Aqua-hued walls and potted plants lend Chill 'N' Grill's interior a cheerful ambience, and an outdoor deck, nestled beside a placid fishing pond, offers diners a scenic view. Seated in either area, guests can tuck into comforting, homestyle cuisine: specialties include hand-sculpted half-pound burgers, shrimp and grits, and steak salads with bleu cheese, walnuts, red onion, and eggs. The eatery's cooks also concoct desserts such battered, fried pickled peaches crowned with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
At Smoke & Blue, diners pile plates high with buffet-style barbecue in a family-friendly setting. The cavernous wood-paneled dining area seats 300 people at long tables with checkerboard tablecloths, and the eatery welcomes buses, RVs, and large spaceships. On the weekends, family-oriented bluegrass, country, and rock bands take the stage as patrons dig into plates of smoked chicken, pulled pork, and spare ribs with sides of sweet-potato soufflé, creamy coleslaw, and collard greens.
At Rehab Bar & Grill, guests kick back at 25 tables and more than 100 bar-side seats to peruse a menu stacked with rib-eye steaks, six styles of buffalo wings, and hot dogs topped with chili, cheese, or onions. The kitchen prepares snacks until midnight on weekends, fueling conversations and pool games until the wee hours of the morning. Club-style lights illuminate an oversized dance floor where patrons dance to DJ-curated soundtracks three nights a week. DJ Donnie Dramatic blends hip-hop beats with Top 40 melodies during his Tuesday-night sets, and DJ Sean Cronin swathes Saturday nights in house music and drum-and-bass grooves. There are six 24-inch LCD televisions hovering over the 30-foot bar, helping sports fans applaud football tackles, basketball dunks, and the graceful pirouettes of monster trucks.
North Park Grill gets its classic sports-bar ambiance from checkered floors, neon tube lights, and, of course, televisions that broadcast football games. While watching those games, patrons can snack on grilled quesadillas, pizzas, and burgers stacked with fixings such as fried eggs or sautéed mushrooms. All the while, bartenders mix cocktails and fill mugs with draft beer, and pool balls glide seamlessly on their tables.
Charleston Pizza Co.’s chefs whip up a range of inventive specialty pizza, hot sandwiches, and hand-cut french fries. Patrons can customize their own pies with a selection of 21 different ingredients, or opt for one of the topping-laden specialty pizzas, such as the full moon, covered in olive oil, mozzarella, garlic, and ricotta, or the southern smoker, whose homemade bbq base adds punch to the chicken, bacon and cheddar on top.
Smokehouse Restaurant slings made-from-scratch southern fare, which its cooks prepare daily from family recipes and gussy up with mustard-, vinegar-, and ketchup-based barbecue sauces. The barbecue buffet tempts dining duos with ribs, broccoli salad, fried chicken, catfish stew, and barbecue chicken that's juicier than gossip at the Pentagon. Alternatively, the catering menu assembles one or two customer-preferred meats, such as smoked ham, fried chicken, or ribs, with a choice of three sides, including collard greens, mac-'n'-cheese, fried okra, or potato salad. Smokehouse Restaurant rounds out its catered bounty with dessert, bread, and beverages for each person ($8–$10 per person), so party hosts don’t need to force guests to don soundproof jump suits to prevent a cacophony of stomach rumbles.
When lifelong friends Mark and Renée Cieslikowski and Brian and Linda Rich were tailgating for a Panthers game in 2002, a delicious smell wafted into the parking lot and changed their lives. On the back of the wind, the unmistakable smoky scent of barbecue rode in and inspired them to craft recipes of their own, leading them to eventually open up a Q2U storefront in Lake Wylie.
At Q2U, they have created a menu of tasty pit fare that includes chopped pork, sliced beef brisket, pulled chicken, and tender ribs, the recipes for which they have honed through multiple years of competitions. Not only were they awarded the South Carolina Masters of Barbecue award by the South Carolina Barbecue Association, but their North Carolina–style vinegar-based sauce was selected as the official sauce of the Democratic National Convention. They also match their meats with classic sides that include hush puppies, banana pudding, and peanut-butter pie.