Gerry Kieran at the Seanachai Social Club

The Seanachai Social Club on Johns Island (3157 Maybank Hwy.) may officially be a private club with an annual membership fee, but owner Gerry Kieran regularly offers opportunities for the general public to visit the Irish-style pub for exotic cocktails, top-shelf whiskeys, and fine ales and lagers.

Situated in an impressively renovated gun and tackle shop in a small plaza along Maybank across from the Fat Hen, the Irish-style pub is a dimly lit tavern with a U-shaped bar and several cozy seating areas with handmade wooden tables and chairs. Kieran, a native of northeastern Ireland, has worked at Muse and Charleston Grill. He tends bar nightly, serving an array of fine whiskeys, gins, wines, exotic cocktails, and microbrewed and imported ales and lagers dispensed from custom-made tap handles.

The name (pronounced “shon-a-key”) refers to a traditional Irish storyteller. There are no TVs in the pub. Instead, the bar offers a small library of books, ornate chess boards, and weekly live acoustic music as entertainment. Non-members are welcome on music nights. Celtic-themed acoustic sessions take place every other Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. Local folk, bluegrass, and jazz groups perform at 7 p.m. on Fridays and occasional Saturdays.

Food trucks like Roti Rolls (rotis, tacos, sides, drinks, desserts) and the Foodie Truck (chips, dips, soups, sandwiches, slushies) set up in the parking lot on the weekends during the performances.

Visit for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann

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