For more than 40 years, British expats Wally and Doris welcomed guests into Wally’s Sixpence in Savannah, where Wally would talk their ears off and Doris would feed them with lunch she’d prepared in her home kitchen. In 1999, two men who considered Wally’s their favorite watering hole took it over. They renamed it Six Pence Pub, renovated the interior, and converted the menu to a full array of English and American comfort food. The success of bread bowls brimming with Guinness-stout-marinated beef tips and classic reuben sandwiches has enabled the duo to launch another two locations. Although each pub has its own menu, they all pay homage to the Queen’s country with steaming shepherd’s pies, bangers and mash, and more than a dozen sandwiches. On-tap brews, bourbon, or single malt scotches help evenings pass more enjoyably than a staring contest with a Kit-Kat clock.
Each location’s atmosphere is unique: in Savannah, diners can lounge among plants on the patio or perch at a glossy wood bar guarded by unfurled British flags. In Fort Mill, guests know they’re at the right place when they see the unmistakable cherry red of a British telephone booth outside.
Every weekend, The Comedy Zone puts on a three-act standup show, each headlined by nationally-touring comics often boasting credits from such programs as Last Comic Standing and Sirius XM Radio. On Thursday nights, the floor opens to a flurry of local up-and-comers, giving nascent comedians the chance to cut their teeth on a live audience and a microphone-shaped chew toy. Its partner restaurant and bar, Madison’s on the Corner, provides the show floor with a menu of drinks and pub grub such as steaks, burgers, and pasta.
Growlers Pourhouse cultivates salivation with a menu hearty pub fare and house-made sausages. Diners can send homemade potato chips diving into gooey beer-cheese dipping sauce ($6) in anticipation of their impending meals or their own eventual dive into a pool of beer-cheese dipping sauce. The pesto portobello panini presses roasted red peppers, portobello mushroom, and basil pesto between sourdough or rye bread ($6.50), and a selection of freshly ground and stuffed specialty sausages serves up flavored fare in an edible encasing. Visitors can savor snappy bite of a turkey-apple sausage ($5.50), a beer brat with juniper berry kraut ($5.50), or a chipotle veganator ($6).
Though its dark wood trimmings and furnishings hark back to traditional pub decor, the rest of The Pub at Gateway drags that tradition into the 21st century. Broadcasting the latest sports, large LCD televisions hang above the tables and booths. Behind granite bar tops, bartenders mix more than 30 types of martinis, distribute beer via tap and bottle, and supply wine by the glass or fire hose.
The beverages complement the comforting pub food that emerges from the kitchen until 1:30 a.m. every night. Feasts range from a burger wrap filled with Angus beef, grilled onion, and barbecue sauce to sandwiches crafted with meats and cheeses, artisan bread from Nova's Bakery, and signature spreads and sauces made in-house daily. Throughout meals, The Pub at Gateway keeps diners entertained with festivities such as poker, trivia nights, live acoustic music, and DJs who spin top 40 records.
At the heart of Hawthorne's New York Pizza & Bar is a ball of dough. Over the past 10 years at seven locations, chefs use this dough to craft a seemingly infinite number of unique pies, including a special white pizza topped with ricotta cream sauce and mozzarella. But they also use it to create another kind of treat: garlic knots. These oven-baked bites are glazed with a seasoned garlic sauce, and since they're an appetizer, guests can start meals by munching on them instead of gnawing idly on the table. In addition to its main menu, Hawthorne's also boasts a lengthy gluten-free selection, which features many of the same entrees as well as a couple gluten-free beers.