Best Of Charleston 2006 » Eating & Drinking

READERS' PICKS ‌ Drinking

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Members of the winning crew at Genes Haufbrau, Best West Ashley Bar and Best Bottled Beer Selection, chug the milk in Victory Lane
  • Members of the winning crew at Genes Haufbrau, Best West Ashley Bar and Best Bottled Beer Selection, chug the milk in Victory Lane

There will always be those who blame drink for a swarm of society's ills. But in a sense, society itself owes a big debt to drink. The production and enjoyment of beer, wine, and spirits spawned civilization thousands of years ago. Beer, in particular, has played a role in various cultural evolutions and revolutions, especially in the U.S., which has developed its own beer 'n' booze culture. Charleston bargoers have their favorite local watering holes, liquid concoctions, bartenders, and insider information -- much of which is listed here. While reader faves like Charleston Beer Works, The Village Tavern, Sand Dollar, The Windjammer, and Total Wine stayed strongly in position, a few surprises popped up in this year's Readers' Picks, including the newly-opened O'Malley's, West Ashley's Gene's Haufbrau, nonsmoking spot Raval, and late-night hot spot A.C.'s Bar & Grill. Following are a complete list of Readers' Picks.


Best New Bar
O’Malley’s

549 King St. Downtown 805-5000 Located in an old variety store on upper King Street, this boisterous Irish pub-themed collegiate sports bar opened over the winter and quickly established itself as a bustling downtown hot spot. It’s burgers ’n’ wings ’n’ fries for lunch and a buzzing mix of cocktail ’n’ beer bar-hoppers for dinner and late nights. Two dozen TV sets fill the large room and every single booth, including a 50-inch plasma set by the live music stage. —T. Ballard Lesemann

Best Cheap Beer Deal
A.C.’s Bar & Grill’s “Beer of the Month”

467 King St. Downtown 577-6742
1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 849-2267

In a tradition carried over from their earlier days south of Calhoun, A.C.’s proudly offers a killer bottled-beer deal with their “Beer of the Month” special. Each month, the staff picks a popular, burp-inducing import (Red Stripe, Corona, etc.) or a specialty domestic lager (like Miller’s 1855 Celebration Lager) and features it on the big board as the $2 deal. Not bad at all for a bar in the heart of the King Street district. Cheers! —T. Ballard Lesemann

Best Upscale Bar
Cypress Lowcountry Grille

167 East Bay St. Downtown 727-0111
Over the last five years, this elegant downtown restaurant has won praise from local and national critics and diners with its expansive menu, bold interpretations of classic Lowcountry cuisine (meats, seafood, fresh salads, and vegetable dishes), its marble slab bar counter, and its impressive collection of rare wines. Designed to welcome a variety of local clientele and visitors, this bar and restaurant is a CP reader’s pick for good reason.—T. Ballard Lesemann

Best Non - Smoking Bar
Raval

453 King St. Downtown 853-8466
Welcomed by worldly-wise diners, local critics, and CP readers alike, the warm, upscale, Spanish-themed Raval made its mark as a unique dining spot and specialty wine bar — and established itself as one of the nicest nonsmoking bars in the downtown area, with the only fire flickering from the chandelier and candlesticks across the dining room. If the sophisticated drinkers and diners on either side of the cigarette smoke debate can coexist during an evening out, it’s in a place like this. —T. Ballard Lesemann


Best Wine Selection (Retail)
Total Wine
1820 Ashley River Road West Ashley 763-7034

Best Wine Selection (Bar or Restaurant)
Cypress Lowcountry Grille
167 East Bay St. Downtown 727-0111

Best Beer Selection (Retail)
Total Wine
1820 Ashley River Road West Ashley 763-7034

Best Bottled Beer Selection (Bar or Restaurant)
Gene's Haufbrau
817 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 225-4363

Best Beer on Tap
Charleston Beer Works
468 King St. Downtown 577-5885

Best Happy Hour
Vickery's
15 Beaufain St. Downtown 577-5300
1313 Shrimp Boat Lane Mt. Pleasant 884-4440

Best Neighborhood Bar
Moe's Crosstown Tavern
714 Rutledge Ave. Downtown 722-3287

Best Rooftop Bar
The Rooftop Bar and Restaurant at Vendue
23 Vendue Range. Downtown 577-7970

Best Bar Staff
A.C.'s Bar & Grill
467 King St. Downtown 577-6742
1035 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 849-2267

Best Downtown Bar
A.C.'s Bar & Grill
467 King St. Downtown 577-6742

Best Mt. Pleasant Bar
Village Tavern
1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Mt. Pleasant 884-6311

Best James Island Bar
Kickin' Chicken
1175 Folly Road. James Island 225-6996

Best Folly Beach Bar
Sand Dollar
7 Center St. Folly Beach 588-9498

Best IOP Bar
The Windjammer
1008 Ocean Blvd. Isle of Palms 886-8596

Best Sullivan'sIsland Bar
Poe's Tavern
2210 Middle St. Sullivan's Island 883-0083

Best West Ashley Bar
Gene's Haufbrau
817 Savannah Hwy. West Ashley 225-4363

Best Summerville Bar
Icehouse
104 E. Doty Ave. Summerville 875-5500

Best Waterfront Bar
Red's Ice House
98 Church St. Mt. Pleasant 388-0003

Best College Bar
Charleston Beer Works
468 King St. Downtown 577-5885

Best Authentic Pub
The Griffon
18 Vendue Range. Downtown 723-1700

Best No-Frills Watering Hole
Big John's Tavern
251 East Bay St. Downtown 723-3483

Best Dance Club
Trio Club
139 Calhoun St. Downtown 965-5333

Best Pool Hall
Player's Place
1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. West Ashley 556-4991
5101 Ashley Phosphate Road N Charleston 552-7665

Best Pick-up Joint
Henry's on the Market
54 N. Market St. Downtown 723-4363

Best Late Night Bar
A.C.'s Bar & Grill
467 King St. Downtown 577-6742

Best Sports Bar
King Street Grille
304 King St. Downtown 723-5464

Best Gay/Lesbian Club
Club Pantheon
28 Ann St. Downtown 577-2582

Best Adult Establishment
Thee Southern Belle
2028-B Pittsburgh Ave. Downtown 722-6833

Best Martini
Club Habana
177 Meeting St. Downtown 853-5900

Best Margarita
La Hacienda
354 King St. Downtown 723-3333
and other locations

Best Cold Beer
Mellow Mushroom
309 King St. Downtown 723-7374

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