Explore the history of Blind Tiger Pub in Charleston, SC

Take a peek inside the historic Blind Tiger Pub. | Photo by @walkandtalkchs

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Hey history buffs, this one’s for you. With Charleston’s cobblestone streets and charming buildings dating back to 1670, there’s a whole bunch of history to unpack in the Holy City. As part of our Drink Up Week initiative, we’re traveling back in time to explore historic pub + modern-day hotspot: Blind Tiger Pub.

Prohibition origins

Opening its doors on Broad Street in 1992 + named after the term used to describe illegal drinking and gambling establishments in the Prohibition era, the downtown Charleston pub pays homage to the illicit bars that began popping up around the Holy City in 1893.

Though one of the oldest bars in SC, one thing’s for sure: Blind Tiger’s atmosphere has remained similar throughout the years — even undergoing a months-long restoration in 2016 that focused on honoring the legacy of its previous caretakers.

Reviving the memory of its early reputation, the historic spot features a secret underground tunnel system that can be entered through a latched door at the back of the building.

Paranormal sightings

As you might’ve guessed, the century-old building is no stranger to spirit sightings and whispers of paranormal activity. General manager Jay Hanckel recalls tales of two figures running out of the back door + employees have spotted glasses falling off shelves and coffee mugs flying across the room. We won’t freak you out too much, but there have even been stories of cries of ‘help’ heard beneath the floorboards.

One of the most commonly told ghost tales features a woman wearing a black dress roaming through the restaurant. The ghostly antagonist is known to play tricks on bartenders and tease patrons, rumored to pull hair, appear, and disappear, and create phantom footsteps. Local lore suggests this woman may have frequented the building in the 1920s, though that theory isn’t confirmed.

The former speakeasy also dares its guests to catch a glimpse of the never tamedblind tiger’ that allegedly wanders within its boo-tiful walls.

Recent history

Now nestled in the historic district, Blind Tiger Pub is serving up classic cocktails + dishing out brunch, lunch, and dinner. Stop in for locally-inspired libations like the Broad Street Barrister and Frozen Espresso Tini + snack on summertime favorites from a brand new menu like the Shrimp Green Goddess Sandwich and Heirloom Burrata.

You won’t want to miss your chance to soak in the Lowcountry scenery + catch a glimpse of something supernatural at this historic landmark, voted the Best Bar and the Best Outdoor Patio in Charleston. Make a reservation or stop by at 36-38 Broad St. from 11 a.m.-2 a.m. seven days a week. Happy sipping, Charleston. 🍹