarded up and the power is out, how else are you going to pass the time?
Taking that party one step further are the folks who want to continue to support local food and beverage businesses by going out during the storm for a meal, a cocktail, and some camaraderie among other folks foolish enough to pull on their rain boots and wade through the flood waters (it’s poop water, btw).
So, what’s open? Hotel restaurants, dive bars, and Waffle House. And if the latter is closed, then we are all doomed, and you should really consider staying home.
Hotels have a duty to serve their guests and can accommodate staff with on-site lodging, so their bars and restaurants tend to stay open. Dive bars are often owned by people with a devil-may-care attitude, so they’ll open just to spite the storm. And Waffle House will never let us down (except when it does).
Eater will continue providing guides on what’s open during storms, but these are the spots we check with first.
As always, listen to the authorities during bad weather, stay safe, and tip large if you do go out.