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, January 2017
What's New in the Charleston Area Winter 2017


With its vibrant culture, rich history, exquisitely-preserved architecture, idyllic coastal location, celebrated dining scene, and friendly locals, Charleston, South Carolina, is one of America’s best loved travel destinations. Readers of leading travel magazines have consistently voted for Charleston as their favorite domestic travel destination, resulting in the No. 1 City in the U.S. and Canada ranking by the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013) and No. 1 Top U.S. City ranking by Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards (2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011).

The Charleston area is a bustling epicenter of hospitality as illustrated by the following news.

I. Accolades
II. New Restaurants
III. Restaurant News
IV. Accommodations
V. Venues
VI. Retail + Specialty Products
VII. Tours + Exhibits
VIII. Highlighted Special Events


No. 1 City in the United States and Canada
Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards

Best U.S. City
AFAR 2016 Travelers’ Choice Awards

No. 1 Small U.S. City
Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards

No. 2 Best Cities for Food in the U.S.
Travel + Leisure 2016 World’s Best Awards

The Best Shopping Cities in the World
Condé Nast Traveler

World’s Most Romantic Cities
Food & Wine


Avila Venezuelan Cuisine
141 Calhoun, Charleston | avilacharleston.com

This food truck turned brick-and-mortar eatery located in downtown Charleston specializes in authentic Venezuelan cuisine. Avila Venezuelan Cuisine offers traditional Venezuelan menu items including arepas, grilled corn-cake slider sandwiches, tequenos, fried cheese sticks with homemade ketchup and patacones and crispy plantain sandwiches. Opened November 2016.

315 King Street, Charleston | thebeech.life

Family-run eatery Beech serves a wide variety of health conscious bites, from Ahi Tuna Poke bowls to Guava Jam bagels and Yogi Acai bowls. Beech also sells local brew from Black Tap and Kombucha from Charleston-based One Love. Opened September 2016.

Café Gibbes
135 Meeting Street, Charleston | gibbesmuseum.org

Recent renovations at the Gibbes Museum of Art include the addition of a new bistro, Café Gibbes. The café offers locally sourced artisan sandwiches, savory soups and salads, and features a wine bar and additional beverages for museumgoers and the public to enjoy. Opened December 2016.

Fatty’s Beer Works
1436 Meeting Street, Charleston | followfatty.com

This brewery and tasting room will feature high quality craft beers including 20 beers on tap with a focus on sours and German style brews. Beers served on tap will include First Shot IPA and Musket Mule among others. Opening February 2017.

Hen and the Goat
869 Folly Road, Charleston | facebook.com/hen-and-the-goat

Hen and the Goat is an upscale sandwich shop serving unique menu items such as a pork belly grilled cheese. This casual breakfast and lunch spot features an outdoor patio and is pet-friendly. Opened August 2016.

Lagunitas Taproom and Beer Sanctuary
161 East Bay Street, Charleston | lagunitas.com/taprooms/charleston

Lagunitas, among one the largest craft brewers in the nation, converted the former Southend Brewery and Smokehouse into a 16,300 square-foot taproom and event space in the heart of Downtown Charleston. This 10-barrel brew house features exclusive small batch beers and two floors of event space. Opened October 2016.

Pancito & Lefty
708 King Street, Charleston | pancitoandlefty.com

Former Indaco Chef Robert Berry and Alley owner Jimmy Poole will transform a former pizza dive into a colorful Mexican restaurant. This lively neighborhood spot, located on upper King Street, will feature traditional Mexican food with a focus on vegetable-based, shareable plates. The menu also boasts an extensive tequila and mescal menu. Opening Winter 2016.

Paw Paw
209 East Bay Street, Charleston | pawpawrestaurant.com

Paw Paw is the latest Southern-focused eatery opening on East Bay Street. Guests are invited to enjoy local and seasonal cuisine paired with locally made beers, North Carolina wine and rare bourbons. Menu items include ahi tuna tartare bites, sweet potato ravioli and hickory-smoked ribs. Opened December 2016.

Pier 101
101 East Arctic Avenue, Folly Beach | tidesfollybeach.com.com/pier-101

Pier 101 will be located on the Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier, offering one of the best ocean views in Charleston. This 2,369 square foot restaurant will feature a seafood-inspired menu, indoor seating, an outdoor deck and a bar, along with weekly live music. The menu will boast fried and grilled shrimp, burgers and fries and salads. Opening March 2017.

Pier 41
1039 SC-41 #100, Mount Pleasant | pier1mtp.com

Local chef and restaurateur Brannon Florie brings a raw bar and seafood eatery to Mount Pleasant. The space features a 16-seat bar, 40-seat dining room, a vast cocktail program and seafood-inspired menu. The menu boasts classic dishes such as oyster po’boys, flounder tacos and lobster rolls. Opened August 2016.

Pounce Cat Café
283 Meeting Street, Charleston | pouncecatcafe.com

The South’s first and only cat café offers local pastries, boozy beverages and adoptable cats. In addition to its café offerings, Pounce Cat Cafe has partnered with the Charleston Animal Society to assist with the adoption process and serve as a shelter for homeless cats. Opened December 2016.

Rappahannock Oyster Bar
701 East Bay Street, Charleston | cigarfactorycharleston.com

Richmond-based Rappahannock Oyster Company is opening their fifth location in the Cigar Factory in Downtown Charleston. The restaurant will feature a bar, restaurant and market offering seafood-focused dishes, a raw bar with Virginia and South Carolina oysters and local cocktails. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy their meals outside on the patio or within the 152-seat indoor dining room and bar. Opening Winter 2017.


Goat Sheep Cow North
804 Meeting Street, Charleston | goatsheepcow.com

This gourmet specialty cheese shop opened a second location in the North Morrison area. The new location features a wine and coffee bar, premade specialties, an expanded menu and a larger retail space. Menu items include a signature grilled cheese, a muffuletta sandwich, and rotating vegetable sides and soups. Opened November 2016.

Scott’s Bar-B-Que
1011 King Street, Charleston | thescottsbbq.com

Acclaimed pitmaster Rodney Scott is bringing his signature Hemingway-based whole hog barbecue to Downtown Charleston in the space formerly occupied by Chick’s Fry House in the Wagner Terrace neighborhood. Rodney Scott’s runs an all-wood operation that cooks between eight and 10 whole hogs per night to create pit-roasted pork, chicken and turkey. Opening TBA.

Tradesman Brewing
1647 King Street, Charleston | tradesmanbrewing.com

James Island’s first brewery, Tradesman Brewing, is moving to a new location on King Street that features additional space for seating and parking, a larger outdoor patio and bigger brewing capacity. Opening May 2017.


Hotel Bennett
404 King Street, Charleston | hotelbennett.com

Overlooking iconic and historic Marion Square, Hotel Bennett will be located in the heart of Downtown Charleston. This luxurious hotel will feature 179 guestrooms and suites, a signature restaurant with spectacular views of Marion Square and a sophisticated lounge and bar. In addition to a rooftop pool with cabanas, Hotel Bennett will boast a luxury spa, event and meeting space and a French patisserie. Guests may enjoy Charleston’s first classic Ladies Bar, featuring reclaimed pink marble and a mirrored ceiling. Opening Fall 2017.

Shem Creek Inn
1401 Shrimpboat Lane, Mount Pleasant | shemcreekinn.com

This coastal retreat located on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant is surrounded by Lowcountry marshlands and offers amazing harbor and seaside wildlife access. The newly renovated hotel will provide 51 renewed guest rooms and suites, an expanded lobby area and a redesigned entrance. Shem Creek Inn is just a step away from waterfront restaurants and activities including paddle boarding, kayaking and fishing. Opening March 2017.


Drayton Hall
3380 Ashley River Road, Charleston | draytonhall.com

Drayton Hall will be expanding its experience through the construction of a new visitor center, an education center, a 19th century caretaker’s house and an interpretive garden. The visitor center will include an orientation hall, a museum shop and exhibition galleries. The galleries will exhibit Drayton Hall’s internationally significant furniture, artwork, manuscripts and archeological finds for the first time in history. The Sally Reahard Visitor Center will aim to provide an expanded visitor experience along with increased preservation of this National Historic Landmark. Opening Fall 2017.


Amber Waves
10 Conroy Street, Charleston | reverlybrewing.com

Revelry Brewing Co. head brewer Ryan Coker teamed up with award-winning chef Sean Brock to create a heritage grain-based malt liquor. The beverage utilizes heirloom grain varieties including Carolina Gold Rice, Jimmy Red Corn, North Carolina 2-Row, Virginia 6-Row and North Carolina Rye. The beverage is also brewed in collaboration with Geechie Boy Mill, Anson Mills and Riverbend Malt House.

342 King Street, Charleston | charleston.vomfassusa.com

King Street welcomes its newest specialty grocery store, VOM FASS, this spring. Guests are invited to sample wares before purchasing. VOM FASS will offer artisan-produced oil and vinegars, exclusive Scotch and Irish whiskeys, fine brandies, unique liqueurs and wines. Opening Spring 2017.


Alice Ravenel Huger Smith: Sharing Her Legacy Exhibit: October 23, 2016 – June 17, 2017
4300 Ashley River Road, Charleston | middletonplace.org

Middleton Place and Edmondston-Alston House present the Alice Ravenel Huger Smith exhibit “Sharing Her Legacy,” featuring, for the first time, private family collections of Smith’s art and poetry, including landscape paintings, family portraits and sketchbooks. Smith, a Middleton descendant, was a Charleston Renaissance-era artist who was instrumental in launching Charleston’s creative revival in the 1920s. The exhibit celebrates Smith’s paintings of the history and natural beauty of the Carolina Lowcountry and provides a unique perspective on her life and work.


Charleston Wedding Week, January 23 – 28, 2017

A dynamic series of workshops, signature experiences, fashion shows and tours produced by the team that created Charleston Weddings magazine and the Wedding Row blog, Charleston Wedding Week brings industry professionals together with brides-to-be and up-and-coming vendors.

34th Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival, January 29, 2017

The Lowcountry Oyster Festival, executed by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, Inc., is the world’s largest oyster roast. With more than two tons of the salty mollusk on the menu, this widely popular event at Boone Hall Plantation features legendary “Oyster Shucking” and “Oyster Eating” contests, live music, spirits and a “food court” showcasing a variety of local restaurants.

Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, February 17 – 19, 2017

The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is the largest wildlife, art and sporting event of its kind. This three-day celebration showcases more than 500 artists and exhibitors, wildlife and nature experts, sporting demonstrations, conservation education, food and drinks.

North Charleston Arts Festival, March 3 – 7, 2017

The North Charleston Arts Festival features five full days of events highlighting over 1,000 national, regional and local artists and performers. This celebration of arts and culture features an array of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, crafts, photography, media arts and literature for all ages.

Charleston Wine + Food Festival, March 1 – 5, 2017

Lauded as one of the country’s premier culinary experiences, the Charleston Wine + Food Festival celebrates 12 years of immaculate flavor and unforgettable fun with more than 100 events. This five-day event includes some of the most celebrated chefs, culinary professionals and winemakers in the world.

Lexus Charleston Fashion Week, March 14 – 18, 2017

Held under the tents at Marion Square, this five-night celebration is one of the nation’s leading fashion events. Lexus Charleston Fashion Week showcases more than 35 runway shows, featuring model talent, energetic photographers and emerging designers.

70th Annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, March 16 – April 22, 2017

Peek behind the garden gates and porch doors of the Charleston peninsula’s most intriguing private residences during these award-wining tours and educational events. The Festival of Houses and Gardens showcases Charleston’s distinctive history, architecture, gardens and culture.

Charleston Antiques Show, March 17 – 19, 2017

Inspired by the rich historical, architectural and cultural heritage of Charleston, this exhibition is a showcase of nearly 30 of the nation’s most prominent antiques exhibitors. Celebrating 70 years for the Historic Charleston Foundation, the Charleston Antiques Show features decorative and fine arts including rare maps, jewelry, prints and quilts of English, European and American periods.

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