In the last decade, Park Circle has gone from an up-and-coming neighborhood in North Charleston to a local destination.
East Montague Avenue, one of the streets extending from the circle itself, includes a bustling strip filled with restaurants, breweries, eclectic mom 'n' pop shops and nightlife.
This was North Charleston's old "Main Street" and it certainly has a downtown feel, though without all the foot traffic and bustle you get on the Charleston Peninsula. It's a neighborhood hangout, with outdoor recreation, abundant parking and family-friendly options. It's also become a hot spot for festivals, food truck extravaganzas and holiday soirees.
Next week, the 37th annual North Charleston Arts Fest will bring five days of live performances and visual and literary art to Park Circle and nearby libraries, community centers and businesses. Street entertainment, like jugglers and dancers, along with outdoor concerts, theater productions and live painters, are planned. There will even be a night of wine and opera. For a full list of events, visit northcharlestonartsfest.com/events.
The festival is reason enough to swing by the Park Circle area. But it's far from the only reason. Here are some of the neighborhood's popular places to visit, compiled for Charleston Scene's most recent neighborhood guide.
This local theater company offers entertaining shows and educational programs. You can take voice or piano lessons here, try private or group acting classes and attend productions.
Though it hasn't opened yet, Blade & Bull Axe Throwing has an unfinished storefront along the main Park Circle strip. Currently, Blade & Bull is available for private events and parties. This permanent location will rival North Charleston's Chucktown Axe Throwing at Rusty Bull Brewing.
A women-led bookmobile now has a storefront in Park Circle in addition to the store on wheels. The Itinerant Literate Bookstop features a curated variety of books ranging from graphic novels to fiction and nonfiction paperbacks.
Find reclaimed furniture, art, lighting, accents, music, textiles, plants, gifts and more from 30 local art vendors at this trendy shop.
Whether you’re looking for a trendy succulent to dress up your home or office, or need wedding flowers or a bouquet for someone special, visit this florist shop.
Some delectable jerky is available at this gourmet food shop, along with crock-pot sauces and condiment caddies.
Get your Boar's Head meats and cheeses, along with some groceries, snacks and beer, at this neighborhood store. You can also enjoy breakfast, subs and salads from the deli.
This pet supply store carries dog and cat food, along with toys and treats. There's also a self-service dog wash and some custom shampoos.
Shop for a new outfit at this women's clothing store that features a variety of locally made fashion, along with party swag and gifts.
Two "beer geeks" who have been enjoying craft beer for over a decade teamed up for this cellar, which features bottled brews and pints on tap.
Get your small-batch and artisan spirits, along with a variety of wines, at this Park Circle shop.
This stained-glass shop offers hand-crafted repair and restoration as well as fabrication and installation.
Custom greeting cards, invitations, inspirational stationery and art prints are for sale at this local paper goods shop. Calligraphy workshops also are offered.
This antique store features upholstery and vintage furniture and decor, repurposed lighting and other unique chic finds for rent or purchase.
This chic, high-end furniture store behind Orange Spot Coffee in the Marquis Station sells everything from couches to rugs to dining tables.
This hair salon and barber shop offers cuts, colors and trendy style suggestions.
Another option for a chop is the Olde Village Barber Shop.
Looking to get inked? Here's an option in Park Circle, which in addition to the brick and mortar studio, typically has a booth at the annual Rockabillaque festival.
If tattoos aren't your thing but you're still looking to add a little spunk to your style, you might try Exotic Impressions Body Piercings for a new nose stud.
Head to the spa and treat yourself to a relaxing Swedish massage, hydrating facial or wax treatment.
Outdoor Recreation & Health
This 24-hour gym is located at the end of the main strip along East Montague.
Felix C. Davis Community Center
Located in the center of the circle itself is the Felix C. Davis Community Center, which is managed by the City of North Charleston. There's also a disc golf course and a butterfly garden.
If you're in the mood for a little swan-watching, head to this cozy, peaceful park with a pond, fountain and green spaces in Park Circle.
Tone up with some personal training at this fitness studio, which specializes in helping out busy moms and professionals.
If you prefer namaste to lifting weights, try this yoga studio in the heart of town with power flow, hip-hop, candlelight yin and hot vinyasa options.
From brisket tacos to banana pudding, this restaurant specializes in barbecue and also caters for parties. Wednesdays are team trivia nights.
Sesame has three locations in the Lowcountry: West Ashley, Mount Pleasant and here. The signature burgers are the specialty, and you can get them for half-price 3-6 p.m. and 9 p.m.-close Monday through Friday.
Want breakfast at 2 p.m.? Looking for mimosas on the weekend? The Junction is the place, featuring breakfast options all day Tuesday-Sunday and brunch on Saturday and Sunday.
This Cajun and Creole-style eatery offers a colorful outdoor patio, authentic Louisiana cuisine and fresh oysters. Go here for gator bites and crawfish mac 'n' cheese.
Start off with house pimento goat cheese and pickles or pulled mozzarella. Then dig into specialty wood-fired pizzas, from the pork trifecta to pancetta and cauliflower.
Want a pizza for take-out or delivery? Park Pizza offers pies and calzones on the move.
The menu at this Italian eatery is inspired by traditional Italian-American recipes passed down through generations. A few classics include fettucine alfredo and "ravioli de casa."
It's the home of the mason jar margarita. Tacos, salads, craft beer and more fresh Mexican cuisine can be found here.
Get your beer and pub grub here. The sports bar setting includes a huge patio and plenty of TVs. There's even "tacos and tunes" on Tuesdays, with karaoke starting at 7 p.m.
This old-time diner features the classics: burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and fries. Spice it up with a chili-cheese burger or sausage dog.
There are several locations of restaurant chain Basil in North and South Carolina, and the newest is in Park Circle. Get your Thai noodles, shrimp fried rice and tom kha gai soup here.
This newer Mexican restaurant serves up fajitas, enchiladas, burritos and tortas, plus your standard app of chips with salsa, guac and queso.
The pun of its name is just one of this British eatery's draws. The authentic fish 'n' chips is another.
Along Spruill Avenue, you'll find this barbecue joint that features everything from sweet tea to slaw to hash and pork.
For casual American fare — from Cincinnati style chili dogs to Cuban sandwiches — head here for dine in or carry out. Pop open a Cheerwine with your classic lunch.
Coffee + Desserts
Coffee, pastries, sandwiches and more are available at this quick-stop cafe. Try a banana chocolate chip muffin or pesto-sundried tomato scone for breakfast. Or indulge in turkey and brie or a ham Cuban for lunch. For just a snack, enjoy sweet potato bread, craft ice cream or a blondie.
Behind EVO's dine-in pizza parlor is a craft bakery that features custom-created small plates from the restaurant's chefs and an outdoor patio with picnic benches for dining. Some sweet menu items are artisan breads, danishes and croissants and cheesecake. Coffee and espresso, along with savory options, also are offered.
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. And 16 handcrafted flavors of the delicious stuff are featured at this shop that uses local ingredients.
Drinks + Nightlife
This small, family-owned craft brewery offers organic and local brews. Some pours are the Coast Kolsch, Hop Art, Blackbeerd Imperial Stout and Boy King IPA.
A newer brewery to the area, Commonhouse, includes a large patio for outdoor seating and brews that range from the Park Circle Pale to a Cucumber Sour and Dry Rose Cider.
Known for its iconic bird wall mural outside and Bill Murray wall mural behind the bar, The Sparrow features live music, pool and drinks for those looking for a laid-back good time. Plan your night out around a local show. There are comedy nights along with bands.
Another neighborhood bar that occasionally features live music is The Mill. Here, you can play pool or foosball, hang at the bar and watch skate videos or head out back onto the deck. There's a jukebox (Touch Tunes) for picking your own playlist in addition to over 100 craft, import and domestic beer varieties.
A curated wine selection from James Beard Award-semifinalist sommeliers awaits at Stems & Skins, which serves wines, cocktails and craft beers from around the world. Vinyl nights are on Thursdays; bring your own record to play and receive 10 percent off your bill.
For more fine wines, craft beer and savory and sweet snacks, try this boutique bar. Every Thursday, there are two new wines (red and white) in addition to 30 old faithfuls.
This cigar lounge offers over 700 craft beers and wines, along with 750 premium cigar options. You can purchase cigars to go or hang out at the bar or in the lounge.