Best New Bar

Uptown Social

Readers Pick

  • Ruta Smith

Uptown Social is not one bar. It’s four bars. Spread out in a newly renovated King Street building, upstairs and downstairs, inside and outside, it’s really got something for everyone. The team from Uptown Social landed in Charleston after opening a handful of successful bars in New York City and vacationing in the South. “This is a whole new ballgame for us,” says Keith Benjamin, a partner in the venture. Taking time to get to know the city, even after visiting for years, has paid off and Uptown Social has been hoppin’ since they opened in April 2018, Benjamin says.

Highlights of the downtown spot include a massive downstairs space with TVs lining every wall, plenty of tables and stools, and a stocked bar that runs the length of the space. You’ll find house specialty frozen cocktails spinning behind the bar, but not the ones you’re used to. Instead, think frose, frozen vodka and energy drink, and other straight-to-the-point icy concoctions. Head upstairs and you’ll find two private rooms, each with their own bars. Head outside for the joint’s sunny roof deck with plenty of space for activities and (you guessed it) yet another bar.

Now that you have the lay of the land, get acquainted with the menu. Anchored by thin crust pizzas first whipped up by NYC pie whisperer Anthony Falco, chef Jonathan Kaldos has assembled a menu of bar fare standards that’s anything but standard. —Sam Spence

Runner-up: King Street Dispensary

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