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.
Baxter Social House definitely lives up to its name?there's a crowd-friendly event at the restaurant almost every night, whether it's a Gamecocks football game, a live band, or karaoke. But even when there's no scheduled entertainment, the menu draws its own fans. Its small plates encourage communal meals between friends or three-legged race partners, featuring dishes such as Bite U Back steak bites, loaded chili nachos, flatbread pizza, and a Beer-Baxtered onion ring stack. The drink list is equally merry: martinis are the bar's specialty, and they come in flavors from pomegranate to vanilla with creme de cocoa.
At an hour when many bars and restaurants are busy closing up shop, Dream Nightclub lights up as a beacon to nocturnal wanderers from across the city. Custom-designed graffiti murals, pulsing LED lights, and energetic dance beats greet patrons as soon as they enter the after-dark dancehall and performance venue. The 5,000-square-foot club features ample lounge seating for bottle service or dramatically lit staring contests, as well as two bars and a full-service kitchen that churns out plates laden with chicken wings and french fries as late as 2:30 a.m. on most nights. A QSC sound system floods the dance floor with Latin, techno, or hip-hop tunes depending on the day, although the club also hosts occasional DJ sets and regular jazz-band performances.
Sankey's is the resident restaurant taproom and restaurant of Custom Home Pubs, which means the owners have years of experience building draft beer systems. They extend this knowledge to Sankey's with a rotating roster of 10 North Carolina beers on tap, but also accompany their drinks with a menu of hearty pub-grub. Texas caviar, crispy wings, and a host of burgers and sandwiches are served in a dining room filled with beer-themed artwork, from local labels to impressionist paintings of keg stands.
A wraparound wall mural features a moose lounging among the trees at The Friendly Moose, where staff serve a warm, friendly experience along with plates of hearty American cuisine. Diners can try a Carolina burger topped with chili and slaw for lunch, a 12-ounce rib eye, or poutine slathered in gravy and cheese for dinner, or coconut-cream pie for dessert.