Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen a lot of businesses come and go — some we loved, some we hated, some we don’t entirely remember (there were a lot of Grand Ma shots in there). So let’s take a tour no tourist would understand, a little walk down Charleston’s real estate memory lane.
275 King St.
This massive corner spot at King and Wentworth sat empty during the Recession, but before that it was a host of different bars and retail establishments. Banana Joe’s anyone? Pretty sure I left my fake ID there back in ’05.
354 King St.
Part of the appeal of this hidden spot was its secret door connecting it to La Hacienda. But that was just one iteration of the space that’s seen the likes of all kinds of quality watering holes over the years.
Burns Alley Tavern
428 King St.
Before we moved to NoMo (yeah, I said NoMo), CP was sitting pretty on King. The upstairs of what most readers will remember as Joe Pasta has been at least eight different spots since we moved out.
The City Paper Office
The Shangri La
The Living Room
Upstairs at JohnKing
306 King St.
OK, so it hasn’t been half a dozen businesses, but 306 King St. gets honorable mention for the loss of Sharky’s alone. The funky pizza joint wouldn’t recognize King Street if it appeared today and that’s a damn shame.
Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream
102 North Market St.
My first recollection of this spot is as O’Hara & Flynns back when it was a three story bar. But that didn’t last long. Next up was a burger joint, then the well received Mercato (originally helmed by Jacques Larson now of Wild Olive and Obstinate Daughter). Alas, the days of restaurants have ended and the spot is now a tourist T-shirt store.
Chef & Clef
O’Hara & Flynn
T-shirt shop The Black Dog
363 King St.
Say the words “Hoagie Haven” to a longtime Charlestonian and you’re likely to see them get all dreamy-eyed. The sandwich shop made its home in a few different locations over the years, but the one most people we talked to remember is at 363 King which also housed ice cream of the future, Dippin Dots in addition to our all-time favorite Charleston restaurant concept, the short-lived Pace’s Pizza Balls.
Red Hot Tomatoes
Mushy Peas (never materialized)
Pace’s Pizza Balls
951 Folly Road
Maybe it’s the size of the place or that the parking lot is behind the lot or that the signage is hard to see from the street, it’s hard to pinpoint one problem, but this Folly Road property just can’t seem to stick the landing for any restaurant concept. The last gasp was Stereo 8 and even with a cool playlist and trendy remodel, it wasn’t enough to keep the lights on.
Brinson’s Beef & Brew
Necter Bar & Grille
Palmetto Ale House
Stereo 8 on James Island
41 George St.
I blame the finicky appetites of college students for the ever-changing look to 41 George St. It always feels like just when we fall in love with one concept, it goes belly up. Such was the case with perfect panini-makers Modica back in ’09. Of course, we may have played a roll in the closure of one of these spots. This reporter may have written in a Best of Charleston critic pick that a certain Dutch-style fry concept’s name sounded like the results from a gynecological exam. Sorry, Patat Spot.
Modica Gelatoria & Italian Cafe
The Bagel Shop
479 King St.
A bar that substituted a K for a C failed? I am shocked!
819 Coleman Blvd., Mt. Pleasant
Proof that this Coleman Boulevard address can’t seem to keep a concept: Current tenant The Americano is for sale.
15 Beaufain St.
Before it was a shiny white bastion of beautiful Italian food, 15 Beaufain was Vickery’s, a dark, smoky bar beloved for its annual Halloween costume contest and a haven for Charleston’s LGBT community. R.I.P.
5 Faber St.
Three words: Hot tub DJ. We’ll never be able to unsee the jacuzzi/turntable set up that this early aughts nightclub was known for. So many drunken nights. So many vodka cran hangovers.
5 Faber St. event space
235 East Bay St.
Remember when you could get garlic mashed potatoes in a martini glass? Yeah, Meritage had it all, right?
Kiva Han Cafe & Coffee House
1956 Maybank Hwy
We’ll admit, Stono Cafe and Lulu’s Bistro are before our time, but we remember Fez well. Proof bar owner Craig Nelson’s Moroccan restaurant was arguably one of the most exciting restaurants to open in ’08 and we miss it to this day.
Le Club Fez
5 Cumberland St.
We can only imagine the task that lay before Craftsmen Taphouse owner Todd Garrigan and architect David Thompson when they began construction on the former Johnson’s Pub. Removing the patchouli funk alone must have required boatloads of bleach.
The Fish Market
Craftsmen Tap House
549 E Bay St.
You win, Bay Street Biergarten. After dubbing this place a kiss of death location for years, all it took was a huge beer list and a lot of love to get a concept to finally stick here.
Bay Street Biergarten
301 King St.
Pour one on the block for Granny’s Goodies.
364 King St.
From dive bar to chain burger joint in three easy steps.
Cold Stone Creamery
5 Cumberland St.
We’re still shaking our heads that Moe’s Downtown didn’t work here. Damn tourists. Egan & Sons was a fun footnote. too. It’s thanks to them that another Charleston favorite is called Edmund’s Oast. The two launched at the same time with the same name. Ultimately Oast owner Scott Shor chose a new name and as we all know that worked out just fine.
Egan & Sons
Cumberland St. Smokehouse
123 W Ashley Ave.
According to Folly lore, when it was Roadhouse, the owner once called the police on a band that was playing there for taking a set break. Sounds true.
Rock and Roll Roadhouse Cafe
Loggerhead’s Beach Grill