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A black bar with aluminum stools.
Cleats is now open next to the Whale.
Mike Ledford

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Chicken Wings Dipped in Queso Is the Move at Charleston Newcomer Cleats

A first look into the Lowcountry’s latest sports bar

Erin Perkins is the editor of Eater Carolinas.

The team that made breakfast cool in Charleston is now tackling sports and sandwiches. The Daps (280 Ashley Avenue) crew recently opened Cleats at 1640 Meeting Street Road. Owner Jeremiah Schenzel says he wanted Cleats to be a modern take on the typical sports bar. “I never go to sports bars, because the atmosphere isn’t conducive to the best food, and they aren’t usually a place where you want to just hang out,” he says, “What if you don’t really care about sports? Then what happens in that space?”

Schenzel says that Cleats is still focused on sports, but it’s not the main objective of the restaurant. He wants Cleats to be more about bringing people together and putting out really good sandwiches. The menu offers a wide range of hot and cold selections, from pit beef to a red Thai shrimp roll to an egg and eggplant sandwich. The wings are sold by the pound, tossed in a green hatch chili sauce, and served with a side of queso. Cleats also offers salads, fancy hot dogs, and waffle fries.

The space is big — 4600 square feet — with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking an outdoor concert venue and the Charleston railways. It’s plenty of room to mingle with friends and let the kids run around. The service is relaxed with an ordering system done via a QR code on the tables (or you can order at the bar if you don’t want to deal with your phone).

“We are focused on the community of sports and using that idea to bring people together,” says Schenzel, “Even if you don’t care about the games, you can still hang out with friends and have a glass of great wine or a cheap beer.”

Cleats is open daily, except on Tuesdays, starting at 10:30 a.m.

A sign reading “Cleats.”
Cleats is now open at 1640 Meeting Street Road.
Mike Ledford
Four televisions over a bar.
TVs show football, soccer, baseball, and more.
Mike Ledford
A black bar with aluminum stools.
Customers can order at the bar or use the QR code on the tables.
Mike Ledford
Black and yellow shirts reading “Cleats.”
Cleats is the second restaurant from the team at Daps.
Mike Ledford
A red-tiled pick up window.
Cleats caters to sports fans of every type.
Mike Ledford

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