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A black bar with “Cleats” written on it. A television behind the bar.
The bar at Cleats serves sports-themed drinks, beer, and draft wines.
Mike Ledford

Where to Drink in Charleston Right Now, February 2024

Find spiked Gatorade, dirty martinis, and mezcal drinks at these 16 new bars

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The bar at Cleats serves sports-themed drinks, beer, and draft wines.
| 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 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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Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

King BBQ

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To match the playful spirit at Chinese barbecue spot King BBQ, bar manager Amy Kallicragas created a rainbow’s worth of cocktails to sip with the smoked meats. For dirty martini lovers, there’s the Shimmy Shimmy Ya with a kick from a pickled pepper. Margarita fans will like the Eye of the Tiger made with tequila, Thai tea, and mandarin.

The crew behind Daps recently opened a sports bar focused on community and good food. The drinks are super fun. There are cocktails with names like Nothing But (fer)NET, a mix of Fernet, rum, and Thai tea, and frozen spiked Gatorade, in addition to wines on draft and tons of beers.

A black bar with aluminum stools.
Cleats is now open with fun sporty cocktails.
Mike Ledford

Sugey's Bar

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The owners of pizza place D’Allesandro’s and dive bar Cutty’s have a new metal music bar on King Street. Ben and Nick D’Allesandro put former Cutty’s manager Sarah Griffith in charge of the space, and she created Sugey’s — the only bar in Charleston dedicated to heavy metal bands,  ’80s horror films, and tiki drinks.

A dar bar with a disco ball overhead.
Sugey’s Bar is the only metal bar in Charleston.
Erin Perkins

Beautiful South

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The cocktail list at Beautiful South adds even more depth to the Cantonese cuisine at Beautiful South. Bar manager Lily Cantral (formerly of the Ordinary and FIG) serves creative drinks like the house martini made with sesame gin, Fino sherry, vermouth, and MSG.

A dark bar with red stools.
The bar at Beautiful South.
Mike Ledford

The Quinte Oyster Bar

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The Quinte Oyster Bar is back, and it’s been stripped of some of its preciousness, but it’s still a pretty sexy spot to grab a martini and try the lobster bao.

A marble-top bar with stools, facing a raw bar.
The bar at the Quinte.
Matthew Williams

Lowland Tavern

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Stop by the attractive dark wood bar at Lowland Tavern and find equally attractive people sipping martinis with dots of herb oil and snacking on chef Jason Stanhope’s fancy pub fare. Also check out the highly selective wines-by-the-glass menu.

The bar at Lowland Tavern.
Matthew Williams

Bearcat

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Bearcat, a fine dining restaurant without the fuss, recently opened its bar in the Avondale neighborhood. Drinks range from a fancy frozen strawberry daiquiri with chartreuse to Coors beer. The big draw is the snacks, like wood-fired oysters with wagyu fat or the tartare with Carolina Gold rice.

The Den

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The group behind the Emeline Hotel and Italian restaurant Frannie & the Fox recently opened the intimate (and slightly hidden) bar the Den. The space seats 30 and focuses on martinis, caviar, and Italian snacks. Seasonal flavors like a tomato martini share the menu with a classic martini service featuring various liquor and vermouth choices.

A wooden bar with leather stools.
The Den at the Emeline Hotel.
JB McCabe

The Peacock

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The new French Quarter establishment the Peacock (formerly known as the Habit) is billed as a “multi-tiered entertainment experience.” The first floor holds the main dining and a large bar; there’s another bar and a lounge area for live entertainment on the second floor; and the third floor holds a rooftop bar that overlooks the harbor. The bars are fully stocked with beer, wine, and liquors and offer signature drinks like the Ain’t Misbehavin’ which is a dirty martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives.

Sorelle

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Charleston-based Beemok Hospitality Collection (owners of the Charleston Place hotel) and chef Michael Mina’s Mina Group opened Italian restaurant and market Sorelle, and it comes with a stunning bar space full of plush velvet, marble, fresh flowers, and opulence. The menu focuses on Italian wines and amaros. The room is for walk-ins and serves the full dinner menu.

A dimly lit marble bar.
The bar at Italian restaurant Sorelle.
Peter Frank Edwards

The gilded bar at Costa faces the floor-to-ceiling windows and makes for a stunning backdrop to end the day with a spritz or an Italian wine. Order ceviche or a plate of oysters if you’re feeling peckish — or go big with a giant plate of eggplant Parmesan from chef Vinson Petrillo.

A creative cocktail at Costa.
Aleece Sophia

Sweatman’s Garden

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Food and beverage vets Danielle and Brent Sweatman recently opened Sweatman’s Garden in the South Windermere Shopping Center with fancy sodas, a full bar, and fondue. 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.

A wall full of plants and a yellow couch.
Sweatman’s Garden in West Ashley.
Erin Perkins

Lost Isle

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Johns Island restaurant Lost Isle comes from the proprietors of Folly Beach bar Lowlife, so you know they paid careful attention to the bar menu. Lost Isle has several beers, cocktails, and wines all on tap, from the outdoor bar. “We wanted the drinks to be tasty, fun, and accessible — not too pretentious or complex,” says co-owner T.J. Lynch, “We hope you’ll have a good time and not have to worry so much about what’s in the glass.”

A hand holding a goblet.
A fancy gin and tonic at Lost Isle.
Jonathan Boncek

The Harlow

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James Island spot the Harlow wins the contest for the best puns on its menu with the Harbor View Carre (a play on Harbor View Road and the classic vieux carre cocktail). If you’re not in the mood for bourbon and Benedictine, try the Dill Creek martini, which tastes like a boozy pickle, in a good way.

A dill martini at the Harlow.
The Harlow

Colectivo

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Yes, there’s a margarita on the menu at Mexican restaurant Colectivo, but customers can explore other fun drinks made with agave spirits, like the Next Epazote with mezcal, Nixta (corn liquor), lemon, and epazote (a Mexican herb).

The bar at Colectivo.
Mike Ledford

Revelry Brewing Folly Beach

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Always-packed downtown brewery Revelry set up a second location at Folly Beach, so now beer lovers can enjoy a fresh pint of Poke the Bear (a popular pale ale) and order food from nearby Bounty Bar.

Now you can drink Revelry Brewing beers at the beach.
Revelry Brewing

King BBQ

To match the playful spirit at Chinese barbecue spot King BBQ, bar manager Amy Kallicragas created a rainbow’s worth of cocktails to sip with the smoked meats. For dirty martini lovers, there’s the Shimmy Shimmy Ya with a kick from a pickled pepper. Margarita fans will like the Eye of the Tiger made with tequila, Thai tea, and mandarin.

Cleats

The crew behind Daps recently opened a sports bar focused on community and good food. The drinks are super fun. There are cocktails with names like Nothing But (fer)NET, a mix of Fernet, rum, and Thai tea, and frozen spiked Gatorade, in addition to wines on draft and tons of beers.

A black bar with aluminum stools.
Cleats is now open with fun sporty cocktails.
Mike Ledford

Sugey's Bar

The owners of pizza place D’Allesandro’s and dive bar Cutty’s have a new metal music bar on King Street. Ben and Nick D’Allesandro put former Cutty’s manager Sarah Griffith in charge of the space, and she created Sugey’s — the only bar in Charleston dedicated to heavy metal bands,  ’80s horror films, and tiki drinks.

A dar bar with a disco ball overhead.
Sugey’s Bar is the only metal bar in Charleston.
Erin Perkins

Beautiful South

The cocktail list at Beautiful South adds even more depth to the Cantonese cuisine at Beautiful South. Bar manager Lily Cantral (formerly of the Ordinary and FIG) serves creative drinks like the house martini made with sesame gin, Fino sherry, vermouth, and MSG.

A dark bar with red stools.
The bar at Beautiful South.
Mike Ledford

The Quinte Oyster Bar

The Quinte Oyster Bar is back, and it’s been stripped of some of its preciousness, but it’s still a pretty sexy spot to grab a martini and try the lobster bao.

A marble-top bar with stools, facing a raw bar.
The bar at the Quinte.
Matthew Williams

Lowland Tavern

Stop by the attractive dark wood bar at Lowland Tavern and find equally attractive people sipping martinis with dots of herb oil and snacking on chef Jason Stanhope’s fancy pub fare. Also check out the highly selective wines-by-the-glass menu.

The bar at Lowland Tavern.
Matthew Williams

Bearcat

Bearcat, a fine dining restaurant without the fuss, recently opened its bar in the Avondale neighborhood. Drinks range from a fancy frozen strawberry daiquiri with chartreuse to Coors beer. The big draw is the snacks, like wood-fired oysters with wagyu fat or the tartare with Carolina Gold rice.

The Den

The group behind the Emeline Hotel and Italian restaurant Frannie & the Fox recently opened the intimate (and slightly hidden) bar the Den. The space seats 30 and focuses on martinis, caviar, and Italian snacks. Seasonal flavors like a tomato martini share the menu with a classic martini service featuring various liquor and vermouth choices.

A wooden bar with leather stools.
The Den at the Emeline Hotel.
JB McCabe

The Peacock

The new French Quarter establishment the Peacock (formerly known as the Habit) is billed as a “multi-tiered entertainment experience.” The first floor holds the main dining and a large bar; there’s another bar and a lounge area for live entertainment on the second floor; and the third floor holds a rooftop bar that overlooks the harbor. The bars are fully stocked with beer, wine, and liquors and offer signature drinks like the Ain’t Misbehavin’ which is a dirty martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives.

Sorelle

Charleston-based Beemok Hospitality Collection (owners of the Charleston Place hotel) and chef Michael Mina’s Mina Group opened Italian restaurant and market Sorelle, and it comes with a stunning bar space full of plush velvet, marble, fresh flowers, and opulence. The menu focuses on Italian wines and amaros. The room is for walk-ins and serves the full dinner menu.

A dimly lit marble bar.
The bar at Italian restaurant Sorelle.
Peter Frank Edwards

Costa

The gilded bar at Costa faces the floor-to-ceiling windows and makes for a stunning backdrop to end the day with a spritz or an Italian wine. Order ceviche or a plate of oysters if you’re feeling peckish — or go big with a giant plate of eggplant Parmesan from chef Vinson Petrillo.

A creative cocktail at Costa.
Aleece Sophia

Sweatman’s Garden

Food and beverage vets Danielle and Brent Sweatman recently opened Sweatman’s Garden in the South Windermere Shopping Center with fancy sodas, a full bar, and fondue. 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.

A wall full of plants and a yellow couch.
Sweatman’s Garden in West Ashley.
Erin Perkins

Lost Isle

Johns Island restaurant Lost Isle comes from the proprietors of Folly Beach bar Lowlife, so you know they paid careful attention to the bar menu. Lost Isle has several beers, cocktails, and wines all on tap, from the outdoor bar. “We wanted the drinks to be tasty, fun, and accessible — not too pretentious or complex,” says co-owner T.J. Lynch, “We hope you’ll have a good time and not have to worry so much about what’s in the glass.”

A hand holding a goblet.
A fancy gin and tonic at Lost Isle.
Jonathan Boncek

The Harlow

James Island spot the Harlow wins the contest for the best puns on its menu with the Harbor View Carre (a play on Harbor View Road and the classic vieux carre cocktail). If you’re not in the mood for bourbon and Benedictine, try the Dill Creek martini, which tastes like a boozy pickle, in a good way.

A dill martini at the Harlow.
The Harlow

Colectivo

Yes, there’s a margarita on the menu at Mexican restaurant Colectivo, but customers can explore other fun drinks made with agave spirits, like the Next Epazote with mezcal, Nixta (corn liquor), lemon, and epazote (a Mexican herb).

The bar at Colectivo.
Mike Ledford

Related Maps

Revelry Brewing Folly Beach

Always-packed downtown brewery Revelry set up a second location at Folly Beach, so now beer lovers can enjoy a fresh pint of Poke the Bear (a popular pale ale) and order food from nearby Bounty Bar.

Now you can drink Revelry Brewing beers at the beach.
Revelry Brewing

Related Maps