Nightlife Guide

Columbia SC Clubs and Bars
By Free Times
Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bites & Sights
Where to Eat: Bites
What to Do: Attractions
Where to Drink: Nightlife
Where to Stay: Accommodations

So you’ve worked your way through all the daytime attractions and restaurants that you can handle — what now?

Drinking, of course. And Columbia’s got you covered in pretty much every regard. Whether it be a laid-back spot to catch the game, a swank watering hole where the bartenders mix up invigorating cocktails, a hip place to dance, or an upscale pub that centers its menu entirely around bacon, this famously hot town counters its climate with a bevy of options to quench your thirst.

And even if you think you know the local scene, keep in mind that things are always changing — clubs open, close, change formats or managers, etc. So it’s a good idea to take a fresh look around every now and then — or just pick up your weekly issue of Free Times — and make sure you haven’t missed out on a new place you might love.

Downtown
Main Street
South Main
USC
North Main

Le Cafe Jazz
930 Laurel St., 400-1879
skpfoundationlecafejazz.webs.com
You want jazz? Stop by this jazz club in Finlay Park. Call ahead for hours.

Cantina 76
1301 Main St., 764-1769
cantina76.com
This downtown joint is abuzz with hot young lawyers and college students who come for the fancy tacos and stay for the excellent margaritas, made in all shapes, flavors and sizes with top-shelf tequilas. Family-friendly, too.

Columbia Soundstage
1800 Blanding St., 397-3895
thecolumbiasoundstage.com
Warehouse-type space near the Township hosts large hip-hop concerts and dance parties.

Hunter-Gatherer
900 Main St., 748-0540
huntergathererbrewery.com
More than the token local microbrew joint, H-G boasts awesome bartenders, scrumptious entrées and an excellent liquor selection.

The Oak Table
1221 Main St., 563-5066
theoaktablesc.com
Come for the modern American cuisine, or just come for the deep bar and fantastic cocktails, including the rye-based Mac-hattan and the gin-based French Shogun.

The Palace II
6820 N. Main St., 708-3474
An upscale R&B club for the “prestigious and elite.”

Sheraton Rooftop Lounge
1400 Main St., 988-1400
Not for the acrophobic, the Sheraton’s hip Rooftop Lounge boasts a classy clientele, fine libations and desserts, plus a beautiful view of the Capital City.

Sheraton Vault Martini Bar
1400 Main St., 988-1400
Nestled within the bank’s original safe, the Vault Martini Bar is a popular hotspot for those who insist upon their martinis stirred, not shaken, and with a twist of sophistication.

Tio’s Mexican Cafe
921-A Sumter St., 252-7229
tiossc.com
Full bar with 35 types of tequila. Mimosas and bellinis on Sundays.

The Vino Garage
2327 Main St., 834-3392
This Earlewood wine and beer shop also hosts a lot of tastings of hard-to-come-by wines and beers.

The Whig
1200 Main St., 931-8852
thewhig.org
The Whig used to be Columbia’s cool-kids-only bar, but its dollar-slice Mondays and cheap-taco Tuesdays have broadened its clientele to Greeks and Main Street urban professionals. Still has that rad jukebox.

Wine Down on Main
1520 Main St. Suite 1B, 673-4810
This small, cozy wine bar is charming and unassuming, offering select beers and complimentary hors d’oeuvres in addition to a large selection of traditional and offbeat wines.

The Vista

Art Bar
1211 Park St., 929-0198
artbarsc.com
Art Bar’s been around for more than 21 years now, but it still hasn’t grown up: It’s still the same eclectic, non-corporate nightspot it’s always been. Cool but never pretentious. Looking for that hot derby girl? She’s probably here.

Blue.
721A Lady St., 251-4447
blueinthevista.org
Blue, a tapas bar and cocktail lounge, features Columbia’s only ice bar and draws in big crowds for its popular ’80s night on Wednesdays. Cozy late-night spot as well.

Carolina Ale House
708 Lady St., 227-7150
carolinaalehouse.com
Southeastern grille-and-grog chain offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports. Features the Vista’s hottest rooftop bar and plenty of fun drink specials.

Flying Saucer
931 Senate St., 933-9997
beerknurd.com
If you love beer, you’ve been to Flying Saucer. (You’re probably already a Beer Knurd, too.) If you love beer but haven’t been to Flying Saucer, you’re missing out on a hundreds-deep beer list stocked with beers you’ve never heard of, and beers you’ve only heard about in legend.

Gervais & Vine
620A Gervais St., 799-8463
gervine.com
Gervais & Vine offers a sophisticated yet approachable atmosphere for its exquisite Southern fusion tapas. Its extensive wine selection separates it from most of Columbia’s metropolitan haunts, and the diversity and daring of the menu make it hard to dislike.

Jillian’s
800 Gervais St., 779-7789
jillianscolumbia.com
Games! TVs! Food! Beer! Housed in the historic Train Depot Building built in 1860, Jillian’s has been serving up entertainment in the heart of the Vista since 1997. Offers an arcade, billiard tables, a ping-pong table, and walls of huge flat-screen televisions, as well as an extensive list of imports, domestics, cocktails and libations. Also presents live music and entertainment.

Kelly’s
1001 Washington St., 254-4464
If this converted fire station reminds you of Five Points, it’s probably because its owners cut their teeth working for places like Group Therapy and Jungle Jim’s. These Gamecock fans host regular acoustic performances in addition to karaoke and open mic contests.

Liberty Tap Room
828 Gervais St., 461-4677
libertytaproom.com
Whether you’re after a nice meal or just a tasty drink, you’ll find much to enjoy here consider the much-acclaimed menu and massive beer list, which offers 75 tap and bottle varieties to choose from.

Music Farm
1022A Senate St., 471-2779
musicfarm.com
Charleston’s famed music venue has opened a sister venue in Columbia, bringing the city a sorely needed large-scale rock club, a potential home for a diverse array of trendy touring acts.

Nonnah’s
930 Gervais St., 779-9599
nonnahs.com
Best known for its desserts, Nonnah’s is a good place to stop for coffee and drinks after dinner or a show.

The Oyster Bar
1123 Park St., 799-4484
oysterbarcolumbia.com
Serves up Gulf oysters, steamed and raw. The dressed-down atmosphere, excellent service and better-than-average beer selection will keep you coming back. Best of all? They shuck, you eat.

Pearlz
936 Gervais St., 661-7741
pearlzoysterbar.com
As an oyster bar, Pearlz specializes in all things bivalve mollusk. But its hip, trendy ambience and signature martinis make it a hotspot for Columbia’s young, urban professional crowd.

Pearlz Upstairs
936 Gervais St., 661-7741
pearlzoysterbar.com
Pearlz’ new upstairs lounge is a hotbed for hot local jazz, and, like its downstairs big brother, a hotspot for Columbia’s young, urban professional crowd.

PT’s 1109
1109 Assembly St., 253-8900
You could live your whole life in Columbia and not know this gay bar exists, and, frankly, its regulars probably wouldn’t mind all that much. Conversely, this haunt is a treasure to the folks who frequent it.

SakiTumi
807 Gervais St., 931-0700
sakifresh.com
Sushi, sake and salacious servers ... what else could you want out of an über-hip Vista sushi bar?

Social
918 Gervais St., 603-4313
socialcolumbiasc.com
A hot new Vista night spot, Social gets weird on the weekends, hosting paint parties, ice parties, inflatable wonderland parties, foam parties and all manner of events at which to get turnt — soundtracking it with some nationally respected EDM talents.

Thirsty Fellow
621 Gadsden St., 799-1311
thirstyfellow.com
Launched by Willie Durkin — formerly of Shannon’s, Sneakers and Durkin’s — Thirsty Fellow serves up eclectic, delicious pizzas and offers a full bar.

Tin Roof
1022 Senate St., 771-1558
tinroof.com
Named Best Bar by Free Times readers in the 2014 Best of Columbia poll. Its calling cards: live music, good food and a laid-back atmosphere. Open for lunch, happy hour, dinner and into the night.

Tsunami
700-C Gervais St., 312-9911
tsunamicompany.com
Two chic sushi bars within two blocks of each other in the Vista? Be still our beating hearts! Tsunami’s elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating area complements its extensive sake, wine and beer selection.

Uncle Fester’s
522 Devine St., 748-9897
While most of the Soda City’s bars are closing up shop on Sunday morning, this watering hole between Palmetto Pig and Todd & Moore keeps the party going. Always packed with a diverse clientele.

Uncle Louie’s
1125 Park St., 933-9833
Its no-frills, no-nonsense attitude has endeared this unassuming watering hole to a loyal legion of regulars, but there’s always room for more.

Wet Willie’s
800 Gervais St., 779-5650
wetwillies.com
How can you not love a bar that specializes in grain alcohol slushies? Er, excuse us, daiquiris.

The Wild Hare
902-B Gervais St., 929-0374
wildharesc.com
Three-time winner of the Best Sports Bar in the Best of Columbia poll. Serves up hefty portions of some hefty selections (try the potato cakes!), and earns points for televisions and attractive wait staff. Down-to-earth crowd.

Wild Wing Café
729 Lady St., 252-9464
wildwingcafe.com
Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is their 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

The Woody
808 Lady St., 779-9663
Named after popular Columbia oldies disc jockey Woody Windham, The Woody is a popular Vista spot for shag and salsa dancing, as well as a welcoming spot for partiers who aren’t in their 20s. You have to duck through an alley, but don’t let that ward you off. Offers nightly drink specials.

World of Beer
902F Gervais St., 509-6020
worldofbeer.com
Lagers and porters and stouts (and pales and ales and bocks), oh my! World of Beer offers more than 500 beers, stocking something for aficionados and neophytes alike. Wine and cigars, too, plus live music on the weekends. The suds bring the masses in, but the living-room atmosphere keeps ‘em coming back.

Five Points
Devine Street
Rosewood
Olympia

Bar None
620 Harden St., 254-3354
Open from happy hour until sunrise, Bar None is the last refuge of the late-night lush and the service industry worker. Try the smoked wings, when they’re available.

The Bird Dog
715 Harden St., 799-0611
It’s called The Bird Dog, ostensibly, because hanging on its walls, right next to mounted deer heads, are soft-hued paintings of hunting dogs staring pensively — tentatively, even, waiting for their prey to emerge — into wooded lakes. If that sounds like the setup for a Southern bar, well, it is: Drinks, often cheap and big, are served in Mason jars.

Blazing Copper
812-814 Harden St., 251-4447
blazingcopper.com
Lots of cheap drink specials and occasional live music make this a good bet for the college set.

Breakers
801 Harden St., 771-6360
breakersbarandgrill.com
One of the biggest draws to Dr. Rocco’s was its outdoor patio, which offered an ideal Five Points people-watching spot. Breakers, now in the old Dr. Rocco’s space, keeps the patio, but the inside bar got an upscale makeover.

Cantina 76
2901 Devine St., 708-6004
cantina76.com
This Devine Street joint is abuzz with young women in cocktail dresses, couples on dates who come for the fancy tacos and stay for the excellent margaritas, made in all shapes, flavors and sizes with top-shelf tequilas. Family-friendly, too.

Capital Club
1002 Gervais St., 256-6464
The oldest gay bar in the state is a private club that’s also welcoming to people of other stripes.

Carolina Pour House
800 Harden St., 932-3033
Next to the always overflowing Group Therapy, The Pour House has a good drink selection at prices that won’t send you to the poor house.

CJ’s
749 Saluda Ave., 748-8694
Its retractable exterior wall opens to reveal the Five Points fountain plaza, thus making CJ’s a great spot for taking in this colorful corner of Columbia.

Cock N Bull Pub
326 S. Edisto Ave., 251-4474
As British as you’ll get in Rosewood. Popular and laid-back, this neighborhood favorite has a small but stellar beer menu, and lots of soccer on TV.

Cover 3
711 Harden St., 533-7030
The Cover 3 is a defensive scheme in football with three deep coverage zones covered by two cornerbacks and one safety. It’s also a bar in Five Points in the old Bey’s spot.

Craft and Draft
2706 Devine St., 764-2575
craftanddraftbeer.com
Craft beer is booming, and Craft and Draft is on it. Grab a six-pack, pick up a growler or take a seat at the bar.

Delaney’s
741 Saluda Ave., 779-2345
Delaney’s is as Irish as it comes here in the Bible Belt. Of course it has Guinness, but it also has quite an assortment of classy imports and plenty of good ol’ Irish grub. Wicked friendly staff, live music and a vibrant atmosphere round out the package — but get there early, as it fills up fast, especially on pint nights.

Foxfield Bar & Grille
406 Howard St., 728-0420
Offers a reliable selection of beers and spirits at affordable prices. Sometimes hosts punk and metal shows.

Group Therapy
2107 Greene St., 256-1203
grouptherapybar.com
Columbia’s quintessential college bar, with cheap drinks, loud music and an outdoor oasis to escape the crowd. Group wrote the book on college partying in Columbia.

Henry’s
2865 Devine St., 708-4705
henrysgrillandbar.com
Henry’s champions the traditional neighborhood bar — and, equally importantly, brings terrific bar food. Comfortable and classy.

The Hookah Spot
617 Harden St., 661-8337
hookah-spot.com
Grab a couch, sidle up to a hookah and get your smoke on.

Jake’s
2112 Devine St., 252-5253
jakesofcolumbia.com
The renewed Five Points institution is as friendly as ever, and offers the same variety of televised sports and multiple bar stations. Even better: Jake’s is bringing rock ‘n’ roll back to its hallowed hall.

The Kraken Gastropub
2910 Rosewood Dr., 955-7408
Rosewood’s hip new bar, The Kraken has a great draft beer selection and signature beer-based cocktails along with a swanky menu and cozy-cool vibe.

Lucky’s
2100 Devine St., 929-1118
For the Vista experience in Five Points, Lucky’s is your place — good wine and beer selection and an outdoor patio.

Moosehead Saloon
2020 Devine St., 708-4984
A rock ‘n’ roll country bar. Kind of like Coyote Ugly. A little. Kind of.

Nicky’s Pizza
2123 Greene St., 748-9661
Need a slice to fuel another late night in Five Points? Drop by Nicky’s. Grab a beer while you’re there, too.

Nightcaps
2722 Devine St., 771-6575
An out-of-the-way place with respect to Five Points, Nightcaps has a pool table, a big-screen television, comfy lounge chairs and a good late-night atmosphere. A popular haven for those not ready to let the night end.

Pavlov’s
2000B Greene St.
pavlovsofcolumbia.com
Tucked behind the Salty Nut, Pavlov’s is a long-time stomping ground of college revelers and serves as hallowed ground for many in the fraternity and sorority circles.

Pawleys Front Porch
827 Harden St., 771-8001
pawleysfrontporch.com
Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Pawley’s is primarily known for its behemoth and fantastic specialty burgers, but it also caters to a late-night crowd on weekends. Especially good for game days, as it shows football games on its huge screen on its even huger deck.

Pinch
640 Harden St., 708-6838
Like Lucky’s next door, Pinch offers Vista atmosphere at Five Points prices. On-tap beers are rotated frequently, and frequently feature high-class offerings.

Publick House
2307 Devine St., 256-2207
Exceptional beer selection, challenging trivia, hip music selection, über-friendly staff, good burgers and the best raw fries around.

Rockaway Athletic Club
2719 Rosewood Dr., 256-1075
Exquisite burgers, low-key atmosphere and a nice, amply stocked bar. Plus, lots of sports on TV and a corner nook with arcade games.

Salty Nut Cafe
2000 Greene St., 256-4611
saltynut.com
Hooray! The Salty Nut, closed for about a year after an arsonist torched it, has re-opened, and reclaimed its rightful place as a favorite Five Points watering hole. Yes, you can still throw peanut shells on the floor.

Sizzle
819 Harden St., 661-9390
sizzlesc.com
Bacon is the name of the game at this new eatery and pub. Menu items include the Bloomin’ Bacon Garlic Bread and the All B and No LT (“1/4 lb. of delicious smoked bacon on Texas toast”). The grill stops sizzling at 10 p.m., but the drinks keep flowing until 2 a.m.

The Southern Belly
1332 Rosewood Dr., 667-9533
southernbellybbq.com
Still-pretty-new Rosewood hangout offers live music and a stocked bar to go with its laid-back feel and slow-cooked ‘cue.

Speakeasy
711 Saluda Ave., 255-0869
Home to live jazz several nights of the week, Delaney’s classy, hip younger sibling also boasts a fine liquor selection, great beers and a top-notch staff, as well as fine cigars and comfy leather couches. Also hosts the Science Café series.

The Thirsty Parrot
734 Harden St., 708-4768
Like Jimmy Buffett? You’ll most likely dig this place, which offers fine burgers and spirits in an easygoing atmosphere.

TLC Sports Bar and Grill
936 S. Stadium Rd., 251-3087
Built to withstand even the toughest of game days, this ultimate Gamecock bar, located within a stone’s throw of Williams-Brice, offers enough food, drink and fun to satisfy even the most orange-blooded Clemson fan.

Utopia
4330 Fort Jackson Blvd., 782-8522
Neighborhood bar offers an off-the-beaten-path spot for catching up with friends and taking in some tunes from its frequent guest singer-songwriters.

Village Idiot
2009 Devine St., 252-8646
villageidiotpizza.com
Columbia’s quintessential college-town pizza joint in a pub atmosphere. It’s the perfect place to enjoy delicious fare, cold beer, wallet-friendly weekly specials and a heaping helping of revelry. Serving New York-style pizza since 1990. Dine in, pick up or delivery, and menu also features salads, sandwiches and wings.

Yesterdays Restaurant and Tavern
2030 Devine St., 799-0196
yesterdayssc.com
A great place for an undergrad to take his or her squeeze out for dinner without maxing out the credit card. Good food, above-average beer and liquor selection. Bar in the back has its own entrance on Devine Street. A veritable Columbia landmark since 1978.

State Street
Vista West
West Columbia
Cayce

@116 Espresso & Wine Bar
116 State St., 791-5663
116state.com
A coffee shop that serves gourmet food and booze? Be still our beating hearts! Dig those specialty cocktails; also serves an extensive assortment of wines. Small, but cozy. A good date spot.

Bogart’s
530 12th St., 791-4617
A friendly Triangle City neighborhood bar. Free pool on Saturdays.

Calloway’s Bar & Grill
2410 Augusta Rd., 926-1199
callowaysbarandgrill.com
Pool tables, big-screen TVs and food: What more do you want from a sports bar?

Conundrum Music Hall
626 Meeting St., 250-1295
conundrum.us
A hub for avant-garde music, offering weird, wild and wonderful avant-jazz, contemporary classical and out-there prog ensembles. Stocks beer and wine, but no liquor.

New Brookland Tavern
122 State St., 791-4413
newbrooklandtavern.com
New Brookland Tavern is Columbia’s most storied rock club, but it’s a damn fine bar, too, offering a fine array of specials and a bar stocked with much more than Pabst Blue Ribbon served up by friendly staff.

Platinum West
1995 Old Dunbar Rd.
theplatinumplus.com
Exactly like Platinum Plus, but in West Columbia (i.e., the ladies have no shirts on.)

Rooster’s Den
1215 Augusta Rd., 794-8200
A members-only bar in Triangle City.

The Skyline Club
100 Lee St., 822-8608
skylinefunclub.com
Where do you go in Columbia if you want to do the Boot-Scootin’ Boogie? This line-dancing bar near the airport, that’s where.

State Street Pub
136 State St., 796-2006
An across-the-bridge institution, State Street Pub wins its crowd with pool, cheap beer, sports and plenty of charm. Loads of beers on tap. You’ll need to be a member, but you should be.

Northeast
Forest Acres
Fort Jackson
Blythewood
Camden

Ale House Lounge
12 Tommy Circle, 771-0161
An off-the-beaten-path hole-in-the-wall not without its charms.

Comedy House
2768 Decker Blvd., 798-9898
comedyhouse.us
Regional and national comedy acts stopping by regularly. Offers a full menu with steak, shrimp, chicken, burgers, sandwiches and appetizers.

Hooters
7711 Two Notch Rd., 419-3456
hooters.com
The same people who justify buying Playboy for the articles probably justify going to Hooters for its food. A guy’s hangout if there ever was one, Hooters is famous for its wings and women — both of which can get pretty hot.

Kwagga
108 Columbia Northeast Dr., 865-2859
A South African sports bar. No. Really.

The Mouse Trap
2711 Middleburg Dr., 799-2120
One of this town’s hidden gems, the bar is located beneath an office building in Middleburg Park. Perhaps its location is why it’s frequented by local celebrities such as former Gamecock football players, but the real draw is its incredible comfort food.

Off the Rail
10327 Two Notch Rd., 708-4817
Nightly shot specials.

The Pizza Joint
3246 Forest Drive, 454-1743
thepizzajoint.net
Come for the pizza, stay for the surprisingly highfalutin beer selection. Hey, your bar options are limited in Forest Acres.

Polliwog’s
10005 Two Notch Rd., 736-5775
polliwogsc.com
This state-of-the-art sports bar offers an attractive selection of viewing and dining possibilities. And if you hate sports, there’s always karaoke.

Salsa Cabana
2005 N. Beltline Blvd., 787-1052
This weekend spot is one of the few places in town where you can go to find authentic salsa music, dancing and flair.

Salud!
1101 Broad St., 425-4850
Taqueria and tequila lounge is the place to catch live jazz in Camden.

Serenity
301 Rice Meadow Way, 736-8228
Serenity now! A country-ish restaurant by day and lounge by night.

Solstice Kitchen & Wine Bar
841-4 Sparkleberry Ln., 788-6966
solsticekitchen.com
Named Best Neighborhood Bar in northeast Columbia by readers in the 2013 Best of Columbia poll, and for good reason: It’s a great place to relax with a fancy cocktail.

Taps Pub & Restaurant
104-B Columbia NE Dr., 699-4657
Patriotically themed pub.

Tsubaki
224 10 O’Neil Ct., 736-7474
Love karaoke? You’ll love Tsubaki, where the karaoke is as authentically Japanese as next-door Inakaya’s sushi.

Venue on Broad
1020 Broad St., 713-8333
This laid-back venue is the place to catch live music in Kershaw County, offering everything from singer-songwriters to popular local and regional rock acts.

Wild Wing Café
480 Town Center Place, Ste. 2; 865-3365
wildwingcafe.com
Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is its 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

Harbison
Irmo
Lake Murray
Lexington
St. Andrews

Bentley’s Beach House
1605 N. Lake Dr., 808-7263
A popular stop for Lexington locals located near the Lake Murray Dam. Family-friendly; cheap eats, cheaper drinks.

British Bulldog Pub
1220 E10 Bowers Pkwy., 227-8918
thebritishbulldogpub.com
A British pub in the middle of Irmo’s urban sprawl? Rad. A dinner menu of traditional U.K. cuisine is augmented with specials on Guinness and Irish whiskeys, but the Bulldog doesn’t forget us Yanks, offering basketball (and soccer, too) on big-screen televisions and multiple, cold domestics.

Carolina Ale House
277 Columbiana Dr., 407-6996
carolinaalehouse.com
Southeastern chain grille-and-grog offers good eats, a good beer selection and plenty of televised sports.

Carolina Wings & Rib House
105 Northpoint Dr., 356-6244
carolinawings.com
What can we say about this Columbia institution? They carry a good selection of bottled beers, and the assortment of buffalo wing flavors is enticing, too.

Copper River Grill
1230 B8 Bower Parkway, 749-4647
copperrivergrill.com
Copper River Grill is a destination drinking spot for the entire Irmo/St. Andrews area. A super-large bar area means you’ll always have someplace to sit, but it still gets crowded the later the night progresses.

Corner Pocket
489 Piney Grove Rd., 731-0403
Karaoke, cover bands and lots of pool. (Hence Corner Pocket. Get it?) Wannabe pool sharks are welcome — but be ready to meet your match.

Finz Seafood House
211 Chapin Rd., 941-7148
Nothing fishy about this cozy Chapin watering hole, which often books singer-songwriters and small cover bands.

Goodfellas Grill & Bar
7608 U.S. 378., 951-4663
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to hang out at a laid-back bar in Lexington.

Hemingway’s
7467 St. Andrews Rd., 749-6020
hemingwaysmusicpub.com
A neighborhood institution in Irmo for years, Hemingway’s has been the watering hole of choice there for several reasons. Not content to do just one thing well, Hemingway’s is a sports bar, a great restaurant and a nice little music club all rolled into one. Papa would approve.

Hooters
5195 Fernandina Rd., 407-9464
hooters.com
The same people who justify buying Playboy for the articles probably justify going to Hooters for its food. A guy’s hangout if there ever was one, Hooters is famous for its wings and women — both of which can get pretty hot.

Keg Cowboy
108 E. Main St., 937-2337
kegcowboy.com
A retail store, yes, but one with its own craft beer tavern — with some seriously adventurous stuff — and its own outdoor garden. Lovely.

Liberty on the Lake
1602 Marina Rd., 667-9715
Yo dog, we heard you love Liberty Tap Room so we put a Liberty on the lake so you can Liberty at the Lake. Offers all the accoutrements of Liberty’s downtown drinkery with the added scenery of Lake Murray. Forty-eight beers on tap. Forty-eight!

Main Street Café
131 E. Main St., 808-5886
This little Greek restaurant is tucked into a storefront space on Main Street in downtown Lexington. With happy hour specials and live local music several nights a week, it’s a great way for Lexington residents to enjoy dinner and some entertainment without having to travel into Columbia.

McCary’s Sports Bar
851 Bush River Rd., 551-5680
Typically places high in the annual Best of Columbia poll, and for good reason: Good selection, good atmosphere.

Platinum Plus
362 Jacob Rd., 731-0555
Good (or bad): The girls at Platinum Plus take their clothes off. Better (or worse): Platinum Plus serves booze.

Rusty Anchor
1925 Johnson Marina Rd., 749-1555
rustyanchorrestaurant.com
Sliding glass doors opened most of the year offer a great view of Lake Murray. And live entertainment on The Quarterdeck outside jazzes up the summer months.

Schooners
6226 Bush River Rd., 661-6138
schoonersbarandgrill.com
On the eastern shores of Lake Murray by the confluence of Bush River Road, North Lake Drive and Lake Murray Boulevard, Schooners is a simple unassuming bar and grill, offering daily specials, cheap wings, televisions and live music.

Skores
2700 Broad River Rd., 751-2500
Restaurant in St. Andrews centered around sports on TV, yummy bar food and cold beers.

Tipsy Toad Tavern
103 Beaufort St., 932-4470
A godsend to the culturally deprived lake area, the Tipsy Toad features a good beer selection and Vista-style atmosphere.

Tsunami
1290 Bower Pkwy., 407-3873
tsunamicompany.com
Like its sister Vista location, Tsunami’s elegant, contemporary atmosphere and ample seating area complement its extensive sake, wine and beer selection.

The Wild Hare
5122 Bush River Rd., 213-1300
wildharesc.com
A sports bar with plenty of TVs, pool tables and dartboards, this location also offers an outdoor bar area with a sand volleyball court. Named Best Sports Bar in the Best of Columbia poll for three years running.

Wild Wing Café
1150 Bower Pkwy., 749-9464
wildwingcafe.com
Sure, Wild Wing Café has sandwiches, salads and soup, but the obvious draw is its 33 flavors of wings. If you can’t decide on one, get the sampler platter. Also boasts a ton of TVs, a party atmosphere and a steady stream of regional rock bands.

Wings ‘n’ Ale
154 Ellis Ave., 359-4475
Specializing in wings, beer and pool, Wings ‘n’ Ale has an ample supply of all three. If you’re looking for a place where the odds of getting a table are better than making a masse shot, this is it. Classic and modern rock flows as freely as the brew. Not your khaki and button-down crowd.

Let us know what you think: Email music@free-times.com.

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