Aligned within the brick foundations of The Belmont is a spirit lineup that makes this intimate bar one of the most amiable places in Charleston to grab a creative cocktail. The dim ambience within contains black-and-white films that are projected on the walls, and a crew that is heavy on all classic cocktail knowledge.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Dakota Nate Contributing writer
From bar top to brick wall, The Belmont Lounge in Charleston, SC, appears at first glance to be the kind of spot Cary Grant would kick back in with his belly up to the bar, a lit cigar hanging out of his mouth, and a double scotch on the rocks in hand.
Sorry, you can’t smoke your cigar inside, and while it would be wild to see a ghost, instead, you might catch a glimpse of Grant or Brando projected on the wall; The Belmont often plays classic black-and-white films on mute, which also sets the ambiance of a much more classy and fashionable era. Moderately chic vintage Noir vibes spin a web that creates a juxtaposition of past and present, masculine and feminine, and low-key and luxury to create the ultimate after-hours spot.
it’s easy to feel like a member of some classy secret society while you indulge in the finer things in life.
While a part of us would like to dress like we’re attending to the Oscars and it’s 1952, cummerbund and all, there’s still no need to feel underdressed in your Levi’s. Even with bartenders clad in white button-down shirts and black ties, there isn’t a hint of underlying pretension underneath their art deco-esque hammered tin ceiling.
The biggest and longest-lasting fans of The Belmont are the people who you would think would be the harshest critics: other local bartenders. The rapport that has been built between patrons and bartenders since opening their doors in 2010 is unmatched. Seating only 40 people at a time, it’s easy to feel like the member of some classy secret society while you indulge in the finer things in life. It doesn’t get more refined than an impressive Amaro selection and the most mouthwatering Italian meats and specialty cheeses prepared just like owner, Mickey Moran, intended: fresh and sliced to perfection.
An extremely broad and elevated list of spirits makes an evening out at The Belmont more than just knocking back a few cocktails in a swanky atmosphere. Their knowledgeable and approachable bartenders will show you a thing or two, but in a way that will only have you begging for more. They offer classics ranging from a Dark & Stormy with Gosling’s Rum to a Boulevardier made with bonded bourbon, so you can raise that glass a little higher knowing you’re getting the real deal. A spicier take on the traditional, their Brown Derby made with jalapeño honey will light a firecracker in your heart that you didn’t even know you had in the first place.
We also recommend that you arrive with a slight appetite at the very least, for the love of God. If we have a say in the matter, we suggest the Lamb Prosciutto, which consists of center-cut lamb top round seasoned with rosemary and wine. Come on, wipe your brow, it doesn’t end there. Their Culatello, which is a filet of pig’s thigh cured for over a year, might actually cause a single salty tear to fall to your cheek, but that might just be the whiskey talking.
Consistency is key in the less typical well-oiled machine that is the modern cocktail bar. If you’re looking for a place to bring your pals or your sweetheart for a night out on the town, we suggest your strut your stuff over to The Belmont Lounge.
The crew slinging here is knowledgable and ambitious, if you supply your flavor profiles and base liquor you will be very satisfied, and the cocktail menu is on point
Small bites are just that, and good things come in small packages. Try the lamb prosciutto or the homemade pop tarts
As the evening stretches on, the crowd begins to grow. Arrive early to grab some prime real-estate at the bar and strike up some conversation with your neighbor
Holy Gin Fizz.. just ask