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Cook on Bay is closed as Hurricane Dorian makes its way along the South Carolina coast in Beaufort on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019. A lot of downtown Charleston restaurants that initially said they would remain open are now closed. Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

As of Wednesday afternoon, many bars and restaurants that had initially promised to stay open during Hurricane Dorian via social media posts were boarded with sand bags in front of their doors. 

Market Street was like a ghost town early Wednesday afternoon, with boards shuttering the shops and restaurants along the main stretch and not a soul walking down the sidewalks.

The floods had not yet inundated streets or sidewalks, but it was clear businesses knew the spiel and were already out and prepared.

Sand bags were stacked up in front of T-Bonz and 5 Church. Mac’s Place, the one hope of a dive bar on that side of town being open, had locked its doors.

At Bay Street Biergarten on East Bay Street, only four patrons were seated at the bar at 1 p.m., which at the time was set to close at 4 p.m. 

"If the bar was full at 4, we'd probably stay open, but..." 28-year-old bartender Ashley Brown started, with a shrug. 

Brown, who is from Charleston, had never left for a hurricane. This time was no different. Brown had just moved from a second floor apartment to a first floor apartment this week in her neighborhood off Bees Ferry, just in time for potential record flooding from Hurricane Dorian to strike. 

She wasn't too worried though, saying her apartment complex typically didn't flood.

"It'll be fine," she said. "Charleston has been through hurricanes." 

While she was working downtown, she said she made sure to park on high ground and within view of the bar. She pointed to her car just outside the window.

Hurricane Wire is a pop-up newsletter during hurricane season that delivers anyone who lives on the East Coast all the information they need to know as storms brew in the Atlantic and beyond.


Brown was planning on heading back to her apartment after work to check on her two dogs, two cats and one fish. Then, she said, she would likely be heading to R Pub on Ashley River Road, her favorite neighborhood watering hole. She expected it would still be open. 

The Biergarten was serving a limited menu and a full bar during the afternoon.

Patron and general contractor Neil Pope was taking advantage of that, after boarding up and securing a site he had been working on a few blocks away. Pope was there with two friends, who had just gone fishing with him before taking cover as the rain started to come down.

They all did a shot of Crown Apple with Brown. 

"Hurricane shots!" they cheered.

Reach Kalyn Oyer at 843-371-4469. Follow her on Twitter @sound_wavves.

Kalyn Oyer is a Charleston native who covers arts and entertainment for The Post and Courier's Thursday edition, Charleston Scene. She used to write about music for the Charleston City Paper and Scene SC.

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