The Royal American was packed to capacity Saturday night for an early Mardi Gras party. Five dollars got you in the door to find cheap drinks and a barrage of color. Masqueraders chugged dangerously delicious rum punch to warm up from the rain, while gumbo and greasy Po’ Boy sandwiches were sold on the porch to attendees hit with the late-night munchies.

The New South Jazzmen provided live brass beats to get patrons in the mood to swing dance inside. Having just opened a few months ago, The Royal American put its name on the map by going all-out with decorating its unique space for the celebration. Colorful bead necklaces hung from the lights and chairs, and staff members handed out masks as party favors, leaving a trail of glitter all over the building. The bartenders spun precariously low spiral lamps every time someone ordered a drink — not surprisingly, they never stopped spinning.

As the night went on, it became more difficult to move around inside, while out on the patio it was wet and chilly. Regardless, we overheard several partygoers mention how much they felt like they were on Bourbon Street. The Royal American was the perfect setting for the event — seemingly rough around the edges but cool and relaxed inside.

Love Best of Charleston?

Help the Charleston City Paper keep Best of Charleston going every year with a donation. Or sign up to become a member of the Charleston City Paper club.