Beyond The Charm

By Anna Lombardi | September 1, 2016

What is your favorite thing about Charleston? 

The Aesthetic. Visually it’s a wonderful place to live. it induces pride to live here.

Do you have a beloved time of year you would suggest visiting? 

I like Charleston in the Fall. It’s not quite as hot and college football season is in full gear. There’s excitement in the air.

Where should we go to get the best burger?

Rutledge Cab Co. has a good burger. So does Hom and Moe’s Crosstown Tavern. There’s lots of others, I’m sure I’m forgetting.

Is there one thing that our visitors have to experience while vacationing? 

Spending a day at the beach and then head to the beach bars for an afternoon beverage. Home Team BBQ on Sullivans Island and Surf Bar at Folly Beach are two of my favorites.

What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? 

See the answer above. Definitely Surf if the waves are good, or play golf with friends.

Where can we catch the best sunset?

Any of the rooftop bars in Downtown have great view of the sunset. 

But first, coffee! Where is your favorite coffee shop?

I like Kudu a lot, and The Daily.

Charleston is one of the oldest city in America. What is your favorite way to absorb it’s history, today? 

I told a friend to recently take a tour of Fort Sumter. It’s really interesting if you like to learn about history. After all, knowledge is power.

Biscuits, buttermilk, and some more butter, please! Where do we need to head to load up on a classic Charleston breakfast?

I’m not usually awake for breakfast. But they say Hominy Grill is quite nice, and my friends at Butcher and Bee are about to crush breakfast at their new spot.

We understand if you can’t answer, but when it comes to locals only, where do we head for the ultimate “townie” experience? 

Rec Room is very local and not touristy at all. Anything on King Street has an element of tourism, but that’s how  a lot of people make their living here. I’d say wandering off the beaten path can always provide surprises.

Before The Commodore you were operating The Palace, which suffered a fire earlier this year. How difficult was it for you and co-owner, Taylor Grant, to make the decision to open up a new place so soon?   

It wasn’t a difficult decision to Reopen the Palace Hotel. The outpouring of support and love let us know that people wanted it back, and so did we. I really do love that bar.

You have some big shoes to fill! 504 meeting used to be home to A Touch of Class, which was known to feature some amazing musicians such as Marvin Gaye and James Brown. How do you hope to leave your mark with The Commodore?

The response to the Commodore has been amazing, at this point there has been lines to get in almost every night. I think we really tapped into something here in Charleston. People in the late 20s and older were looking for a place to shake a leg and let their hair down, and we’ve provided that. It isn’t cheesy, it’s authentic and has history and we get some funky bands and good to come in or we play good nostalgic dance music;  it’s a real testament to Taylor’s vision. He saw it and we started down the path with him. It took some time and we had some bumps in the road, but Now it’s up and running and he was right all along.

How long have you been involved in the service industry? What has been the biggest learning curve since entering? 

Well I’m from Hilton Head Island, which is a resort town and a big tourist destination. So it isn’t foreign to me at all. I just enjoy seeing other people having fun in a place that I have a piece of. It’s real, visceral and extremely satisfying. It’s not easy though, you’re dealing with many variables that don’t always translate into a quick financial windfall, you’ve got to be patient.

Where would your dream location be to open another hotspot, and why?

I’m all set on Food and Beverage for the time being. Diversification etc. But I’ll listen to any idea usually.

What does a typical workday look like?

It doesn’t.


Besides The Commodore, where do you enjoy to listen to great music in Charleston?

The Pour house is great, it’s in James Island. And of course there’s the music farm and the Charleston music hall downtown.

After Hours

  • My drink of choice is: Beer
  • If I could have a cold one with anybody it would be: Hunter S Thompson
  • When I am not working I am: traveling/relaxing or both 
  • My favorite bar snack is: cajun boiled peanuts
  • I can’t live without: A car
  • My favorite way to unwind is: Watch documentaries
  • You’d be most surprised to know: I sometimes get caught talking to myself out loud in public

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