Both locals and visitors to Charleston are drawn to the picturesque alleyways tucked between commercial buildings and historic homes all around downtown. These shady spaces are a cool respite in the heat of the summer. They are a charming backdrop for a quick selfie or a professional photo shoot. They are Charleston's hidden gems.
One such alley is not only a beautiful space, but also home to some of Charleston's best restaurants. For innovative dishes and handcrafted cocktails, visit Hutson Alley at 39 John Street, next door to the Charleston Music Hall.
Five Holy City Hospitality restaurants are located on Hutson Alley, each with a different atmosphere and menu to satisfy any craving.
First, stop at 39 Rue de Jean, a staple on any Charlestonian’s list of favorite restaurants. Serving lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, 39 Rue de Jean is a refined French cafe and bar with all the charm and characteristics of a late 1800s brasserie, which offered Parisians hearty cuisine, handcrafted beers and affordable wines in a social atmosphere. On a beautiful spring day, sit outside on the patio and watch the activity along John Street.
For wood-grilled fish, make a reservation at Coast Bar and Grill. Fresh, local seafood is always on the menu, along with nightly specials and happy hour drink menus. At the heart of Coast is the hickory and oak custom-made wood-burning grill, adding to the eclectic beach bar vibe with 40-foot ceilings, a rustic tin roof and selection of art from around the world. Take your mojito to the open-air patio lined with palm trees.
If steak is what you’re craving, walk a few steps down to Michael’s on the Alley. The intimate atmosphere is perfect for a romantic dinner or celebrating a special occasion. The menu includes USDA prime steaks that are wet- and dry-aged for succulent flavor. Michael’s also offers fresh seafood, tableside salad preparations, enticing desserts and an extensive selection of wines from their wine wall.
Pop into The Victor Social Club, a chic, upscale cocktail lounge with a Cuban flair. One block from Marion Square, it’s the ideal happy hour gathering spot, complete with Cuban-inspired cocktails and a menu that includes local ceviche and a pulled pork Cuban sandwich.
At the end of the alley is Vincent Chicco’s, with comfortable surroundings and old-fashioned Italian-American cuisine. The menu boasts authentic ingredients, handmade pastas, homemade sauces and delectable desserts, along with a full-service bar. While you’re there, brush up on the history of Vincent Chicco, who ran a number of saloons in Charleston and led the fight locally against prohibition.
Just around the corner from Hutson Alley, on the corner of Hutson and King Streets, you can get your fill of Southern cuisine. Virginia’s on King offers a blend of traditional kitchen comforts and familiar regional dishes, all prepared with Lowcountry style. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, supper or Saturday and Sunday brunch.
Hutson Alley is easily accessible – right off King Street and one block from Marion Square. And with the Charleston Music Hall located next door, it’s tough to pass up dinner and a show or post-concert cocktails. Park in the garage on the other side of the Music Hall, and you don’t even have to worry about finding a new parking space in busy downtown Charleston.
Enjoy Hutson Alley this spring and summer with live music and outdoor dining. Or, attend Taste of Hutson Alley, offered in the spring, summer and fall. At these events, you can sample the delicacies of Hutson Alley with small plates and chef-attended stations from 39 Rue de Jean, Coast Bar and Grill, Michael’s on The Alley, Vincent Chicco’s, and Virginia’s on King. Enjoy a specialty cocktail from The Victor Social Club, dessert tastings from Good Food Catering, wine sampling, beer and live music.
Learn more about Hutson Alley – one destination, many dining experiences – at HutsonAlley.com.