After more than a year under construction on the peninsula's Upper King Street, Charleston Distilling Co. has marked the calendar with an opening date.

The new craft liquor producer announced Thursday that it will open its micro-distillery and tasting room at 501 King St. on July 14. It will be open daily for tours and tastings from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Charleston Distilling, owned by master distiller Brent Stephens, Steve Heilman and Alison Curry, will produce spirits and liquors made from grains sourced from Flowers Farm in Summerton.

Its core brands will include spirits and liquor with Charleston-centric names, such as King Charles Vodka, Jasper's Gin and Angel Oak Bourbon, all of which will be for sale at the King Street storefront.

The facility is housed in an 8,700-square-foot 1940s-era warehouse that the owners have renovated with a copper-trimmed facade to match its two large copper stills from Eislingen, Germany.

Making a comeback

Learning Express Toys, a national chain of education-focused toy shops, is opening next month near Mount Pleasant Towne Centre.

But it isn't exactly a newcomer to the area. The toy shop had a franchise in the East Cooper shopping center more than a decade ago in the store that's now occupied by women's retailer J. Jill at 1233 Belk Drive.

A new franchisee, Kelly King, is reopening Learning Express Toys in the shopping strip with Marble Slab at 1903 U.S. Highway 17, just a few strides from its former site.

King said she wanted to fill a demand for toy shopping in the center that's dominated by stores for adults. A grand opening is planned for Aug. 22, but the store may open a few weeks earlier, King said.


Two new accessory stores have recently opened in the Tanger Outlet Center in North Charleston.

Francesca's, a franchised Houston-based chain of women's accessory boutiques, has opened a new store in Suite 916, its third store in the area.

The boutique aimed at young women sells items such as handbags, fashion jewelry, specialty gifts and apparel. Its other stores are in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre and downtown Charleston at 338 King St.

Elsewhere at Tanger, Oakley Vault, an off-price factory store affiliate of Oakley, the upscale sunglasses and athletic brand, has opened between Izod and The Cosmetics Co.