Nightlife Guide

Columbia SC Clubs and Bars
By Free Times
Friday, February 22, 2013

No matter your preference, Columbia’s diverse nightlife scene has you covered. Whether it’s the beer list at Flying Saucer, the people at Art Bar, rock ‘n’ roll at the Five Points Pub or Thursday night jazz at Hunter-Gatherer, there’s plenty of entertainment in these parts for all tastes and ages (well, all ages over 21, anyway).

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 and make sure you haven’t missed out on a new place you might love.

Main Street

Mac’s on Main
1710 Main St., 929-0037, macsjazznblues.com
Yes, this Main Street institution is known for its scrumptious buffet during the day. But at night, Mac’s is a live music spot catering to blues and jazz aficionados.

Main Street
1400 Main St., 988-1400
A sports bar inside the Sheraton, Main Street offers a place to catch the game and a quick bite in addition to a stiff drink.

The Oak Table
1221 Main St., 563-5006
theoaktablesc.com
Come for the modern American cuisine (which is delicious), or just come for the deep bar and fantastic signature cocktails, including the rye-based Mac-Hattan and the gin-based French Shogun.

Sheraton Rooftop Lounge
1400 Main St., 988-1400
Not for the acrophobic, the Sheraton’s hip Rooftop Lounge offers a classy clientele, fine libations and desserts, plus a fine panoramic 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 shaken, not stirred, and with a twist of sophistication.

The Whig
1200 Main St., 931-8852
thewhig.org
Inhabited by hipsters young and old, this dark, underground bohemia offers good, cheap beer and good, cheap liquor to go along with cheap eats. Has an awesome jukebox filled with classic punk, Motown, jazz and much more. Also offers occasional DJs and live bands.

Wine Down on Main
1520 Main St., 673-4810
Wine Down on Main is small but ultra-cozy and way charming, offering a large selection of traditional and off-beat wines. Stocks a few select beers, too.

South Main / USC

Back Porch on Gervais
1616 Gervais St., 779-4626
Elegant bistro also offers swanky bar.

The Comedy Zone
1615 Gervais St., 744-7786
Need a laugh? This brand-new downtown comedy club in the Clarion Hotel books top-name comedians.

Hunter-Gatherer
900 Main St., 748-0540
huntergathererbrewery.com
More than the token local microbrew joint, H-G offers awesome bartenders, scrumptious entrées and an excellent beer and liquor selection. Looking to impress your local-hipster date? You can’t go wrong here. Live jazz on Thursdays, and the occasional rock show on Fridays.

Five Points / Shandon

The Back Corner
634 Harden St., twitter.com/BackCornerCola
A nightclub in the old Red Hot Tomatoes space. Eighteen-and-up are welcome, but those younger than 21 pay a $10 cover charge after 11 p.m. ($5 before). Always free for those 21 and older.

Bar None
620 Harden St., 254-3354
Since 1994, Bar None has been known as the last refuge of the late-night lush. Filled with shuffleboard tables, rock music and sloshed 20-somethings, what more could you ask for?

Breakers
801 Harden St., 771-6360
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 a classy makeover.
 
Cantina 76
2901 Devine St., 708-6004
cantina76.com
This Devine Street joint is abuzz with young women in cocktail dresses and couples on dates who come for the Tex-Mex cuisine and stay for the excellent margaritas, made in all shapes, flavors and sizes with top-shelf tequilas.

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.
 
Concocktions
724 Harden St., 256-8860
Offers exactly what you’d want from a Five Points sports bar: Cheap drinks, good vibes, sports. Stays open late. Live DJs, too.

Delaney’s
741 Saluda Ave., 779-2345
delaneysspeakeasy.com
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. Personable staff, live music and a vibrant atmosphere round out the package — but get there early, as it fills up fast, especially on pint nights.

Five Points Pub
2020 Devine St., 253-7888
The home of touring national and regional musicians in Five Points, the Pub also caters to the neighborhood crowd, with bountiful domestics and pool tables.

Goatfeathers
2017 Devine St., 256-3325
Goatfeathers is the ideal habitat if you’re looking for that dark and mysterious, film-noir kind of ambience. The delicious food and gourmet desserts, perennially attractive staff, romance-conducive lighting and convenient Five Points locale make Goatfeathers one of Columbia’s all-time favorite hangouts.
 
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.

Hair of the Dog
2303 Devine St., 834-5144
Just like the Publick House, Hair of the Dog is just far enough up Devine to be removed from the collegiate chicanery of Five Points. Also like the Publick House, it’s a friendly neighborhood tavern with premium craft brews on tap and top-shelf booze. Plus: Hot dogs!

Henry’s
2865 Devine St., 708-4705
henrysgrillandbar.com
Henry’s champions the traditional bar — and, equally importantly, brings terrific bar food. Comfortable and classy.
 
Jake’s
2112 Devine St., 252-5253
Meet the new Jake’s — same as the old Jake’s. But that’s a good thing: The renewed Five Points institution is as friendly as ever, and offers the same variety of televised sports and multiple bar stations.

Kildare’s Irish Pub
724 Harden St., 256-1390
Not, as far as we can tell, affiliated with the mid-Atlantic Irish pub chain of the same name. Nor, as far as we can tell, as frat-tastic as Grandma’s, which used to occupy the space, was. We bet it’ll be busy on St. Patrick’s Day.

The Library
805 Harden St., 929-6955
A classic Five Points college bar: Cheap drinks, cheap wings, good music. Stays open late.

Lucky’s
2100-B 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.

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 — and for state politicos.
 
Overtimes Sports Bar
634 Harden St.,
twitter.com/OvertimeCola
A sports bar? In Five Points? In the old Red Hot Tomatoes space? Yes, please.

Pavlov’s
2000-B Greene St.
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.
 
Pawley’s Front Porch
827 Harden St., 771-8001
pawleys5pts.com
Featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Pawley’s is primarily known for its behemoth 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 shuffled frequently, and often feature high-class offerings.

The 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.
 
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.

The Saloon
812 Harden St., 779-4445
delaneyssaloon.com
From the people that brought you Delaney’s and Speakeasy comes The Saloon — where beer comes in Mason jars and a city slicker can buy a cowboy hat to look the part.

Salty Nut Café
2000 Greene St., 256-4611
saltynut.com
A beloved burger-serving, beer-slinging, big-porch-having college bar.

Senor O’Malley’s
715 Harden St., 733-5471
I’m at the Irish pub! I’m at the taco shack! I’m at the combination Irish pub and taco shack!

Sharky’s
636 Harden St., 799-8337
sharkyssc.com
A favorite Five Points hangout since 1985, with numerous Best College Bar nods in our Best of Columbia poll.

Speakeasy
711 Saluda Ave., 255-0869
delaneysspeakeasy.com
Delaney’s classy, hip younger sibling boasts a fine liquor selection, great beers and a top-notch staff, as well as fine cigars, comfy couches and weekly jazz.
 
The Tavern on Greene
2002-C Greene St., 252-7265
Perhaps unfairly labeled as a hippie bar — though it is especially welcoming to Dead, Spread and Phish heads — the Tavern on Greene is a late night hangout for local musicians and party people alike. An underrated and often overlooked Five Points institution.

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.
 
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.

Rosewood / Olympia

Cock N Bull Pub
326 S. Edisto Ave., 251-4474
facebook.com/cocknbull.pub
As British as you’ll get in Rosewood. Popular, laid-back Rosewood hangout with small but stellar beer menu, lots of soccer on TV.

Foxfield
406 Howard St., 728-0420
facebook.com/foxfieldbar
Even the spirits are organic at this local green bar; offers organic wines, beers, sake and liquors. Creative cocktails, too.

The Kraken
2910 Rosewood Dr., 955-7408
Rosewood’s hip new bar, The Kraken offers a wide swath of draft beers, signature beer-based cocktails, upscale bar-food menu and a swanky, cozy-cool vibe.

Rockaway Athletic Club
2719 Rosewood Dr., 256-1075
Tasty burgers, low-key atmosphere and a nice, amply stocked bar. Plus, lots of sports on TV.

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
3830-A Rosewood Dr., 782-8522
Cozy is the name of the game here — this Rosewood neighborhood bar offers plush indoor and outdoor seating, both of which are perfect for catching its frequent singer-songwriter guests.

The Vista

Art Bar
1211 Park St., 929-0198
artbarsc.com
If you’re looking for a non-corporate nightspot where you can ditch the lawyers and get to know the artists and musicians, you need look no further than this eclectic Vista bar. Cool but never pretentious, the Art Bar is good for people-watching, conversation and music (both bands and DJs), not to mention open-mic poetry nights and improv comedy. Don’t miss Linda’s Carraoke on Wednesdays.

The Big Ugly
931A Senate St., 834-5496
thebiguglysc.com
The Big Ugly’s tagline invites you to unleash your inner Cajun, but aside from the food, The Big Ugly’s as American as bars come: wing specials; dangerously cheap drink specials; and live music on the weekends.

Blue.
721A Lady St., 251-4447
facebook.com/blueinthevista
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 chain grille-and-groggery 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
Beer nerds (or knurds) rejoiced when this renowned purveyor of draughts landed in Columbia; dudes rejoiced when they saw the waitresses in schoolgirl uniforms. Offering more selections than most commoners could imagine, this is a beer drinker’s paradise with a nice front porch, some live music and the occasional commemorative pint glass.

Gervais & Vine
620-A 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. Columbia needs more places like this.

Jet Nightlife
700 Gervais St., 708-8208
jetnightlife.com
Offers a big-city — think: Vegas-y — nightlife experience in sleepy Columbia. What this has to do with the Wings song of the same name, we have no idea.

Jillian’s
800 Gervais St., 779-7789
columbia.jilliansbillards.com
Offers billiard tables, an arcade, a beach volleyball court, ping-pong tables, walls of huge flat-screen televisions and more in addition to its extensive list of imports, domestics and other assorted cocktails and libations.

Kelly’s Deli & Pub
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
Attention hipsters: If you’re looking for that hot roller derby girl, you might have taken a wrong turn. (She’s at Art Bar.) Young professionals, however, should find much to enjoy here between the clientele, much-acclaimed menu and massive beer list, which offers 75 tap and bottle varieties to choose from.

Mojito’s
1004 Gervais St., 779-1717
Last year, 400,000 Americans visited the Communist paradise of Cuba thanks to an easing of travel restrictions. But it’s a lot easier just visiting this enticing Vista locale for a taste of tropical nightlife.

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 oysters — duh — in a dressed-down atmosphere. Best of all: They schuck, 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. There’s a new upstairs bar, now, too, that offers live music occasionally.

PT’s 1109
1109 Assembly St., 253-8900, pts1109.com
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
flyingnapkin.com
Sushi, sake and salacious servers ... what else could you want out of an über-hip Vista sushi bar?

Social
918 Gervais St., socialcolumbia.com
Per its website, Social aims to be a blend of worldwide hotspots: Panama’s Zona Viva; New York City’s Meat-Packing District; Havana’s El Diablo; Los Angeles; and Mediterranean party island Ibiza.

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
Started in Atlanta in 1996, Tin Roof now has five locations in the Southeast. 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
The only dive bar in the Vista — and we mean that in th best possible way. 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
Serves grain alcohol slushies — er, daiquiris — and, as such, is a late-night Vista favorite.

The Wild Hare
902-B Gervais St., 929-0374
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
woodyinthevista.com
Named after a popular Columbia oldies-radio disc jockey — who DJs every night of the week here — The Woody is a new addition to The Vista. You have to duck through an alley, but don’t let that ward you off. Offers nightly drink specials.

World of Beer
902-F Gervais St., 509-6020
thevista.wobusa.com
Offers over 500 different beers. Yes, Virginia: Five hundred beers on draft and in bottles. Wine and cigars, too.

West Columbia / Vista West

@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.

Bill’s Music Shop & Pickin’ Parlor
West Columbia: 710 Meeting St.,
796-6477, billsmusicshop.com
Instrument store hosts weekly bluegrass jams, biweekly Opry-style country jams and occasional concerts featuring top-flight bluegrass and old-timey musicians.

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

Conundrum Music Hall
626 Meeting St., 399-0397
conundrum.us
Conundrum’s mission statement: Bringing you the music you know you need, as well as the music you don’t yet even know you need. What that means: Run by local impresario of the odd Tom Law, Conundrum is a hub for avant-garde music, offering weird, wild and wonderful avant-jazz, contemporary classical and out-there prog ensembles.

New Brookland Tavern
122 State St., 791-4413
newbrooklandtavern.com
New Brookland Tavern is best known for being Columbia’s go-to spot for live local, regional and national live music, 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.

The Red Door
134 1/2 State St., 708-6066
House in the renovated space formerly occupied by The Red Tub, Red Door is a late-night spot serving cheap pub food and cheaper drinks. Hosts local art and music, too.

State Street Pub
136 State St., 796-2006
Pool. Sports. Lots of beer — 22 varieties, to be exact — on tap. A dive bar, but one with plenty of charm.

Forest Acres / Dentsville

Ale House Lounge
12 Tommy Circle, 771-0161
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.

The Mouse Trap
2711 Middleburg Drive, 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 food.

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

Rosso Trattoria Italia
4840 Forest Dr., 787-3949
More known for its food, yes, but its bar — and sexy atmosphere — make it a great place for a casual — or serious — drinks date.

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.

Irmo / Harbison / Dutch Fork

Bailey’s Sports Grille
115 Afton Ct., 407-3004
If you’re a serious billiards enthusiast, you’ll be challenged to find a better place. Bailey’s has well-maintained regulation tables and pretty good bar food, too. And if your pool game is suffering, they have plenty of other sports on television throughout the bar.

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.

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. Extensive menu along with beer, wine and specialty cocktails like the Copper River Caramel Apple Martini and the Killer Whale Chocolate Martini.

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

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 were one, Hooters is famous for its wings and women — both of which can get pretty hot.

Tsunami
1290 Bower Pkwy., 407-3873
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
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.

Lexington / Lake Murray

Baja Broiler
1345 Old Chapin Rd., 356-0040
bajabroiler.net
Freshly made Southwestern food and wings, weekly karaoke and occasional live music on the weekends make this a Lexington County hotspot.

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.

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

Catch-22
1085D Lake Murray Blvd., 749-4700
Upscale bar inside upscale seafood restaurant. What this has to do with Joseph Heller, we have no idea.

The Dam Bar & Grill
1609 N Lake Dr., 808-0882
Jukebox, pool tables and a number of plasma televisions. Live music most weekends; karaoke, too.

Main Street Café
131 E. Main St., 808-5886
mainstreetcafelexington.com
This little Greek restaurant is tucked into a storefront space in the middle of Main Street in downtown Lexington. The addition of live local music several nights a week makes it a great way for Lexington residents to enjoy dinner and some entertainment without having to travel into Columbia.

Outt Saloon
1573 S. Lake Dr., 359-0458
Pub-style sports bar. Open late.

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 Rd., North Lake Dr. and Lake Murray Blvd., Schooners is a simple unassuming bar and grill, offering daily specials, cheap wings, televisions and live music.

Tipsy Toad Tavern
103 Beaufort St., 932-4470
tipsytoadtavern.com
A godsend to the culturally deprived lake area, the Tipsy Toad features a good beer selection (Anchor Steam on tap!) and Vista-style atmosphere.

Your Time Out
109-U Old Chapin Rd., 808-0334
Hey, we all need a time out now and again.

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.

St. Andrews
Exclusive Reggae Bar & Grill
1004 Zimalcrest Dr., 798-2119
If I and I been away from the island too long, this bar provides a taste of Jamaica, mon.

Heartbreakers
800 Bush River Rd., 798-2610
Let’s be frank here: You’re not going to Heartbreakers for the drink specials and food, but the fact that it offers them — and the fact that the girls here take their clothes off — certainly isn’t driving you away.

Hemingway’s
7467 St. Andrews Rd., 749-6020
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.

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.

The Palace II
6920 N. Main St., 834-4673
Upscale R&B club for the “prestigious and elite.” Their words, not ours.

Platinum Plus
362 Jacob Rd., 731-0555
theplatinumplus.com
Let’s be frank here: You’re not going to Platinum for the cigar bar, drink specials and food, but the fact that it offers them — and the fact that the girls here take their clothes off — certainly isn’t driving you away.

Pure Ultra Lounge
14 Berryhill Rd., 451-7873
purecolumbia.com
In the old Comedy House building, Pure bills itself as an upscale Gullah Bistro and dance club with live jazz weekly. Has not one but two bars and VIP areas stocked with premium and potent potables. It’s ultra, all right, and super-swanky.

Wings & Ale
125-C Outlet Pointe Blvd., 750-7600
scwingsandale.com
Family atmosphere, live entertainment and wings. Features jukebox, pool tables, sporting events on large-projection TV and many other big-screen TVs. Live entertainment steers toward the classic rock crowd. Never a cover charge.

Northeast Columbia
Caprioska
7001 Parklane Rd., 699-8300
caprioska.com
Karaoke on Tuesdays sponsored by the Big DM, Columbia’s leading R&B radio station. Upscale atmosphere with plush couches in its lounge area; plenty of TVs in its sports bar.

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 were one, Hooters is famous for its wings and women — both of which can get pretty hot.

Polliwog’s
10005 Two Notch Rd., 736-5775
polliwogssc.com
This state-of-the-art sports bar offers an attractive selection of viewing and dining possibilities.

The Puddlin’ Duck
108 Columbia Northeast Dr., 865-2859
thepuddlinduck.com
An anchor of the nightlife and dining offerings in the Northeast, The Puddlin’ Duck offers Irish delicious grub (mmm … bangers), Irish beer and occasional live music in a friendly environment.

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 Lane, 788-6966
solsticekitchen.com
More than one of Ricky Mollohan’s highly esteemed restaurants, Solstice offers an extensive wine and specialty drink list.

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

Trackside Tavern
10237 Two Notch Rd., 708-4817
Motto: “Where Good Looking People Go To Get Ugly.” No, really. Open super-late.

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

The Venue
1020 Broad St. (Camden), 713-8333
venueonbroad.net
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.

Vivid Lounge
110-I Columbia Northeast Dr., 708-8500
vividsc.com
Upscale restaurant and lounge.

Wild Wing Café
480 Town Center Place, Suite 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.

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

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