I went to the Biergarten on a Saturday for lunch. I ordered the Pimento cheese roll appetizer (recommended by the server), Pork Schnitzel, tried two different beers, and my dining companion had sweet tea and a salad. The pimento cheese rolls lacked any discernible taste other than 'gooey cheese', could have been Velveeta for all I know. The pork schnitzel was as tough as shoe leather and tasted about the same as one would expect shoe leather to taste. Proper schnitzel, when prepared correctly, has been pounded thin, and could basically be cut with a fork. This was certainly not true of the Biergarten's version which was a carved piece of meat, that was then egg-battered and dredged through flour. Thankfully we passed on the 'beer card'. $50 for lunch that was not very tasty? I do not think so. My lasting impression is that if you desire a large space to hang out and drink beer, this is probably a good option, but I would skip on the food. Parking, as mentioned in several others post is a major problem.
Bay Street Biergarten Review
If you're looking for a great selection of craft beers (mostly offered directly at the bar) or just want a large venue for socializing with a group of friends, this is a great spot. The table taps can be a little difficult to get to when crowded, but still a nice addition that bings a different style of service Charleston has been missing out on. With regards to food, there is pretty decent menu, but quite honestly most people go here for the beer selection, so its generally what you expect (the giant bowl of tattertots with cheese and gravy still always fun at any age). The staff has been friendly and accommodating as well.
The only issue I see is with parking around the area can be a llittle bit sketchy, since the lot always get full. However there is a giant lot that is open on the port terminal road that runs parallel to E. Bay.
The bier card was a golden opportunity to set BSB apart from the pool of comparable establishments. If anything, that should have been focused on for success only. Otherwise when you come down to saying that outside of the bier card, you are just like everywhere else, that really hurts in promoting your brand. If you are just like everywhere else, why don't I just go everywhere else?
I will cut some slack on the servers and their lack of knowledge since that takes time for most new places to overcome. I may try BSB again in a couple of months to see if they have improved. But if they are either no different or if what makes them different is not better, then I don't expect this to be a true and successful biergarten for the many in Charleston who are well-versed in beer.
We want to show some love to Bay Street Biergarten as they showed us love when allowing Bison Branding to vinyl wrap their truck.
I'll have to agree with the naysayers—I think the self-service aspect is a novelty that may be fun to play with once or twice, but I wouldn't be shocked if they start to gather dust once the initial wave of interest dies down a bit. I'd recommend The Craftsmen on Cumberland St. if you're looking for a wide selection and don't want to be punished for not wanting to play bartender. That said, brunch chicken waffles are outstanding and it's a good spot to catch a game.
General FYI: For those of you that aren't a fan of the bier card and/or don't want to learn how to use it, Bay Street has all of the amenities of a normal restaurant/bar. All of the beers at the the tables are in fact available behind the bar. The only beers that require a bier card purchase are those at the craft beer tasting wall (which consists of 6 rotating unique and harder to find craft beers). Additionally, the non-communal tap tables do not require a card and are "activated" by a server. The staff is always eager to help those that want to learn how the system works and learn how to pour their own beer. The card and tap tables are meant to be an educational tool but it is obviously not for everyone. For those that aren't interested in the tap system, there is food, liquor, wine and a huge beer selection that you can easily order the "old fashioned way." PS: the "get a life" comment was not an inside job... but this is :) We hope this clears up some confusion. Prost!
It's frustrating because if you want to order a beer from the taps throughout the restaurant you have to use a prepaid card which charges you by the oz even if only foam comes out. Also hard to view the selection of taps when the restaurant is busy also feels like you're intruding on other customers dinner if you want to go get a specific beer. Then if you want to order from the bar or waitress you only have 13 beer options total. I see what they were trying to do but didn't quite enjoy the experience.
I enjoyed Bay Street Biergarten's beer selection but have to agree with the others that the prepaid card is a scam. Watch out for the free pour, the get you by charging you for half of a glass of head each time a keg is changed. I paid 60$ for a card and was denied my Bombay Sapphire gin martini at the bar, which is unacceptable. And also, what's the deal with the community tables and the fact that one person has to pick up the whole tab? That's not how a community table operates. I like how the poster 'easydoesit' gives the restaurant 5 stars in order to bash a fellow reviewer. That smells of an inside job. Hilarious! In other news, the beef jerky was great!
I agree with the previous commenter about the prepaid cards. For such a vast selection of beer, why am I only limited to 13 options when there is probably 100 other drinks they can make behind the bar. If I’m going to pay you $40 without having a single drink, I’d appreciate you giving me a heads up next time.
How can you review a place if you didn't eat there, didn't mention the beer/cocktails and your only criticism is that you can't use the prepaid car at the bar?
Get a life.
I used to frequent the Boat House in this location and have been to Bay Street one time. I chose a Thursday night that was roughly 2 weeks after opening. It was to capacity at 930p, one in, one out. The inside is very nice, they did a great job with the existing space and built an amazing outdoor patio. I didn't get a chance to order any food this time so i can't speak to that.
I think the pre-paid cards/tap-wall is a novelty that will soon fade. The deal-breaker for me is the fact that I cannot use my prepaid card at the bar. I intend to go back for a food sampling.
Bear Down! In town for business, this Chicago style sports bar is a must see!
Oh Dear lord
Poe's has been one of my favorite go-to places for a long time and I LOVE the mahi tacos!! BUT to see this Tomas lady's seriously annoying and ridiculous rant on the side of my computer whenever I'm perusing the Charleston City Paper is plain annoying . Ever heard of a babysitter, Tomas? Yeah? Well, CALL ONE and stop complaining about the fact that your unruly children obviously are NOT OLD ENOUGH to sit still and be presentable in a really great establishment. Complete idiot.
Take your screaming child away from other paying customers until he calms down. Problem solved.
As much as I appreciate the previous 2 comments made in response to my post, I disagree with your overall statement. We were there at 11 am for a total of 30 min. We go there because it's loud, they have a kid's menu, they have high chairs, the wait staff has always been really nice, the food has been great, and the bartenders are knowledgeable. As such, I'd like to retract the statement about the "horrible, overpriced bloody mary's". I still do not appreciate the general manager being a complete jerk about the situation including when I went back to apologize for the inconvenience and complain about how we were treated. His statement that "he didn't want to tell me how to raise my kids" was uncalled for, unnecessary, and extremely hurtful. I would suggest that if they do not want parents to bring their kids there, there are easier ways to accomplish this such as removing the kids menu items and high chairs. I can assure you I will not go back with or without my kids. Since I no longer care nor do I have any more time to devote, I will no longer post any more comments in regards to this.
"I have never been treated so poorly in my life."
You must not have a very hard life, Tomas. No one wants to hear your crotchfruit cry, especially in a TAVERN. If you can afford to go out to eat, you can afford a babysitter. Next time I go there I will personally ask for Travis and tell him to keep up the good work.
Why anyone would bring a 1 year old, coupled with a 2 1/2 year old, to a restaurant that does not have arches or a Chucky Cheese mouse on it always amazes me. This is a bar that serves food. Don't upset the adults in the place with little kids. When you do the nasty and have kids, plan on being out of touch with decent restaurants until your kids grow up. Frequent places that have slides and playground equipment. Or silly games. Match the social maturity of your offspring with the intended menus and other patrons who are there. No food would be good with a little kid crying next to you.
I have never been treated so poorly in my life. My 2 year old hit his head and screamed in pain. When we were able to calm him down a few minutes later we placed our order. Literally, a minute later, the general manager, Travis, came over and asked "IS THERE GOING TO BE A PROBLEM HERE? YOU'RE KID'S YELLING IS DISTURBING!" Nevermind that he almost busted his head open and we were clearly emabarrased that we quickly requested boxes. On our way out, he took it upon himself to to tell us "BYE BYE!" As if he was the conquering hero that saved his patrons from the terrible 2 1/2 and 1 year old children. After we went home and put our kids to sleep for their nap, I went back to calmly let him know I have never been treated so poorly and wouldn't be coming back even though I have been there regularly for a decade. He actually told me he doesn't want to tell me how to raise my kids, but he had to look after his other customers comfort. Clearly he doesn't have kids, or he would have known that we were more worried about our son's well being than disturbing a few tourists sucking down horrible, overpriced Bloody Mary's at the bar. Way to go Travis, you clearly care about your regular customers.
AGAIN......and when might 'BABY FAT' be returning to ARTS.....if they are still together...they're a truly good sounding bunch of guys...:) :) :) :) ...and it's all SUPER good while listening-watching them at ARTS.....
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