Those looking for a rowdy time will be happier seeking it in the notorious party towns of Charleston  or Savannah . However, a few notable places in downtown Beaufort  do double duty as dining havens and neighborhood watering holes.
Sadly, the well-regarded restaurant within the Beaufort Inn on Port Republic Street closed for good in 2007. But several establishments tucked together on Bay Street, all with café seating out back facing the waterfront, can also show you a good time.
A charming little bar is Hemingway’s Bistro (920 Bay St., 843/521-4480, daily 11 a.m.–2 a.m.), which is a great place to relax over a cocktail. There’s live music on the weekend.
The convivial Kathleen’s Grill (822 Bay St., 843/524-2500, daily 11 a.m.–2 a.m.) features live music by a variety of regional artists. Weekend tunes crank up about 10 p.m.
Plum’s (904 1/2 Bay St., 843/525-1946, daily 5 p.m.–2 a.m.) offers not only a tasty menu but some fun at 10 p.m. when the kitchen closes down and the focus turns to its great beer selection.
Close by is Luther’s Rare & Well Done (910 Bay St., 843/521-1888, 5 p.m.–midnight. $15), which offers a late-night appetizer menu to go with its rock-oriented live music on weekends.