Bar owners across South Carolina have expertise in rafting an experience that serves up more than the standard beer and cocktails. Bars provide a prime spot for business networking, celebrations with friends, tasty meals, or simply an evening of music and entertainment. And you can find all of these things and more at these 9 best bars in South Carolina.
One of the major icons of this small college town, the Esso Club has been a Clemson tradition for decades. The locale started as a gas station in the 1930s, and eventually expanded into the town’s only spot to go in and have a beer. Fast forward several decades, and the Esso Club continues to be the prime destination for folks to go in and grab a drink (and tasty eats, too!). Situated across from Clemson University’s Death Valley stadium, fans flock to the bar in droves on game days to show their spirit for the Clemson Tigers.
Calling all sports fans—there’s no better place to camp out and watch your favorite team than right here. Situated along the Intracoastal waterway, Backyard Bar & Grill features over 40 TVs playing every game you can imagine, along with a savory menu and drink specials. It’s a favorite place among the locals, and no one knows better than the local crowd.
Best burger in the Upstate? Many people tend to think so. Nestled in the small town of Seneca, this bar doesn’t see the big city wall-to-wall crowds, and people like it that way. If you want more of a laid-back bar atmosphere that offers occasional live music and a menu that is second to none, you’ll be glad you came here.
For those who crave a little music with their cocktails, head to Tin Roof in the Vista, just a few minutes’ walk from the University of South Carolina campus. It’s become a sort of gathering spot for musicians, but no worries if you’re tone deaf—you can still fit right in just by showing your support for the live music acts that frequent the venue.
If you’re looking for a bar with a view, Ocean Annie’s offers plenty. This beachfront bar is hopping both inside and out, serving up tasty eats and drinkable treats all summer long. Every day (and night) is a party at Ocean Annie’s, with direct beach and pool access, live music, and endless ocean scenery.
By far one of the most eclectic bars in the state, Art Bar lets you escape the ordinary by providing a place that is anything but. From the floor to the ceiling and all the tables, chairs, and decor sandwiched in between, the folks at Art Bar have curated a unique atmosphere that truly is a work of art in every way. Kick back and enjoy some live music, cold drinks, and good company, even if you come alone.
The geniuses at The Tattooed Moose in Charleston have found a way to win your hearts—their loyalty program rewards you for eating and drinking with them (can you say free drinks?). But even if they didn’t, it would still be worth a trip here. With some of the most unique, delicious takes on American cuisine, their offerings here are far from ordinary. You’ll also find a huge selection of craft beers, traditional beer brands, wine, and a good selection of you-call-its for fair prices.
Perhaps it’s called The Capital Club since it’s located in the capital city of Columbia. Or maybe it’s because it’s one of the area’s most prestigious gathering spots. Either way, this bar takes the title of the oldest and most elite private gay bar in the state. The bar has provided a cultural staple in Columbia for over three decades, and provides its members with an upscale atmosphere prime for networking and mingling.
Reminiscent of the bars of the speakeasy days, patrons can expect both class and sophistication from the moment they enter. Enjoy a handcrafted cocktail on the rooftop terrace or in front of a roaring fireplace, while you soak up the upscale atmosphere. And make sure you take the time to appreciate the fine craftsmanship of every drink you order—you can’t help but notice the difference.