Featured Press Releases

Use this library of press releases written by the Charleston Area CVB media relations department to mine for story ideas, stay abreast of what is new in the destination and learn about the special events that take place throughout the year.

For additional story ideas, we invite you to visit our blog.

For Immediate Release, May 2012
Upper King Has the Upper Hand on What's Hot

-Discover this Revitalized District of Historic Downtown Charleston-

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA – Over the past few years, the neighborhood of Upper King—located on Upper King Street from Calhoun to Coming streets—has been completely revitalized with galleries, home décor emporiums, bustling restaurants and nightlife options. In true Charleston fashion, new establishments celebrate the historic charm of 18th and 19th century buildings by utilizing reclaimed materials and savvy renovation methods that showcase original architectural details. Additionally, a variety of hotels are situated within walking distance, offering visitors a convenient perch for scoping out the many great culinary and shopping finds of this up-and-coming district.

Listed below is a sampling of some of the neighborhood’s favorite restaurants, bars and shops:

• 39 Rue de Jean, 39 John St. – Housed in a circa 1880 two-story brick warehouse, this authentic brasserie offers robust cuisine and an extensive wine list in a vibrant and social setting. Executive Chef Aaron Lemieux features mussels created six ways and traditional favorites including steak frites, braised rabbit, Coq au vin, duck confit and Scallops Saint Jacques. Coined “Rue” by locals in-the-know, this eatery is considered a place to see and be seen by day and a lively hot spot by night. www.39ruedejean.com

• Closed for Business, 453 King St. – Offering an extensive collection of unusual and rare beers from South Carolina and beyond, craft beer lovers are pounding on the doors of this draught emporium. With 42 taps (and counting), Closed for Business is an airy hang-out with wood-lined walls and ceilings, communal tables and comfortable booths. Traditional pub fare is made with ingredients sourced from local farmers are prepared with a uniquely southern twist. Crispy green beans with ranch dressing, duck pot pie and the pork slap sandwich are among must-haves. www.closed4business.com

• Coast Bar and Grill, 39 John St. #D – With laid-back Lowcountry style, Coast pays homage to the area’s bounty of fresh seafood. Located in a brick warehouse originally used to store indigo, this Charleston fish house features 40-ft. ceilings, rustic tin roofs and paintings from around the world, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of an eclectic beach bar. Guests can enjoy the signature peach blanco sangria on the patio before savoring a selection of wood-grilled fresh fish prepared in Coast’s hickory and oak custom-made wood burning grill as well as seared rare tuna, fish tacos and a full raw bar. www.coastbarandgrill.com

• Cupcake, 433 King St. – Brainchild of Charleston native Kristin Kuhkle Cobb, this wildly popular sweet spot bakes a delectable array of cupcakes daily using the finest all-natural ingredients like real vanilla beans, sweet cream butter, fresh fruit and rich chocolate. Nine flavors are offered daily including traditional red velvet. The salted caramel chocolate cupcake (a signature creation) features cream cheese icing rolled in clear sugar and sea salt, drizzled with caramel. Cupcake lovers are encouraged to plan ahead if visiting on a holiday like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day – the lines are out the door. www.freshcupcakes.com

• Halls Chophouse, 434 King St. – This classic American steakhouse owned and operated by a Charleston family serves high-grade meat in a visually striking environment with exposed brick walls, leather banquettes and a 16-seat antique African mahogany bar. Its menu blends a selection of veal, lamb and pork chop offerings with fish, shellfish and USDA Prime steaks, including the featured 34 oz. long bone tomahawk rib eye dry-aged for 45 days. www.hallschophouse.com.

• Joe Pasta, 428 King St. – Cravings for quality Italian cuisine are satisfied at Joe Pasta, where patrons may create their own dishes by selecting pasta, sauce, meats, seafood and veggies. Outdoor seating is also available and the restaurant’s expansive bar is ideal for sharing a glass of wine or cocktail. www.joepasta.com

• Midtown, 539 King St. – Located in a beautifully restored 1700s historic building, Midtown features original exposed brick walls, fireplaces, pressed-tin ceiling tiles and indoor and outdoor bars that were hand-crafted from the heart pine beams salvaged from the original structure. Offering affordable “Southern-Casual” cuisine, Midtown is known for its BBQ and wings made seven ways. www.midtownbarandgrill.net

• Monza, 451 King St. – Named after the Italian super speedway hosting Formula 1 races, Monza has devised an award-winning formula for Neapolitan-style pizza. Dough is prepared with imported San Felice wheat flour, natural Neapolitan yeast and filtered and pH balanced water. Locally sourced toppings are added before the pizza is baked in a wood fired oven at 1000 degrees. The Vanwall Special is a favorite, featuring pesto, mozzarella, local white shrimp and seasonal tomatoes. Monza also serves fresh pastas, salads, antipasti and daily specials including their legendary lasagna. www.monazpizza.com

• O-Ku, 463 King St. – Celebrating authentic Japanese cuisine with a contemporary twist, O-Ku showcases the freshest fish from the world’s finest markets as well as locally sourced ingredients. Its interior is sleek and modern, yet offers a reminder of Charleston’s charm and history with exposed brick and high ceilings. A fine selection of sake and hand-made cocktails complement the restaurant’s eclectic menu. www.o-kusushi.com

• The Cocktail Club, 479 King St. – Dedicated to the art of the craft cocktail since its opening last year, Cocktail Club offers an extensive selection of house-made infusions, rare spirits and farm-to-shaker beverages which feature fresh squeezed juices and modern ingredients alongside a menu of light fare. Its rooftop terrace offers a more modern escape, complete with a custom garden that provides fresh garnishes picked daily. www.thecocktailclubcharleston.com

• The Macintosh, 479B King St. – After opening in 2011, this restaurant quickly found itself on the James Beard Foundation Best New Restaurant nominee list, while Chef Jeremiah Bacon (yes, really) earned a James Beard Best Chef Southeast Award semifinalist nod. The Macintosh offers a soulful menu inspired by Lowcountry farmers and purveyors. It’s also known for its Bacon Happy Hour, occurring each Monday and featuring small plate pork dishes and drink specials. www.themacintoshcharleston.com

• Virginia’s on King, 412 King St. – Inspired by Sunday family dinners hosted by Charleston native, Virginia Bennett, Virginia’s reflects cherished family recipes prepared with Southern cooking traditions. Its signature She Crab soup, fried okra and deviled crab are a sampling of starters, followed by main courses such as Frogmore Stew (or Lowcountry boil), southern fried chicken and chicken and dumplings. www.virginiasonking.com

A collection of eclectic shops dot Upper King, including:

• Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St. – Owned and operated by local writer Jonathan Sanchez and his wife Lauren, Blue Bicycle Books has 50,000 volumes, including the most complete collection of used, rare and new Charleston materials. Other popular sections include history, architecture, military history, Civil War, eastern religion, science, philosophy, gardening, poetry, hardback classics and literary fiction. Blue Bicycle Books also operates a creative writing camp for kids and an annual YALLFest, which will take place Nov. 10, 2012. www.bluebicyclebooks.com

• Butterfly Consignment Boutique, 482 King St. – Catering to women with a great selection of clothes, handbags and shoes, Butterfly offers everything from Cynthia Rowley and Tory Burch to Prada and Gucci. Its giant rack of designer jeans – think Joe’s and True Religion – will make one not want to pay retail again. The boutique also features incredible sales, offering up to 50 percent off of everything in the store. www.butterflyconsignments.com

• Affordabike, 534 King St. – While offering top models of road and mountain bikes of a traditional store, this bicycle shop is known nationally for its BILDA line – custom beach cruisers for kids and adults ranging in price from $130-$200. Riders can design their bikes online choosing from a variety of colors for their frame, fork, chainguard, fenders, handlebars, grips and saddle. Affordabike also offers rentals starting at $20 per day, ideal for exploring the area’s surroundings. www.affordabike.com

The Upper King district is also conveniently located near the Charleston Museum, known as America’s First Museum, founded in 1773, and Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry. Area hotels include Courtyard by Marriott Charleston Historic District, The Francis Marion Hotel, Hampton Inn Historic District and Embassy Suites Historic District.

The mission of the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is to unify and lead the local travel industry in marketing the Charleston area as an individual, meeting, incentive and group destination to both the domestic and international markets. For more information, visit explorecharleston.com


For more information, contact the CVB Media Department at [email protected] or (843) 853-8000.


Request a Visitors Guide

Where should we send your visitor guide?

*We will not sell or give away your personal information. Your privacy matters to us.

Would you like to receive e-mail updates about deals and events in Charleston?
May we send you offers from our partners?

Request a Digital Visitors Guide