Bartender Joey Goetz and his partners, all with crossed fingers, aim to open their new upper Meeting Street cocktail bar in June.
“We were delayed because of COVID for sure, but we're back in the saddle,” said Goetz, who gained a loyal following while tending bar at The Belmont, the King Street cocktail venue at the vanguard of the city’s drinks scene. Goetz last year opened Bar George on James Island with a separate set of business partners.
Goetz said his team’s now obtaining the necessary permits to open, having begun in February the buildout of a Charleston single house sandwiched between The UPS Store and a mobile phone shop.
“It’s kind of a diamond in the rough,” he said.
As Goetz describes it, Last Saint will comprise a pair of approaches to drinking.
“We didn’t want to make a huge, cavernous bar, so we split space in two,” he said, explaining that the streetside bar will function primarily as a neighborhood hangout, with booths and a short food menu to underscore the casual vibe.
By contrast, the bar in back will be a “dark, dark, tiny six-seater” with no menu in place. Instead, bartenders will tailor cocktails to customers’ likes and dislikes.
That format is a carryover from Attaboy, the acclaimed New York City bar where one of Goetz’s partners worked; the third person in the partnership owns Attaboy’s expansion location in Nashville.
But unlike bars in Manhattan, Last Saint will offer up to 25 customer parking spaces. While the bar officially shares its lot with tenants of the adjacent strip mall, Goetz said none of them do nighttime business.
According to Goetz, “it took a minute” to come up with a name for the new bar, which was intentionally located away from the King Street corridor that’s now dominated by tourists and college students. The partners settled on Last Saint because it has “undertones of the Holy City without being very overt.”
Plus, Goetz said, playing the part of downtown’s last saint makes him feel like its doorkeeper. His longtime fans are no doubt excited to see him serve.