Porgy's Other Place, tucked away in the shadow of John C. Calhoun's statue at Marion Square, is emerging as one of downtown's coolest places to be if you like good food and good music.
Danny Martin Jr. and business partner Kevin Baltimore began transforming the old Lite Affair into its latest and perhaps most definitive incarnation last March with extensive renovations from the floor up. They refitted the bar and added lively murals by Charles Dessasure.
A lot of work has gone into the club, taking its vibe from graffiti and punk rock to neo-soul, says Martin. The name, Porgy's Other Place, comes from their desire to reflect a bit of historic Charleston's soul. Porgy references George Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess, which was written by native DuBose Heyward and chronicled African-American life on the fictional Catfish Row in Charleston.
The club's diverse atmosphere hopefully reflects the kind of place the character Porgy would frequent were he alive today, Martin says.
Live jazz every Thursday night and on weekends augmented with recorded music featuring some of Charleston's finest talents puts the foam on the club's brimming full glass of entertainment and art. Chef Timothy Jackson fills it to overflowing.
Jackson, a native of Trinidad, joined the team in June. The Morehouse College graduate honed his culinary skills under master chefs Jean Louis Palladin and Robert Carter, and practiced locally at Charleston Place Hotel, the Spring Street Grill, and Oak Steakhouse among other fine restaurants.
Manager Gerald Roland promises that jazz and poetry nights during MOJA will be worthwhile experiences. — Barney Blakeney
Upcoming performances at Porgy's Other Place include saxophonist Louis Dixson on Thur. Sept. 27, singer Elise Testone accompanied by Dave Linaburg on Fri. Sept. 28, and violinist Daniel Davis on Sun. Sept. 30, followed by the Kain Naylor Group. Guilt Trip Jazz performs Mon. Oct. 1 and Anthony Owens on Fri. Oct. 5. 137 Calhoun St. (843) 722-0023.