By Mark A. Leon
As you journey through the French Quarter and walk down Venue Range toward Waterfront Park, you are taken in by the elegance of Charleston from the Vendue Inn to the Venue Library and Rooftop Bar. The area is ordained with fine desserts, law offices and unique and pricey gifts. What has been a foundation for over 15 years and continues to excel with great food, amazing beer, fun and casual dining for intimate groups and a true old school dart board is the Griffon Pub located at 18 Vendue Range.
For those that have never stepped foot in this traditional Irish Pub, the title of the article may be a little misleading. From wall to wall, end to end ceiling and nooks all around, locals and tourists have left personalized dollar bills stapled all throughout the restaurant. When you arrive, you just need to go to the bar, ask for a stapler and sharpie and they will have you covered. They have created a tradition of memories from Europe to the United States.
The atmosphere is very casual with warm and friendly service all day and night. Whether you are coming in for a pint and or a meal, the staff treats all its guests as if you are family. No pub would be complete without a traditional cigarette dispenser by the rest rooms.
Some may argue the East Bay / Market Street area of Charleston may be a bit pricey at times. Well, the Griffon doesn’t feel that way. Entrees range from $7.00 to $12.00 for most items and they are mouth watering good.
Start with a cup of homemade chili. Even in the summer, this chili will pack you with a little spicy kick and savor you with rich meat and spices. If spicy is not your style, the fried pickles are a fixture here.
Sandwiches are a hard one. There are a number of amazing and memorable carbohydrate friendly treats to entice you. Take my word on this; though the food comes in a basket, it is plentiful and will leave you very full and fulfilled.
We wanted to make three specific recommendations to you: Reuben, Chicken Philly and the fish and chips / friend fish sandwich. I must take a step back first. There are three types Reuben sandwiches: Southern, Traditional and Turkey. We recommend, if you are in the South, do the Southern. This takes away the sauerkraut and replaces it with cole slaw. So good and a very healthy portion of corned beef. The Chicken Philly takes your traditional Philly cheese steak and replaces it with chicken and combines it nicely with melted provolone, peppers and onions. The fish and chips are lightly breaded and partnered with a very healthy portion of fries. Make sure you add vinegar to your fries to make the experience complete.
Make sure you wash that all down with a pint of one of the rotating local craft beers on tap.
One of the noted parts of our experience at the Griffon is the team work. Your server is your bartender and your busser. It is amazing how seamless they all work together to make sure you have a remarkable dining experience.
The Griffon is your hometown pub right in the heart of downtown Charleston. Whether it is lunch, dinner or a pint, stop in, say hello and share a few laughs while you are there. If it is your first time, make sure you leave a dollar behind for the wall.