Best Upscale Bar, Martini, and Bar Staff 

Pavilion Bar

Pavilion Bar

Downtown. 225 E. Bay St. 266-4218

If rubbing elbows with the rich and famous of Charleston sounds like an incredible evening, the Pavilion Bar at the Market Pavilion Hotel is just the place to be. Set above the ritzy Grill 225 restaurant, the Pavilion Bar towers over the Holy City, with amenities including a heated pool and incredible views of downtown. Such swanky guests have included Cuba Gooding, Jr., who shacked up at the hotel while filming Radio in Walterboro, as well as Dan Marino and Mr. Charleston himself, Mayor Joe Riley. Perfectly polished brass banisters line the perimeter and the checkered marble floor gleams beneath patrons' feet as they sway along to subtle jazz. The well-trained staff understand the meaning of elegance.


A premium dirty martini at the Pavilion Bar holds the following ingredients essential: 3 oz. vodka, 1 oz. dry vermouth, 1/2 oz. olive brine. "The most important part of a martini, other than proportion, is the shaking," explains sommelier David Bishop. Holding the shaker firmly in his right hand, Bishop gives the lidded cup a series of vigorous shakes. "You can't simply toss the shaker once or twice. You have to get some speed behind it. That way, you get those nice shards of ice crystals in the glass." To top it all off, Market Pavilion drops in a plump green olive stuffed with blue cheese, making it a martini to remember.


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