Est. 1996 | French Quarter
Quintessential dive bar in one of Charleston’s most frequently visited neighborhoods.
One of Charleston’s oldest bars, The Griffon has managed to stick around while most everything else around it has closed, rebranded, or disappeared altogether. Its charm lies in the fact that it appeals to both locals and tourists (which makes sense since it’s basically right across from Waterfront Park). Anthony Bourdain (RIP) famously visited its dollar bill-plastered interior during one of his last trips to Charleston, and many people have followed his lead, stopping by for a shot of whisky -- or Jägermeister, as Bourdain did -- and to leave behind a signed memento to grace its walls. It’s basically a rite of passage at this point, so be sure to stop by at least once during your tenure to experience this piece of Charleston history.
Est. 1970s | French Quarter
A nondescript cocktail bar with decades of charm
Faculty Lounge in its current iteration has been around only since 2013, but the building in which it sits and its historic moniker have roots dating back all the way to the 1970s. Faculty is the kind of place that you’d never know was there unless you were a local. After a bartender buzzes you in and you step inside, you’ll find a cheap happy hour (and a pretty affordable list of drinks even during non-happy-hours) and chill atmosphere with a sort of mid-century modern vibe, plus entertaining bartenders thrown in as an added bonus.