803 Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant

It was a full-service gas station when I was a child. Today it is a bustling restaurant and bar that offers valet service, a lazy man’s nirvana. Steps away from busy Coleman Boulevard, Red Drum Gastropub is a cozy enclave, providing a delightful respite from the cold winter thanks to a roaring fire and soft candlelight, both of which lend an intimate aura to this Mt. Pleasant hot spot. Presently dolled up for the holidays with tasteful greenery, Red Drum is the place to see and be seen for those with deep pockets East of the Cooper. The menu at the Gastropub, a relatively new term coined by the culinary world to indicate a bar with elevated food quality, boasts an array of tantalizing appetizers and light suppers, perfect for sharing. In the absence of happy hour pricing, one weekly special exists: on Thursday night patrons can order two tacos and a margarita for the moderate sum of $10. The crowd is an even mix of beer and liquor drinkers, although their gorgeous stemware makes it difficult to resist sampling one of the numerous outstanding wine selections. The bar itself tends to fill quickly and the high-back leather chairs become a hot commodity. A nearby nook with two cocktail tables is prime people-watching real estate, but the adjoining room is perfect for those wanting a seat from which to comfortably nosh, cocktail, and watch the fascinating social Paso Doble unfold. Bonus: valet parking and handsome staff like Mitchell Hughes (pictured).