As part of the Lowcountry Local's "Eat Local Challenge" I am drinking my way through Charleston's local inebriating options. Here is my report from The Cooper River Bridge Run Weekend.
I woke up early after going to bed late. Still, I was excited because I had lots of fun activities planned for the weekend. My brother- and sister-in-law were staying with us over the weekend. They were going to be in town for a wedding that night and with the bridge run that night all the hotels in the area were sold out. They arrived said hello and got ready for the wedding. My wife and I made the decision that we were tired and just ordered some Chinese food from Chopsticks House downtown. I stayed up with the baby as she hasn't been sleeping well lately.
I walked out on the porch at one point and my brother- and sister-in-law's Uber was arriving at the house. My sister-in-law was tired out from dancing and a long day of driving so she went to bed. My brother-in-law and I decided to go grab a drink. So we walked over to the Recovery Room. It wasn't open when he lived here and he had never been. I've known Chris, the owner, for probably a decade and like to support my friends. I walked in and the place was packed (pretty much like every Friday night). I made my way over to the bar and ordered a Budweiser and a shot of Makers Mark. Know I know what you're thinking "hey neither of those things are local."
And guess what? You're right. I messed up right off the bat. But the place was so packed (along with there being some unsavory people I didn't want to see) that we decided to call it one and done at the Recovery Room and we caught an Uber over to Local 616. Dwayne and I have also known each other for a long time (as friends and he and I used to work together) and I really love the bar there. Local 616 I was confident in being able to satisfy my need for local beers and having a more relaxed crowd. And to my delight, not only did we find a couple bar stools, we found all of Local 616 beers on draft to be local. So we finished off the night talking, playing ring toss, and making plans for Saturday. We walked home and I made us a couple of omelets which we washed down with a couple Holy City beers. It was around 3:30am when we went to bed.
Holy crap the bridge run starts early. My wife was running it and woke up at 6:00am to catch the shuttle to Mount Pleasant. Her alarm wasn't set correctly and luckily one of her friends called her who was running with her. Her phone was on the night stand next to me and I heard it and tried to answer the baby monitor next to it. The kid decided to take mercy on my soul and fell back asleep soon after she left.
We both woke back up around 8:30. I quickly changed her diaper and fed her. Then we hustled out the door to go watch my wife run. Well, in actuality, we hustled out the door three times because on one trip I left my phone and then on the next trip I realized I forgot the diaper bag. We see my wife come down King Street and then met up with her and friends at our usual meeting spot, in front of the Knights of Columbus building. From there everyone decides to head over to the bar I "manage", The Upper Deck Tavern. We sit and talk and more people join us from the group. I buy a round for everyone because why not start drinking local beers at 10:00am. We walk home, doing some people watching and waving (my daughter is really into waving at people, our cat, cars, the blinds, really anything).
I figure I have time to get a nap in before my brother in law and I have to head out to watch a soccer game. But then my friend who lives in Scotland gets in touch with me and tells me that she and her mom are in town and want to know if they can come over to meet my kid. So they come over and visit and it's lovely to see them. But by the time they leave its time to walk over to 616 again. I mean, it had been 12 hours since I'd been there.
Now I don't care about soccer but my brother-in-law is a big fan. So we walk over and I decide it's time to sample one of Dwayne's Bloody Mary's. But I request that he makes it as local as possible. So using local vodka, Dixie Vodka, local Bloody Mary mix, and topping it with Holy City's Pluff Mud Porter, I was happily drinking my first local liquor drink of this assignment. And while Dixie Vodka is a pretty terrible name for vodka, it made a pretty good Bloody Mary. So the game finishes up and we walk back home.
Finally, I can take a nap. Just kidding, my friend Heather who lives in Knoxville is in town and wants to get a drink at Barsa. Heather is an old friend of my wife's time in medical school. She is an ER doctor in Knoxville and is in town for the race along with some friends. Since we're moving there soon we've seen a lot of her and her family and they are some of my favorite people. At this point however I'm tapped out on local beers but my wife orders one, so that counts, right? We get back home and we make dinner because now it's time for the main event.
The North Carolina Tar Heels, my favorite team, are playing in the Final Four against Syracuse. I've made plans to meet up with friends at Cooper River Brewing to watch the game. So we head over there and watch the game. UNC puts in a pretty dominate performance and wins. I put in my own dominate performance and try 6 of Cooper River's beers. They are pretty delicious. The tasting room is very nice and the owners turned out to be a bunch of UNC fans as well. And towards the end of the night someone came by and brought around pizza!
The pizza would be crucial because my night wasn't over. I had a good friend who was having people meet him for his birthday. My brother-in-law and I got dropped off at the Mellow Mushroom. There I ordered a pint from Coast. And that was my final local beer of the night. It however, wasn't my final beer or even stop for the night. I stayed out with my friend until about 4 a.m., at which point I came home, but my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were staying on our extra bed (read: pull out couch) and my kid was asleep with my wife in our bed. So I grabbed a comforter and passed out on the floor in our nursery.
I woke up to my wife telling me that they were headed to the beach. I went back to bed and then woke up to my friend Matt calling me to see if I wanted to go grab drinks for his birthday. So, being a man with more will than sense I dragged myself out of bed, into a shower, and into a clean shirt, and headed to the Tattooed Moose. There I met my friend and had a bite to eat. From there we headed to Edmund's Oast where I had one of the beers they make there. We sat around talking and then decided to check out the new Home Team BBQ. Now, I am highly critical of barbeque but that's a story for another day. I will say that Home Team has just fantastic wings. They also have delicious frozen drinks including a local strawberry daiquiri.
So there you go fearless readers. I'll continue to do the drinking and eating all in the name of the local economy just for you. Some sacrifices just need to be made from time to time.
Oh, and after Home Team we went to dinner at The Darling where I ate local clams and oysters and washed them down with a martini. I then went to bed at 7:30 p.m. and slept for 12 hours.