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Bar with blue stools.
The first-floor bar at Bar 167.
Mike Ledford

Where to Drink in Charleston Right Now, January 2023

8 of the city's hottest libation menus

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The first-floor bar at Bar 167.
| Mike Ledford

There's a wealth of opportunities for imbibing in Charleston, but where to find the latest and greatest? The newest and hottest? Here's an updated Cocktail Heatmap of places to visit for a down a few as soon as happy hour hits. While this map focuses on restaurants and bars that have opened within the past year, we've also included some older establishments undergoing a new heatwave thanks to recent changes to their cocktail menus or bar program.

We've also included some newer wine and beer bars for those not in need of a super stiff drink. Go out and try somewhere new this week — perhaps you'll find a new favorite libation or bartender in town.

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Sweetgrass Vodka

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Local spirit Sweet Grass Vodka distillery opened up a tasting room so customers can try the vodka and the bourbon in various cocktails, from espresso martinis to an Old Fashioned.

Bar Rollins

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Owners Chris Rollins and Jess Vande Werken bring natural wines to the East Side with the opening of Bar Rollins. Previously a favorite pop-up destination, the establishment already had a wide following before its premiere. The “wine dive bar,” as they call it, offers a selection of natural whites, reds, and rosés by the glass with a few non-alcoholic options and snacks of meats and cheeses.

A light-wood bar with menu board above it.
The bar at natural wine stop Bar Rollins.
Mike Ledford

The Lucky Luchador

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Entrepreneur Chris “Boston” DiMattia (Recovery Room and Bangkok Lounge) has another dive bar in his portfolio with the opening of Lucky Luchador. It’s an Irish pub mixed with a Mexican cantina. Expect whiskey, tequila, tacos, quesadillas, tequila, and chicken fingers. Only open a few weeks, the East Side addition already feels lived in.

The view of a bar with green and red lights.
The Lucky Luchador bills itself as an Irish cantina.
Mike Ledford

Share House

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Share House is a coastal cantina with colorful, beach-y interiors. The bar focuses on tropical cocktails, including the signature drink Orange Crush, which is fresh orange juice, vodka, and lemon-lime soda. The space boasts two bars, a stage for live bands, a space for DJs, and televisions for all the games. It’s basically a one-stop fun shop.

The bar and dining room at Share House.
Mike Ledford

Frontier Lounge

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The former dance club Mynt is now dive bar Frontier Lounge. Modeled after funky bars in the 1970s, Frontier has wood paneling, linoleum tiles, an old dad couch, and plenty of kitschy paraphernalia.

Ritual Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge

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Want to feel like you're on a vacation in Tulum? With its lush greens and plenty of outdoor seating, rooftop bar Ritual was designed with just that in mind. The cocktails lean tropical, and the food is Mexican with a mix of tacos, empanadas, and Tajin-dusted calamari. It’s definitely trying to attract the party crowds with sharable cocktails and shots with “magic sparkles.”

The Quinte Oyster Bar

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The corner bar is the place to be in new oyster bar the Quinte. Opened in a former billiards hall, the Quinte serves wines from the coastal Mediterranean region and cocktails heavy on the gin, tequila, and rum categories. The space has a seductive Paris-meets-old-New-York vibe.

A white marble bar with soft lights overhead.
The bar shines at the Quinte.
Matthew Williams

Bar 167

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The team at popular oyster spot 167 Raw created a gorgeous Mediterranean bar right around the corner on Fulton Street. Bar 167 boasts a bar on each floor, and the interiors are full of easy, breezy nautical touches. Cocktails have an emphasis on housemade tonics, along with spritzes and sangria. The wine list is all European with Croatian, Southern Italian, Greece, and French bottles. And there’s two beers on tap, a light and a dark.

Bar with blue stools.
The first-floor bar at Bar 167.
Mike Ledford

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Sweetgrass Vodka

Local spirit Sweet Grass Vodka distillery opened up a tasting room so customers can try the vodka and the bourbon in various cocktails, from espresso martinis to an Old Fashioned.

Bar Rollins

Owners Chris Rollins and Jess Vande Werken bring natural wines to the East Side with the opening of Bar Rollins. Previously a favorite pop-up destination, the establishment already had a wide following before its premiere. The “wine dive bar,” as they call it, offers a selection of natural whites, reds, and rosés by the glass with a few non-alcoholic options and snacks of meats and cheeses.

A light-wood bar with menu board above it.
The bar at natural wine stop Bar Rollins.
Mike Ledford

The Lucky Luchador

Entrepreneur Chris “Boston” DiMattia (Recovery Room and Bangkok Lounge) has another dive bar in his portfolio with the opening of Lucky Luchador. It’s an Irish pub mixed with a Mexican cantina. Expect whiskey, tequila, tacos, quesadillas, tequila, and chicken fingers. Only open a few weeks, the East Side addition already feels lived in.

The view of a bar with green and red lights.
The Lucky Luchador bills itself as an Irish cantina.
Mike Ledford

Share House

Share House is a coastal cantina with colorful, beach-y interiors. The bar focuses on tropical cocktails, including the signature drink Orange Crush, which is fresh orange juice, vodka, and lemon-lime soda. The space boasts two bars, a stage for live bands, a space for DJs, and televisions for all the games. It’s basically a one-stop fun shop.

The bar and dining room at Share House.
Mike Ledford

Frontier Lounge

The former dance club Mynt is now dive bar Frontier Lounge. Modeled after funky bars in the 1970s, Frontier has wood paneling, linoleum tiles, an old dad couch, and plenty of kitschy paraphernalia.

Ritual Rooftop Restaurant & Lounge

Want to feel like you're on a vacation in Tulum? With its lush greens and plenty of outdoor seating, rooftop bar Ritual was designed with just that in mind. The cocktails lean tropical, and the food is Mexican with a mix of tacos, empanadas, and Tajin-dusted calamari. It’s definitely trying to attract the party crowds with sharable cocktails and shots with “magic sparkles.”

The Quinte Oyster Bar

The corner bar is the place to be in new oyster bar the Quinte. Opened in a former billiards hall, the Quinte serves wines from the coastal Mediterranean region and cocktails heavy on the gin, tequila, and rum categories. The space has a seductive Paris-meets-old-New-York vibe.

A white marble bar with soft lights overhead.
The bar shines at the Quinte.
Matthew Williams

Bar 167

The team at popular oyster spot 167 Raw created a gorgeous Mediterranean bar right around the corner on Fulton Street. Bar 167 boasts a bar on each floor, and the interiors are full of easy, breezy nautical touches. Cocktails have an emphasis on housemade tonics, along with spritzes and sangria. The wine list is all European with Croatian, Southern Italian, Greece, and French bottles. And there’s two beers on tap, a light and a dark.

Bar with blue stools.
The first-floor bar at Bar 167.
Mike Ledford

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