Jazz hands and leather fringe 

Welcome to the jungle

On Friday night, we headed to Palmetto Brewing Co.’s Loading Dock series to hear Honeysmoke. The outdoor event couldn’t have had better weather for December as guests strolled through the brewery in short sleeves and shorts. Pints in hand, people mingled by Ted’s Butcherblock’s food truck (the chicken, pancetta, and avocado panini was a popular selection). Others waited to play foosball.

The brewery is still under construction, so the band had to play with guests standing on a ramp leading toward the vats of brews. Hard-hat-only areas kept the crowd together, cutting off a large section of space. “No smoking by the propane tanks,” the lead singer warned. “Everywhere else is cool.”

The evening had a steady crowd of about 30 people, with many a young’un running around and dancing to the bluesy beats of Honeysmoke. We sipped on Palmetto’s new beer, Huger Street, an IPA wheat beer, but Ginger Slap was also on heavy rotation. That keg had to be changed out less than an hour into the event. We waited to try the seasonal brew as it was poured from the festively decorated tap. After those suds, we headed home.

We braved the chill on Sunday afternoon and found ourselves surrounded by lots of leather and fringe. Walking up to the American Biker party at the Royal American, we heard “Welcome to the Jungle.” And it was a jungle. Bikes lined the parking lot, and guests gathered around a can fire with the words “Ride Free” carved into it.

The cooler weather didn’t keep guests from the event, but it did mean that less people were involved in the ride. One bar mate contended, “We rode from Johns Island. No one wanted to fucking ride with us.” We later found out that the ride, which started at the Red’s on Johns Island, only had about 12 participants — one of whom created a makeshift seat out of bar towels on her boyfriend’s bike. That couldn’t have been comfortable, but hopefully it kept her fanny from freezing.

Rock music piped through the bar as guests sipped on beer — including a whole lot of Michelob Ultra. Who knew that was a biker brew? Most of the guests seemed to know each other, and if they didn’t, they at least had a common denominator to start conservation. To stay warm, attendees hung out around the one heat lamp or split the time between inside and out.

The one time nearly everyone came inside? The raffle. Guests crowded around the mic to see who’d win the Royal American sweatshirt and two helmets. Rumor has it that one of the girls who won the helmet (a beautiful, hand-painted one that looked like it belonged zipping through European cities rather than pine tree-lined highways) didn’t own a bike. Looks like she’s halfway there now.

The tattoo shop Roses and Ruins was also scheduled to raffle off a gift certificate later in the afternoon. Sadly, the cold took over and we had to leave before finding out what else was raffled.

Monday evening found us getting a little swanky at the Jazz Artists of Charleston’s private jazz house preview. The JAC recently moved to a new location, so it took a little finding before we made it to the party. Jazz music, of course, played throughout the intimate fête as guests mingled with wine and beer. It was a mini gathering of the who’s who of the local art world — Stacy Huggins chatted with Marcus Amaker, while Charlton Singleton stopped by to say a few words. Erin Fornadel and Leah Suarez, who work for JAC, made their way through the crowd schmoozing with guests.

Guests roamed the new digs, which aren’t complete yet. But there was a video showing how far the remodeling had come — there were even some demolition scenes. Our favorite spot of the evening was the courtyard, which was decorated with fairy lights. The balmy night made it the perfect place to chat, and we even heard some people discussing Miley Cyrus. We decided it was a good time to leave before embarrassingly professing our love of “Wrecking Ball” and called it a night.


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