Hours: Lunch, Dinner (daily) 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Wed. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.
Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint, the popular whole-hog Tennessee-based ‘cue restaurant founded by pit master Pat Martin, opened their first South Carolina spot on James Island in May 2019. When we first chatted with Martin pre-opening he said: “Barbecue ... is so skill driven, it can’t just be anybody.” Martin’s longtime friend John Haire (former owner/operator of Jim N’ Nicks Bar-B-Q) runs the Lowcountry location’s day-to-day operations. “John’s roots are in Charleston — that’s how Charleston came into my life. Home Team, Rodney, John Lewis — all guys I’m friends with over on the peninsula,” said Martin. “I want to come in with humility and respect to them, to come in softly.” The uber family friendly joint which seats approximately 85 guests inside, and “a smattering” outside is open daily for lunch and dinner. There’s also a fenced-in green space in front of the restaurant with picnic table seating, cornhole, and Jenga. You can spy the whole hog cooking up in the back, behind the bar. Order a plate and fixins’ at the counter, then head to the outside bar (adorned with ‘80s WWE paraphernalia) for a local beer or strong cocktail. On a recent visit we loved the barbecue nachos and hushpuppies with comeback sauce best, but you’d do well to sample a bit of everything. —Mary Scott Hardaway (Dish, Summer 2019)
Family friendly barbecue joint specializing in whole hog, 'cue with sides, salads, and sweet treats aplenty. Full bar and TVs, plus ample indoor and outdoor seating. Open daily.