College of Charleston

The Silver Dollar
by Marc B. Zawel

Of Charleston, South Carolina’s numerous accolades – the most beautiful city in America or the “best mannered city” – one designation stands out from the rest. Named one of the best places to go for a one-night stand, the Silver Dollar is an unassuming bar located among the small boutiques and trendy lounges on fashionable King Street. Housed in a building from the 19th century (Charleston is a city that literally oozes history), it caters almost exclusively to the 10,000 students at College of Charleston, which is conveniently located, you guessed it, within stumbling distance.

The scene: With black and white photos lining its walls and an old-fashioned feel, you’ll want to pony up to the bar for a beer and shot of whiskey after passing through the Silver Dollar’s doors. It’s a simple, non-gimmicky kind of place: up front, there’s a stage for live music, which typically hosts local bands five nights a week, and a couple of pool tables in the back. But the sparse décor doesn’t seem to bother many patrons. “It’s a comfortable place to be. The bartenders don’t just serve you, they get to know you. And the girls, yeah, they’re beautiful,” says Joey, a junior English major. And, if that’s not enough? There’s always trivia.

Girls at the bar: Charleston is a city famous for its charm and beauty. The women at the Dollar are really no different. “They’re some of the best in the country,” says Mark, a junior bio major. “Tanned from days at the beach, blonde-hair, blue-eyed, honestly, is there really anything else?” But beware: sticking around too long can mean a complete shift in standards. “I’m scared about graduating and leaving here,” says James, a senior education major, with a laugh. “Guess there’s still time to fail that last class.”

When to go: Regulars say that some of the wildest nights are also some of the most random. Either way, you should be in for a treat any night of the week, with Friday and Saturday night particularly slammed. “Everyone hits up the Dollar at some point during the night,” says Genny, a senior business major. To avoid the lines, $5 cover and general onslaught, try to arrive before 11 p.m. And, if you happen to be visiting in late October, be sure to make plans to hit up the Silver Dollar’s notorious Halloween costume contest.

Dress code: It’s a lot of pink, visors and flip-flops. One student had the best advice: stay simple, stay comfortable and stay prep.

At the bar: Bartenders say they spend most of their night pouring bourbon, vodka and Bud Light. For the more adventurous, there’s the “Screaming Viking,” a potent yet sweet shot of Goldschlager, Chambord and cranberry juice. But, students and locals say that the $2.75 domestic beers and boozy $4 well drinks are always a good bang for their buck.

Where it’s at: 478 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina

Hours: Every day, 8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Phone: (843) 722-7223

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