What’s New in Charleston

Seven new spots to eat, drink, and explore in the Holy City

Photo: Andrew Cebulka | Container Bar | Maggie Armstrong

From left: A corner table at Citrus Club; liquid refreshment at Container Bar; inside the dining room at Melfi's.

Driving east on I-26 into downtown Charleston, it’s hard to miss the construction cranes dotting the skyline. A lot is changing in the Holy City. Apartment buildings and hotels are cropping up all over—none so high, though, as the 255-foot-tall steeple of Saint Matthew’s Lutheran Church, which still marks the vertical limit of buildings in Charleston. While some may be wary of so many new developments, there’s a palpable excitement surrounding the near-constant churn of new restaurants, bars, and shops that has helped make Charleston one of the most popular destinations not just in the South, but in the world. Here are seven recently-opened spots to explore on your next trip.   

Babas on Cannon

Located in a former barbershop half a block off King Street in the burgeoning Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood, Babas on Cannon is Edward Crouse and Marie Stitt’s take on a European café, where the same regulars who drop in for coffee in the morning might stop by for a nightcap after work. “The concept is a little peculiar for some people,” Crouse says. “You can get a shot of espresso and a shot of tequila at 11 a.m.—if you wanted to.” In this bright, minimalist space, mornings are signaled by pastries, macchiato service, fresh squeezed orange juice (get all three with the Distinguished Gentleman for $8) and breakfast tacos. At night, Crouse recommends the fried chickpea panisse and a cocktail—their homemade Aperol spritz, perhaps, carbonated in-house and served with an orange wedge and an olive. “We love to take liberties because we’re not an Italian or Parisian café,” Crouse says. “We’re in Charleston and we love that.”


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Citrus Club

The Dewberry Hotel began charming visitors in 2017 with its 155 luxuriously appointed rooms and chic lobby bar. But its rooftop, which boasts some of the best views of the city, has long been limited to private events. That changed with the recent opening of the Citrus Club, a tropical terrace lounge on top of the eight-story midcentury gem. Non-guests can make reservations to enjoy dressed up bar snacks and frozen citrus-infused drinks specifically designed by beverage director Ryan Casey to strike the perfect balance between beachy and sophisticated.

Andrew Cebulka

The Community

This new shop in the Cigar Factory building fronting East Bay Street is aptly named. It’s all about encouraging creativity. The shop spotlights small-scale makers throughout the country (think: colorful, abstract prints handmade in Nashville; intricate pillows embroidered in Brooklyn; and ocean-inspired gold jewelry and punch-needled works of fiber art designed in the Lowcountry.) The space, run by Randi Nuorala, Yana Wieckowski, and Stephanie Pascarella—three Charleston-area small business-owners themselves—also hosts workshops and classes that teach crafts, such as candle pouring, loom weaving, and watercolor calligraphy.

Jacqueline Stofsick

Container Bar

The team behind Rutledge Cab Co., which includes actor Bill Murray as the CFO (that’s Chief Fun Officer) and Mike Veeck, who co-owns Charleston’s minor league baseball team, opened Container Bar last fall in the Wagener Terrace neighborhood just north of Hampton Park. Built inside a former auto body shop and three reconstructed shipping containers, the bar serves craft cocktails, local beers, and snacks from a rotating roster of food trucks in a fun indoor/outdoor setting complete with giant Jenga and cornhole. On warm Saturdays, try the light and fizzy Strawberry Fields made with strawberry-infused vodka and a champagne float; if the weather’s still cool, opt for a Simple Man, a popular rye and ginger concoction.

Courtesy of Container Bar

Fireproof Building

Originally constructed in 1826, Charleston’s Fireproof Building, which housed the city’s important public documents, is far from new. But the home of the South Carolina Historical Society Museum recently reopened after a two-year renovation. Stop in—it’s located on Meeting Street right in the middle of the historic district—to see three hundred years of letters, photographs, maps, and journals that document Holy City history.

Jacqueline Stofsick

Lake Pajamas

When Cassandra Cannon and Anne Read Lattimore, two Savannah, Georgia, residents had their first children, they realized that adult loungewear couldn’t compare to the softness of a baby’s onesie. So they launched Lake Pajamas in 2014 to make some of the softest pima cotton sleepwear on the market—elegantly simple women’s pajamas, nightgowns, and robes. In December, Cannon and Lattimore opened their first brick-and-mortar store on King Street, with help from Charleston interior designer Olivia Brock. Lake Pajamas, which just released its first children’s line, will debut their first men’s sleepwear next fall.

Jacqueline Stofsick


With Leon’s Oyster Shop and Little Jack’s Tavern just three doors down from one another, restaurateur Brooks Reitz is creating a dining empire on upper King Street. Melfi’s, a convivial Italian spot, is his most recent addition, joining the lineup last September. Grab a seat at the bar or slip into one of the forest-green banquettes, and start with a cocktail—the menu offers six variations on the Negroni, along with a half-dozen other Italian-accented offerings, like the Boozed-Up Bellini, which adds tequila to the Venetian original mix, or the Garibaldi, a frothy mix of fresh orange juice and Campari. Then tuck into thin-crust pizza or fresh pasta dishes and enjoy a decidedly adult evening. 



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housemade Fusilli, in the style of ‘Fra Diavolo’. we open at 5pm, come see us! #melfis #fusilli #fradiavolo #spicylobstersauce

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