Gay and Lesbian
Charleston is very tolerant by typical Deep South standards, and this tolerance extends to the gay and lesbian community as well. Most gay- and lesbian-oriented nightlife centers in the Upper King area.
Charleston’s hottest and hippest dance spot of any type, gay or straight, is Club Pantheon (28 Ann St., 843/577-2582, Fri.–Sun. 10 p.m.–2 a.m.) on Upper King on the lower level of the parking garage across from the Visitors Center (375 Meeting St.). Pantheon’s not cheap—cover charges are routinely well over $10—but it’s worth it for the great DJs, the dancing, and the people-watching, not to mention the drag cabaret on Friday and Sunday nights.
Just down the street from Club Pantheon—and owned by the same people—is a totally different kind of gay bar, Dudley’s (42 Ann St., 843/577-6779, daily 4 p.m.–2 a.m.). Mellower and more appropriate for conversation or a friendly game of pool, Dudley is a nice contrast to the thumping Pantheon a few doors down.
Though Vickery’s Bar and Grill (15 Beaufain St., 843/577-5300, www.vickerysbarandgrill.com, Mon.–Sat. 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m.–1 a.m., kitchen closes 1 a.m.) does not market itself as a gay and lesbian establishment, it’s nonetheless become quite popular with that population—not least because of the good reputation its parent tavern in Atlanta has with that city’s large and influential gay community.
© Jim Morekis from Moon Charleston & Savannah, 4th Edition