The Cocktail ClubNovember 17, 2011
Cocktail Lounge of the Year Entry
Name of Club: The Cocktail Club
Location: Charleston, S.C.
Ownership/Parent Company: The Indigo Road
Square Footage: 2,500
Open Date: June 24, 2011
The Cocktail Club opened on upper King Street in Charleston, S.C., in June 2011. The Club features a custom bar made entirely of reclaimed wood from the original structure, which dates back to 1881, as well as three lounge rooms with exposed walls showcasing the original beams and door frames of the historic building. The space features authentic fireplaces and wood barrel accents that are paired with modern lighting and leather couches and chairs to create a rustic ambiance. The Cocktail Club features upper King Street’s only rooftop patio, offering guests a more modern escape to enjoy their craft cocktails outdoors. The rooftop terrace also serves as an on-site garden for drink ingredients. The 2,500-square-foot space has a total capacity of 142 people and is comprised of 1,300 square feet inside and 1,200 square feet on the rooftop patio space.
The Cocktail Club’s extensive beverage menu features unique house-made infusions as well as rare liquors and garnishes grown in the club’s patio herb garden. The Club also has plans to introduce a line of custom-made liquors including, tequila, vodka and gin.
Alongside the beverages, The Cocktail Club serves a selection of light fare created by BJ Dennis. Highlights include a prosciutto panini with fig relish, fresh arugula and Fontina cheese and crispy duck confit wings with a spicy Thai peanut sauce.
Its cocktail menu is both accessible and adventurous. The extensive 11 page menu splits the specialty cocktails into categories such as “From Farm to Shaker,” “Spice Up The Night,” and “Light and Fizzy.” The “To Your Health” section features cocktails like the Adam and Veev (Veev Acai Spirit, house-made ginger simple syrup, fresh-squeezed lemon, fresh-pressed apple juice and Aperol float) and the Grape Inspiration (a delicate blend of Vya Dry vermouth and Enlightened Grains lavender and rosemary-infused vodka accented by local muscadine grape juice). The warmer months saw My New Favorite Summer Cocktail – a blend of Hendricks gin, strawberries and basil with a touch of lime – and to usher in the cooler season, My New Favorite Fall Cocktail takes Maker's Mark whiskey and mixes it with muddled organic apples, fresh-pressed apple juice, Averna, lemon juice and maple syrup topped off with a touch of Decanter bitters and a dusting of Vietnamese cinnamon. In addition to the specialty cocktails, the menu includes wine, beer and spirits (both 1.5oz and 2.5 servings are available for the spirits).
The Cocktail Club runs several programs for its patrons. On the first Saturday of every month, beverage director and partner Jasmine Beck hosts cocktail classes for those who want to learn how to create the unique cocktails at home.
A limited number of memberships, available for $300 annually, are available for the Cocktail Club. Member benefits include weekly socials, access to a private number for reservations, private wine and beer tastings, an annual membership gala, and admittance to one cocktail class a year. The membership card also allows members to bypass the line on the street. Additionally, the Club offers specials throughout the week. The “Flight Night” program (on Mondays) offers three signature sips for $10. “Sunday Night Soul” offers half off all punch bowls and $5 well drinks all night, with live music from 9 p.m. until midnight.
While the Club features wood dating back to the original structure from 1881, its true foundation is built on its people. Steve Palmer of the Indigo Road restaurant group, the man behind such successful ventures as Oak Steakhouse, O-Ku and the Macintosh, serves as Managing Partner alongside Beck.
Since it opened, the Cocktail Club has fast become one of Charleston’s most popular destinations. In the five short months since its opening, the Club has issued around 200 memberships. The Club has also been very active in supporting local charities, hosting charity events such as “Champagne for a Cause” and “Wine Down the Summer” (which benefitted Camp Happy Days). Upcoming events include a Sustainability Party and the pediatric cancer event “Cause for a Cure.” For the majority of the events, the Cocktail Club has donated 10% of all sales.