With its vibrant culture, rich history, exquisitely-preserved architecture, idyllic coastal location, celebrated dining scene, and friendly locals, Charleston, South Carolina, is one of America’s best loved travel destinations. Readers of leading travel magazines have consistently voted for Charleston as their favorite domestic travel destination, resulting in the No. 1 City in the U.S. and Canada ranking by the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013) and No. 1 Top U.S. City ranking by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011).
The Charleston area is a bustling epicenter of hospitality as illustrated by the following news.
II. New Restaurants
III. Restaurant News
VI. Retail + Specialty Products
VIII. Highlighted Special Events
South’s Best City
Southern Living 2017 South’s Best Awards
No. 1 City in the United States and Canada
Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards
Best U.S. City
AFAR 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards
No. 1 Small U.S. City
Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards
No. 2 Best Cities for Food in the U.S.
Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards
World’s Most Romantic Cities
Food & Wine
VII. NEW RESTAURANTS
252 Coming Street, Charleston | facebook.com/chubby-fish
Chubby Fish, a boutique seafood restaurant, will highlight daily catches from local fishermen. This 1,300 square foot space will feature an eight-seat chef’s counter, 48-seat dining room, and vast craft beer program. The seafood-heavy menu will feature dishes such as chicken fried yellowtail collars, softshell crab rice bowls and smoked scallop crudo. Opening April 2017.
Fatty’s Beer Works
1436 Meeting Street, Charleston | followfatty.com
This brewery and tasting room will feature high quality craft beers, including 20 beers on tap, with a focus on sours and German style brews. Beers served on tap will include First Shot IPA and Musket Mule among others. Opening April 2017.
1034 Chuck Dawley Boulevard, Charleston | joeytomatoes.com
Joey Tomatoes is an authentic sandwich shop serving signature Italian and New York deli stacks, savory soups and salads. Menu items include pastrami sandwiches, meatball parmesan and corned beef. This casual breakfast and lunch spot also features a grab-and-go market section. Opened February 2017.
201 Coleman Boulevard, Charleston | nicoshemcreek.com
Former Fish Chef and Culinary Executive Director Nico Romo will be opening a lively French oyster bar featuring wood-fired seafood. NICO will offer classic raw bar fare and French brasserie cuisine. Opening Spring 2017.
Pancito & Lefty
708 King Street, Charleston | pancitoandlefty.com
Former Indaco Chef Robert Berry and The Alley owner Jimmy Poole have transformed a former pizza dive into a colorful Mexican restaurant. This lively neighborhood spot, located on upper King Street, features cantina-style dishes with a focus on vegetable-based, shareable plates. The menu also boasts an extensive tequila and mescal menu. Opened February 2017.
101 East Arctic Avenue, Folly Beach |tidesfollybeach.com.com/pier-101
Pier 101, located on the Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier, offers one of the best ocean views in Charleston. This 2,369 square foot restaurant on Folly Beach features a seafood-inspired menu, an outdoor deck and a bar, along with weekly live music. The menu features seafood favorites including grilled mahi tacos and crab cakes sandwiches, along with burgers, fries and salads. Opened March 2017.
Poke Tea House
441 Meeting Street, Charleston | poketeahouse.com
This Hawaiian eatery serves a wide variety of health conscious Poke dishes, from Ahi Tuna Poke bowls to Salmon Poke burritos and Shrimp Poke salads. The Poke Tea House menu includes more than 40 different dishes and also sells an assortment of Bubble Tea. Opened November 2016.
237 Fishburne Street, Charleston
Acclaimed Chef John Zucker will combine traditional European cooking with Lowcountry classic cuisine to create one-of-a-kind dishes at his newest restaurant. Menu items will include Ouefs en Cocotte, Chicken Liver Mousse and Braised Lamb Neck with Herb Dumplings. Opening Spring 2017.
Rappahannock Oyster Bar
701 East Bay Street, Charleston | cigarfactorycharleston.com
Richmond-based Rappahannock Oyster Company opened their fifth location in the Cigar Factory in downtown Charleston. The restaurant features a bar, restaurant and market offering seafood-focused dishes, a raw bar with Virginia and South Carolina oysters and local cocktails. Guests have the opportunity to enjoy their meals outside on the patio or within the 152-seat indoor dining room and bar. Opened March 2017.
Smith Street Pizza
225 Calhoun Street, Charleston | smithstreetpizza.com
This pizzeria brought Philly-style pan pizza to downtown Charleston. Smith Street Pizza features sheet pan pizzas along with hoagies, wings and salads and serves beer on tap and wine. Opened February 2017.
Sorghum & Salt
186 Coming Street, Charleston | sorghumandsalt.com
Chef Tres Jackson has transformed the all-day cafe Two Boroughs Larder into farm-to-table eatery Sorghum and Salt. Enjoy innovative vegetable-forward plates utilizing local produce, such as root vegetable bolognese over ricotta gnocchi, crispy brussels sprouts with feta and spaghetti squash pancakes. Opened March 2017.
114 St. Philip Street, Charleston | stellascharleston.com
This lively neighborhood spot offers rustic and modern Greek cuisine including grilled halloumi, moussaka and keftedes. Guests are invited to enjoy Mediterranean fare on the outdoor patio or within the indoor dining room and bar. Opened January 2017.
327 Folly Road, Charleston | sweet-belgium.com
Belgium natives Sergio and Audrey Tosi share their love for authentic sweet treats through Sweet Belgium, a family-owned and operated belgian waffle bakery and catering business. Along with a variety of unique made-to-order waffles, including Belgian Chocolate Rainbow, James Island Coconut and Tasty Almond, guests can choose from an endless array of toppings including powdered sugar, cinnamon and whipped cream. Opened January 2017.
III. RESTAURANT NEWS
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit
188 Meeting Street, Charleston | calliesbiscuits.com
Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit owner and biscuit maker extraordinaire Carey Morey is opening up a second grab & go eatery in the iconic Charleston City Market. The new location will serve hot biscuits, pimento cheese sandwiches and other Lowcountry inspired breakfast and lunch treats. Opening April 2017.
414 King Street, Charleston | peacepieworld.com
Cape May-based Peace Pie opened its second location in downtown Charleston on King Street. This sweet shop features ice cream sandwiches with a layer of pie filling. Guests can enjoy an array of flavors including key lime pie, blueberry cobbler and salted caramel brownie. Opened February 2017.
1011 King Street, Charleston | thescottsbbq.com
Acclaimed pitmaster Rodney Scott brought his signature Hemingway-based whole hog barbecue to downtown Charleston in the space formerly occupied by Chick’s Fry House in the Wagener Terrace neighborhood. Rodney Scott runs an all-wood operation that cooks between eight and 10 whole hogs per night to create pit-roasted pork, chicken and turkey. Opened February 2017.
713 Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant | smokebbq.kitchen
Smoke BBQ expanded to a second location in Mount Pleasant. The new location includes a new dining space, expanded kitchen and an on-site brewery. The menu includes traditional barbecue plates such as slow-smoked pork platters and smoked brisket, microbrews and craft cocktails. Opened March 2017.
835 Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant | thegranarycharleston.com
Farm-to-table restaurant The Granary has moved to a new location in Mount Pleasant. Guests are invited to enjoy a Lowcountry-inspired menu and raw bar led by local Chef Brannon Florie. Menu items include shrimp and grits, smoked pork chop and duck fried rice. In addition, The Granary offers housemade breads, an extensive charcuterie program and a seasonal pastry menu. Opened February 2017.
1647 King Street, Charleston | tradesmanbrewing.com
James Island’s Tradesman Brewing is moving to a new location on King Street that features additional space for seating and parking, a larger outdoor patio and bigger brewing capacity. Opening May 2017.
86 Cannon – The Poinsette House
86 Cannon Street, Charleston | 86cannon.com
Nestled in the heart of downtown Charleston, this luxury boutique inn is located in a fully restored, three-story circa 1860’s single house. 86 Cannon boasts five king-size bedrooms with fireplaces, two elegant piazzas and a curated concierge service. In addition, 86 Cannon features a European-style breakfast, nightly wine and cheese service and a third floor library with a sophisticated bar. Opened February 2017.
404 King Street, Charleston | hotelbennett.com
Overlooking Charleston’s historic Marion Square, Hotel Bennett will be located in the heart of downtown Charleston. This luxurious hotel will feature 179 guestrooms and suites, a signature restaurant with spectacular views of Marion Square and a sophisticated lounge and bar. In addition to a rooftop pool with cabanas, Hotel Bennett will boast a luxury spa, event and meeting space, French patisserie and Charleston’s first classic Ladies Bar, boasting a reclaimed pink marble and a mirrored ceiling. Opening Fall 2017.
Shem Creek Inn
1401 Shrimp Boat Lane, Mount Pleasant | shemcreekinn.com
This coastal retreat located on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant is surrounded by Lowcountry marshlands and offers amazing harbor views and seaside wildlife access. The newly renovated hotel features 51 guest rooms and suites, an expanded lobby area and a redesigned entrance. Shem Creek Inn is just a step away from waterfront restaurants and activities including paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing. Opened March 2017.
3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston | draytonhall.com
Drayton Hall will be expanding its visitor experience through the construction of a new visitor center, education center, 19th century caretaker’s house and an interpretive garden. The visitor center will include an orientation hall, museum shop and exhibition galleries. The galleries will exhibit Drayton Hall’s internationally significant furniture, artwork, manuscripts and archaeological finds for the first time in history. Opening Spring 2018.
VI. RETAIL + SPECIALTY PRODUCTS
The Skinny Dip
345 King Street, Charleston | skinnydipcharleston.com
The Skinny Dip, a collective concept stored housing a curated mix of men’s, women’s and lifestyle brands, is opening their second retail location in downtown Charleston, complete with a wine and coffee bar. The boutique will feature emerging brands from around the country as well as local Charleston designers. Opening April 2017.
342 King Street, Charleston | charleston.vomfassusa.com
Charleston welcomed its newest specialty grocery store, VOM FASS, to King Street. Guests are invited to sample products before purchasing. VOM FASS offers artisan-produced oil and vinegars, exclusive Scotch and Irish whiskeys, fine brandies, unique liqueurs and wines. Opened February 2017.
Workshop by Butcher & Bee
1503 King Street, Charleston | workshopcharleston.com
Workshop by Butcher & Bee, a fancy food court on Charleston’s upper peninsula, serves as a shared kitchen and dining space with a rotating roster of five food vendors, as well as the permanent location of Bad Wolf Coffee. A fully equipped prep kitchen allows for a variety of events, pop-ups and festivals at Workshop. Opened March 2017.
SK8 Charleston Skate Park
1549 Oceanic Street, Charleston | ccprc.com
Managed by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, this 32,500 square foot premier skate park is located in the North Morrison area and overlooks the Ashley River. SK8 Charleston Skate Park features a 200-foot long snake run, a 11.5-foot deep pro bowl, seven-foot deep intermediate bowl and a 315-foot long street course. In addition, guests can enjoy live music, concessions, giveaways and skateboarding demonstrations while there. Opened March 2017.
HIGHLIGHTED SPECIAL EVENTS
70th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, March 16 – April 22, 2017
Peek behind the garden gates and porch doors of the Charleston peninsula’s most intriguing private residences during these award-winning tours and educational events. The Festival of Houses and Gardens showcases Charleston’s distinctive history, architecture, gardens and culture.
30th Annual Town of Mt. Pleasant Blessing of the Fleet & Seafood Festival, April 30, 2017
This festival pays tribute to Mount Pleasant’s local shrimping and fishing industry, features a boat parade, live music, craft show and numerous activities with the picturesque Ravenel Bridge and Charleston Harbor as a backdrop.
North Charleston Arts Festival, May 3 – 7, 2017
The North Charleston Arts Festival features five full days of events highlighting over 100 national, regional and local artists and performers in the areas of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, crafts, photography, media arts and literature.
TALL SHIPS Charleston, May 19 – 21, 2017
Charleston will welcome the three-day Tall Ships Challenge Festival this May. This three day event offers the unique opportunity for visitors to explore the largest collection of maritime treasures and is an official part of the Tall Ships Challenge Atlantic Coast 2017 .
Spoleto Festival USA, May 26 – June 11, 2017
Since its inception in 1977, this acclaimed arts festival has illuminated traditional and unexpected venues, including the College of Charleston’s Cistern Yard, with performances by talented artists from around the world. Scores of venues hum with the energy of opera, jazz, theatre, orchestral, chamber, contemporary music, literary and visual artists during this internationally renowned compendium of talent. Residents eschew their relaxed lifestyle for a frenetically paced stint of art, culture, fashion, festivities and fine dining.
Piccolo Spoleto, May 26 – June 11, 2017
Produced by the City of Charleston’s Office of Cultural Affairs, this companion to Spoleto Festival USA offers hundreds of family-friendly events open to the public. Piccolo Spoleto’s traditional program offers visual art exhibits, classical music, jazz, dance, theatre, poetry readings, children’s activities, choral music, ethnic cultural presentations, crafts and film.