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.
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.
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.
I finally made it into the peninsula to visit Craftsmen Kitchen, after a couple month wait for opening day. When you first walk in the door, you can tell there was a lot of money invested into design and decor. I really enjoyed the ambiance with the focus around a beautiful series of bars. There was plenty of space inside, and also an outdoor area with 4 large picnic tables.
The menu was very basic. One side had appetizers and smaller dishes. The other side featured more entree-like options. The waitress also gave us a large tap/bottled drink menu. My first thought, after glancing at the drink menu, was that it contained a lot of confusion. They tried to split things up by flavor profile, but didn't really get it right. There was a section for hoppy/IPA type beers, a section for local brews, a section for malt forward beers, and one other that I can't remember. The IPA/Hoppy section was fine, and featured many great brews. I am not sure there was a reason to separate the locals from the style based menu, as we didn't know exactly what flavor profile fit some of the local brews. The malty beer section was a complete cluster. There were pale ales (Hoppy), belgians, browns, and stouts all mixed in there. Those styles do not all fit the same flavor profile. I would have preferred them to not worry about style and just list all beers by brewery, or perhaps take time to separate by more than a couple flavor profiles. I didn't take time to check if most of the beers listed on the menu were actually on tap, but I didn't have any issues with my orders. The beer selection, while numerous, was not really impressive for a craft beer bar. It seemed like the had the normal basic offerings from many breweries, without carrying many seasonals or limited releases. I found it difficult to pick out a beer I really wanted to drink, but I am probably pickier than most patrons. I did like the option to have 8oz or 16oz pours, but I am not 100% sure the tumblers they use actually hold 16oz. The prices were a touch high, but that could be par for the course when you are a block from the market. The beers were served in clean glassware and seemed to be about the right temperature. My only suggestion there would be to use proper glassware for the style, but that is really asking for a lot.
Once we had a few drinks, we decided to order a few food items. We wanted to try two appetizers and a couple sandwiches. We ordered the Scotch Eggs (hard to find in the low country) and General Tso's Chicken Wings. The wings were really tasty, and they nailed the sauce. It was a nice mix of sweet and spice, and went well with the base crispy wings. The scotch eggs were not exactly what I am used to, but still very good. You only get one large egg, cut in half, so take note if you are sharing with a few people. My main course was the burger, which is made with house ground beef and some added pork belly in the mix. Pork belly makes for some delicious burgers, but also prevents you from getting a rare or medium-rare burger. It took quite a while to receive my burger, but we were in a large party. The burger comes with some thick cut fried potato rounds, but you only get 4 of these. If you are really hungry, it is better that you order more than just the burger. I did enjoy the seasoning on the burger, and would eat it again. I do wish there was more of a side with this. The other dish we got was the crispy pork belly sandwich. Basically, this is a piece of fried pork belly, between two pieces of toast, with a fried runny egg on top. I am not sure why the egg goes on top, as it makes the dish excessively messy. The belly was a touch overcooked, but the whole sandwich was still pretty good. This also cam with the small side of fried potato rounds.
Overall, I think this is a place worth checking out if you like craft beer. They are still very new and will probably be working on things like tap offerings and food. I think my expectations were a bit too high, due to years of drinking craft beer. I will likely return to see if they fall into a groove with food and beer selection. I wish them luck and much success. I am still happy to see another craft-centric bar in downtown Charleston, which covers a growing market of better beer drinkers.
Wow, glad you read my 2 year old review and the rest of them. I probably go to Foster's twice a month, so I don't think Craig would want me to stay home. Many of my early comments were in fact addressed. For a while, I thought the food was stepping up (had a cheesesteak sandwich special that was really good), lately it may have slipped a little.
I can usually find a decent beer here and the food is good. This place continues to be in my rotation. Is it a 5 star as you report, definitely not, but it is a good neighborhood pub with above average beer. I think Craig is a good guy, and the staff at the bar has always been friendly.
I give detailed honest reviews and don't throw 5 stars out at every place. City Paper does not define their stars, but most reataurant guides see 1 star as recommended. 5 is typically reserved for a place that you would drive 200 miles out of your way for (3 to me denotes good). Owners can use my free assessment to improve or not. If they improve, I will go back as is the case with Foster's. Some places are not geared towards my tastes, or do not care to be.
Highs: genuinely friendly staff, yummy burgers/sandwiches, jam-if-you want live music setup.
Lows: EXPENSIVE ($28 for sandwiches and tea for two), and it is a strange mix of "new" and "dive"
I liked this place; it is completely un-pretentious, the food was solid, and they have a nice outdoor setting. Draught selection looked good. They even have karaoke. But seriously too expensive in general.
first visit last night. food was good but honestly the ticket time on the food was 1.5 hours. yes, that's right, 1.5 hours. probably would have left under normal circumstances but was unable to do so on this particular visit. will not go back unless i hear they have fixed their kitchen problems.
On the bright side, if you are looking for a cool sports bar without having to go to far, then this is a great place to go. They have many tvs set up inside and out. As far as anything else goes, the food is terrible...they must rely on liquor and beer sales to stay open. Some of the staff and very friendly and like to have fun, but others are just kind of stupid and are only there to try and make a buck. If you are able to be there on a day when the owners are not drunk, then they are pretty nice guys and will do anything for their patrons, unfortunately, they are drunk about 90% of the time they are there. I will still go to have some drinks and watch some games, but I do not go there because I like DIG.
We stopped in Saturday night for dinner and a few drinks. I agree the drinks were pricey, even for the high quality choices. I had the pork slap and it was very good as was the interesting pickle slaw that I had with it. The duck pot pie was good, but tasted more of mushroom than duck. It was a pleasant experience overall, but not what I would call outstanding.
I agree with Aleyeat's last paragraph regarding busy nights and getting a table. If you're that busy, put a hostess on the floor. Why should the customer be put in the position to pester other customers by hoovering over them while they hopefully finish. And then it happens to you when you're winding down. Hey, but it's Poe's... Like Paris Hilton. Famous for being famous.
Have been here many times, but never a review. This can serve as a compilation I guess. Food: menu is small but the burgers and tacos are good. I have probably ordered the tuna tacos 80% of the time, mahi tacos 10%, and burger the rest of the time. All are good and safe bets. My wife orders the buffalo shrimp salad most of the time. Also, fries are some of the best in the area.
The beer at Poes is OK, decent amount of drafts, but most wasted on inane products. I have also been here when the draft system has been down, the beer tasted flat, and have also got a different beer than I ordered. For the most part though, the beer was served acceptably.
Last time I was there, I was squinting to see what was on tap when the bartender said the list is on the board. The list on the board is firstly not up to date and secondly only lists the brewery not the beer. This is something I find more and more with uneducated servers. I have ranted about this before. When asked what beers they have, they answer with the name of the brewery and omit which style. This probably comes from their macro upbringing in the beverage industry. Nobody ever says which Budweiser is that on tap? Needless to say, I never did find out what Kona was on tap although I wouldn’t have ordered it anyway. A second thing that happened after the first bartender left (shift change) was a server asked the bartender which Southern Tier and where it was from? This is a tourist destination so they were likely looking for a local product. The bartender did tell her the type, but just said I don’t know about location, not “so and so knows” or “I will find out.” Anyway, I told her Lakewood, NY and she looked at me and said “is that really where it is from?” I was thinking no, I go around to bars and make up places when people ask where a brewery is from. Minor point: most, not all of the bartenders think they are something special. Servers have been better.
The last item that is a peeve is when they are busy, it is a crapshoot for a table. You are forced to hawk over people trying to guess which one will finish first. Sometimes, if you have good Karma, a table opens up as you walk up, but then you probably gain bad Karma because there is likely someone else somewhere else in the place who has been waiting longer. The answer to this is they are busy enough where they don’t care, just be forewarned.
Will I go back, duh, yes. I just wish they cared more about the customer and the beer.
My wife and I came in last night for the grand opening. We actually didn't know this place was even here. We pulled in after seeing the guy on the corner putting up the grand opening sign. I admit I know little about beer, being a Blue Moon and a PBR kinda guy. I was quickly told about the Allagash which I enjoyed very much. The Bartender, Kevin, was very nice and quite helpful.
We came in at the time that they were setting up a little tasting buffet. I really enjoyed the onion rings and the spinach dip, though it was a little runny . The crab cakes weren't as good as most I've had, but my wife loved them so maybe it was a matter of taste.
The menu is okay. Not the best, but not the worse I've seen in a pub. Qasadillas and natchos don't fit on a pub menu in my opinion. I also would have liked to have seen a few stables on the entree menu, Shepard's Pie and the like. I ended up having the fish and chips and my wife had a burger. We both really enjoyed our food, my fish was cooked a little too done, and I did not get the blue cheese slaw the menu said came with it, but the batter was good with lots of pepper which I like, and it was so much I didn't even need the slaw. My wife's burger was perfect to the T and the fries were good. We really liked the peppery ketchup we got with the fries.
I know the place is new and just opening, but I would like to see some more entree type items on the menu, not just fried food and sandwiches. All and all we had a good time and enjoyed our food. We'll be back, I'm sure, but probably not at night again. This seems like a great place to come for a quick in and out lunch.
Three stars. The pub boasts a decent beer selection, and the bartenders are professional, efficient, and courteous. On the other hand, management is quite the opposite. Home of the infamous "bar stool bandit." You know who you are. Ladies and gentlemen, don't dare leave you seat. If you do, then be prepared to head for the street.
Staff has always been pleasant, I like the fact that they all seem to help out each other with food orders, drinks, bussing tables, keeping the place clean... $2 Pacificos are jim-dandy by me, the jerk chicken sanwich is yummy, and the fries are awesome. Never thought about it for brunch...may try it out soon!
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