Back in January, we reported on the speakeasy-inspired Cocktail Club, the newest venture from Steve Palmer's Indigo Road Restaurant Group. Originally scheduled for an April opening at 479 King Street, the date was pushed back a few times, but Palmer assures us the doors will be open by June 24. The restaurateur gave us a private tour of the space on Friday afternoon.
Located on the second floor of an 1800s-era building a few doors down from O-Ku (another of Palmer's ventures), the Cocktail Club is set in what used to be a private residence. While on first glance it looks like the space has a long way to go, Palmer explained that it's meant to have a bit of a raw, open look, complete with brick walls, exposed beams in the walls and ceilings, and original details like fireplaces, floors, doors, and even ivory doorknobs.
"The idea was to leave the space as natural as we found it," Palmer said.
Indeed, contractor Tom Lennon (whom Palmer referred to as "a god") says they used about 95 percent original materials in the construction of the main space. Even the long, curved bar is made from original heart-pine floorboards. One of the most exciting features of the Cocktail Club has also been one of the most complicated in terms of construction: out back is one of the area's only rooftop bars. The modern-looking outdoor space will fit about 40-50 people and will feature cocktail service. Mini herb gardens will be planted along the top of the walls for use in the cocktails.
Speaking of the cocktails, beverage director Jasmine Beck is putting together a menu of Prohibition-inspired drinks with a modern twist, most priced around $10. They'll also have happy hour specials, and Beck will teach monthly classes for those who want to learn how to make her cocktails at home. A peek at the menu reveals creative offerings like the Caprese (tomato- and pepper-infused vodka, white balsamic vinegar, tomato water, and muddled basil leaves), the Thai Boxer (Meyer lemon-infused vodka, spiced rum, honey syrup and light coconut milk topped with a ginger beer float), and My New Favorite Summer Cocktail (Hendrick's Gin, rhubarb-infused simple syrup, fresh lime juice, muddled basil leaves and sliced strawberries). They'll also introduce the company's line of custom-made liquors including, tequila, vodka, and gin.
Oak Steakhouse's Jeremiah Bacon has put together a small menu of food like charcuterie and small plates, and WildFlour's Lauren Mitterer will be crafting their sweets.
The Cocktail Club is Palmer's first bar ��he's opened 20 restaurants — and he says it might be his last, considering the hoops he's had to jump through to get to this point. Judging by our first impressions, his hard work is about to pay off. See thecocktailclubcharleston.com for more info.