Upper King Street
Blue Bicycle Books
420 King St., Upper King Street
The very picture of a beloved neighborhood bookstore, Blue Bicycle houses a blessedly easy-to-navigate collection of new and pre-loved books spanning all genres—in addition to every single title devoted to the city of Charleston itself. The on-site event space plays host to countless author signings and talks throughout the year, while for the past 14 summers (and counting), the owners have organized a kid's writing camp to nurture little ones’ composition skills and appreciation for the written word.
511 King St., Upper King Street
Upper King Street is known for its bars, but The Belmont is one of the more sophisticated ones. A somewhat long, narrow space, there isn't a bad seat in the house, although the two-person high-top tables that run along the glass front make for entertaining people watching. There's also a cozy couch, intimate booths, and a bar—which is the real reason you come here: The cocktails are expertly done.
The Cocktail Club
479 King St., Upper King Street
NYC's West Village meets the South in this upstairs bar-lounge perched above The Macintosh restaurant on King Street. The 1881 building has been cooly reimagined—you can see the original beams and salvaged doors through the Cocktail Club's exposed walls; and the sole, long bar is made from reclaimed wood. The layout design reads more home than bar, split into three different lounge areas, each with a slightly different vibe, a mix of high wood tables and low leather couches, fireplaces, and fun lighting accents. When the weather's nice, there is also the rooftop terrace and garden (which is where the Cocktail Club's fresh garnishes come from). The ambience here is matched by the quality handcrafted cocktails, house-made infusions, and expert spirits list.
544 King St., Upper King Street
The chef behind downtown's Fig is also responsible for this Southern oyster bar and seafood hall concept on King Street. Like many popular Charleston restaurants, The Ordinary is housed in a historic building—this one used to be a bank. But The Ordinary stands out thanks to its spectacular Southern seafood line-up. Expect to see raw bar towers everywhere, along with plenty of hot dishes from BBQ white shrimp to crispy oyster sliders and steamed grouper.
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