City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Around Park Circle

Rounding up some must-see spots in the hot North Charleston neighborhood.

Spend any time at all in North Charleston's Park Circle neighborhood and a theme begins to take shape. It's subtle at first, as if others are onto something that you’re not. But if you dig deeper, you quickly come to realize that the undercurrent flowing through this place, the root system of it, is the people.

I’ll just come out and say it, Park Circle is cool. It has dozens of restaurants, eateries, breweries, and funky boutique shops. Then there's the design of it, a 300 hundred foot in diameter circular garden with 8 roads coming off it like spokes on a ship’s wheel. And with a bit of research, you come to find that it was planned in the early 1900s by the North Charleston Lands Corp. and P.J. Berkmans Co. of Augusta, GA, one of the South’s first landscape architecture firms, as part of the City Beautiful movement. But, as I mentioned, it's the community and the sense of common purpose that makes it special. 

I spent the afternoon on E. Montague Avenue shopping and communing with local owners who coincidentally enough, all seemed to know each other. They also seem to share similar opinions about what makes Park Circle great. 

My first stop is Commonhouse Aleworks where I met up with owner Pearce Fleming. One of the first analogies he used to describe Park Circle was, “The rising tide lifts all boats,” a term coined by JFK to convey the idea that if the economy improves, the financial position of those in that economy will improve as well. And I got the sense that Park Circle is the poster child for the statement; a self-regulating, self-contributing economy that understands that if the whole succeeds then the pieces will as well. “The neighborhood works best together,” he says. “Everyone is invested in serving the community, staying connected to one another, and showing visitors what Park Circle has to offer."

There is no finer example of this than the St. Patty’s Day Season Parade that takes place the Tuesday before the official celebration. Pearce started it a few years back as a day to support his friends and food service colleagues at Madra Rua when the building burned down in early 2019. The following year it was to pay homage to a restaurant friend who was tragically killed. Now, it is an annual tradition to remember and celebrate the things that mean the most. 

My next stop was Gray Cat Music and for anyone who thinks vinyl is dead, I can assure you it is not. The staff knows music like no other. “Park City just feels local,” says Drew Anderson, the shop’s owner. “It’s artsy, walkable, accessible, and has a vibe like no other. Most business owners here are also residents. So, we are not only invested in our shops but also our community, which is why so many people tend to visit or live here.” Madison Hughes at Park Pets feels the same. “There is always something going on in the community." This includes the Rockabillaque Festival, St. Patrick’s Day Block Party & Parade, North Charleston Arts Festival, and the Fall Food Truck Festival at Firefly Distillery.

I stop in for a Flat White at Orange Spot Coffeehouse before making my way to Black Octopus Mercantile, an eclectic clothing shop who has supplied goods for a Hallmark movie, the hit show Outer Banks, and even has a few celebrity clients. “This place offers things for all ages,” says owner Missy Johnson. “It is the most creative, diverse, and accessible place I know.” 

My last stop is The Station Park Circle, who describe themselves as a reclaimed home marketplace with over 40 vendors. “We like to say that we are carefully curated goods with Southern charm,” says Roni Payer, the daughter-in-law of Sharon, the owner. There is something for everyone here, a place where the hunt is sometimes just as satisfying as the find. 

As I left Park Circle it was easy to see why so many flock here. Great food, shopping, atmosphere, environment, and people. Honestly, what more could you ask for.