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Game On: A Unique Scene at Charleston's Best Sports Bars



If you happen to be visiting Charleston, South Carolina during a major college or professional championships, or even just an important mid-season game, you'll want to watch at a sports bar reflects the local competitive spirit. For Charleston, team affiliations aren't as clearly defined: the local colleges, College of Charleston and The Citadel, are small-medium sized (C of C doesn't have a football team), and South Carolina is one of those rare states without a professional sports franchise. That doesn't keep us from cheering on the Cougar basketball and Bulldog football teams, but it does open the city up to a wide variety of fan groups and team-affiliated bars.

Charleston is certainly more of a foodie town than a sports one, but it works in our favor. Here, you can catch the big game in a better than average environment alongside some seriously good pub-grub. Elevate your gametime experience with pretzels and brats at Bay Street Biergarten, for example, or by downing some local craft beers and burgers at Charleston Beer Works or King Street Grill (half-price on Wednesdays).

If it's a laid-back, no-frills scene you're after, we've got that, too, at the local hangout Burns Alley or Upper King's Midtown Bar & Grill. Others want a little extra entertainment on the side with their sports bar experience; some bowling at The Alley, ping pong at HōM, or cornhole and bocce at My Father's Moustache should do the trick.


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Located on busy Upper King Street downtown, Midtown Bar & Grill is a draw for a young, sports loving crowd on both weekdays and weekends. You'll find live music going on five times a week, as well as pool tables, two inside bars and an outdoor patio deck with its own full bar. If you're coming to Midtown Bar & Grill for the big game, you'll have no problem snagging a great view: Midtown offers multiple flat screen TVs inside, as well as huge projector screens both inside and on the outdoor patio. Known locally as somewhat of a Clemson fans' bar, Midtown consistently shows all major college and pro games.




Hom brings to the table what no other bar in Charleston does: ping pong balls and paddles, of course! Located on Upper King, Hom is conveniently located within walking distance of many hotels and restaurants. Hom is an alternative sports bar, for those who'd rather play games rather than watch them (though there are TVs for spectating, too). Head to the back of the house to hit the pong tables, but before things get serious, stop for a juicy pregame burger to ensure an athletic performance. Feel free to return to the refueling station anytime during play, where bartenders serve up specialty cocktails, beers and vintage sodas. Catch happy hour from 4-7pm Monday to Friday for $4 single patty burgers, $4 hotdogs and $2 domestic beers. Stop in on Monday and you'll find yourself at Classic Burger Night, with $5 burgers and $1 beers. Game on, burger and beer lovers!




Over 36 flat-screens adorn this impressive two-level bar and grill, where patrons may choose from over 100 varieties of beer and a multi-page menu of gametime eats. In addition to the standard pub menu, King Street offers some more upscale choices like the prime rib wrap and chicken cordon bleu, along with several loaded salad options. In-house entertainment ranges from billiards to live music to weekly trivia nights, and the crowd is typically all-ages and a mix of both locals and visitors. You'll have no problem catching the game of your choice at King Street Grille, but this King Street bar is known as a Pittsburgh Steelers bar by locals. Swing by King Street Grill during the week for half-price wings on Monday, half-price salads on Tuesday and half-price burgers on Wednesday!


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The Kickin' Chicken is quite possibly the best known sports bar in Charleston, due in part to its dedication to local and state sports games, but also because of the popularity of it's chicken-loaded menu. The Kickin' Chicken lives up to its name - it's entirely possible to enjoy chicken all-ways here, including wings, tenders, sandwiches, salads, and wraps. There's also a few burgers and the infamous Bobby Fries thrown in for a well-varied bar and dine-in menu. TVs on every wall, including out on the back patio deck, as well as a loyalty club that rewards you with credit towards both food and drink makes for an ideal sports bar hangout.




Located just west of the Ashley River from downtown, The Roost Bar N' Grille dishes out cheap yet satisfying pub grub in a more laid-back, less crowded atmosphere than you're likely to find on King Street. The Roost is guaranteed to have the big game on, if it's college or pro baseball, basketball or football you're after, with TVs both inside and on the covered outdoor patio. It's known as a USC Gamecocks bar, but all fans are welcomed here. There's also live music several nights weekly, and some killer food and drink specials, including Monday's $6 burgers, Tuesday's $3 off house bourbon, and $1 mimosas for Sunday brunch. Happy hour Monday through Friday gets you $1 off any alcohol. You may be there to down a drink or two during the game, but the food is worth sampling. Try the Ahi Tuna or Buffalo Chicken Dip appetizers to share.




Bay Street Biergarten doesn't fit the mold of what you'd typically imagine a sports bar to be, and that's a good thing. Here, you'll be able to watch the big game without dealing with huge crowds or standing room only. You'll also be able to try a near-ridiculous selection of craft beers from Charleston and beyond, alongside a menu that lends itself more to a meal than something to hold you over through the game. Bay Street Biergarten menu items are more inclined to satisfy an entire afternoon or evening of sports-watching, with items like pretzels with smoked cheese sauce, bourbon-beer wings, pimento cheese sticks serving as a warmup to bigger gourmet burgers, brats and sandwiches.




You can get to this semi-hidden dive bar by entering through La Hacienda, a Mexican restaurant on King Street, (after eating there, to be polite), or by walking a block down narrow Burns Lane through the main bar entrance. Burns Alley is the dive bar that you're looking for, if you're looking for cheap shots, local and domestic beers, and a rowdy crowd. Burns Alley is an ideal place to start your night out in downtown Charleston due to its super central location and the fact that it usually becomes more crowded later in the evenings. Burns is open every night of the week until 2am, and is an ideal place to catch the big game, especially if you're a UNC Tarheels of College of Charleston Cougars fan! Pool tables, skeeball, foosball, and other arcade games are also on hand to keep things interesting.


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Like any other Charleston sports bar, My Father's Moustache has a great local beer selection (16 on tap) alongside a long list of house wines and cocktails. But what makes My Father's Moustache different is its dedication to British football (it's not called soccer here), as well as traditional English and Irish pub grub. You're promised a great time here, as long as you're ready to get into the spirit of the Arsenal game that's on (MFM is the home of the local Arsenal fan club, Charsenal), and you've come with a major appetite. Portions are hearty, with dishes like Bangers and Mash and Fish and Chip to fill you up for the day (or week). My Father's Moustache opens as early as 7am on weekends for brunch and early EPL games. My Father's Moustache also boasts games like darts, pool, and pinball, as well as cornhole and bocce courts.




Located on Upper King Street in the midst of Charleston's busiest bar scene, Charleston Beer Works maintains a casual, laid-back vibe for its sports-loving regulars. Known primarily as a gathering spot for New England sports fans, Charleston Beer Works often shows hockey in addition to all major football and basketball games. There's plenty to drink on tap from local and national brewers, and prices are reasonable enough to linger for more than a few rounds. Friday night is Mug Night at Charleston Beer Works, with 1/2 off beer prices for those that bring in their own beer mugs for a fill up!




Of course, The Alley is best known as Charleston's only downtown bowling alley, and for good reason. This retro-style bowling hotspot brings in bowlers of all levels to enjoy their squeaky clean lanes, open seven days a week. The Alley has so much more to offer than just bowling, which is readily apparent with your first step inside. Come to The Alley for a much better than pub-grub menu of burgers, sandwiches and salads, alongside a changing menu of local and regional craft beers. There's also a selection of arcade games to keep you occupied while waiting for your turn at the lanes. The Alley is a sports bar in every sense of the term, which is why you'll see every major college and pro game on the TV screens. Drink and play while you watch at The Alley!


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Meet Clare Sweeney

A South Carolina native and avid locavore, Clare is always venturing between traveling abroad and her beloved Lowcountry. 

Clare works and plays in downtown Charleston, spending her days...  More About Clare

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