The holiday season equals the busy season for Charleston's party scene, and last weekend was packed with fun and merriment of all kinds.
Cobble Hill, a new digital agency, hosted an office launch party and art show on Thursday. We had admired the agency's work with Jack Rudy Tonic and Tease Dry Bar, so we expected their offices to be phenomenal. Located on the second floor of 329 East Bay Street, Cobble Hill's space rivals most luxury apartments. The giant piazza has incredible views of the harbor, but the dreary weather kept most guests indoors. Luckily for the attendees, Callie's Biscuits is a client, and they had a generous spread laid out. The bar was also stocked with Westbrook beer. Guests were treated to artwork from photographer Liz Lantz, as well as video work from Cobble Hill. It was a good chance to learn about the new kid in the media/advertising game.
We spotted much of the same creative crowd on Friday at the family and friends night at the newly opened Xiao Bao Biscuit. Everyone seemed eager to see how the old Rutledge Avenue garage had transformed into a much-anticipated Asian restaurant. The staff is young and hip and includes many familiar bartenders from around the peninsula. The drinks were creative and paired perfectly with the food being passed around. We snagged a delectable vegetable dumpling and found ourselves seated next to a bowl of Asian wings. The appetizers really whetted our appetite for the restaurant to open this week.
Saturday, we went from biscuits to bivalves as we made our way to our first of many oyster roasts this season. Charleston Waterkeeper's Oyster Point Runoff at Colonial Lake celebrates local waterways with food, drinks, music, and races on the lake. Cyrus Buffum encouraged us to get involved in the stand-up paddle board race, but we declined and stuck to what we know — eating oysters. The weather was cold and gray, but the Garage Cuban Band helped to warm things up. Though when one of the race participants fell in the lake, we felt his pain.
We shed our flannel and heavy coats for bell-bottoms and paisley shirts later that night for a '70s-themed party at the Alley, Charleston's newest bowling alley and sports bar. The line stretched down the block when we arrived at 131 Columbus St. A fundraiser for Be a Mentor, the party was completely sold out. The space, a former warehouse, is almost overwhelming in size, with vintage video games lining the walls. Many party-goers were involved in heated games of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. The bar was full of patrons in afros and polyester vying for a chance to grab a cocktail or local beer on draught. After scoring a Holy City Porter, we moved to the back of the building to find the bowling lanes. Guests early to the party had already claimed the lanes, and there were some fierce competitions going on between teams.
Upstairs, many of the guests were doing their best Saturday Night Fever impersonations at the photobooth. After a few snaps, we helped ourselves to the cuisine from Home Team Kitchen. Between the comfort food and the wood paneling, we felt like were back in our parent's refurbished basement. Except this time, we didn't have to sneak in our friends or the beer.