Drop anchor at the THE HARBOUR CLUB in Charleston, and discover southern hospitality at the heart of a city that fuses old-world charm, an abundance of history, great food and an easygoing atmosphere.Charleston, the capital of South Carolina, is one of the oldest cities in the US. Founded in 1670, the history of this southern belle runs deep and is elegantly displayed in stuccoed townhouses and mansions, historic churches, museums and lush gardens. The city’s many historic sites include the fort where the first shots of the Civil War rang out, the French Quarter with its rainbow-hued houses and the brand new International African American Museum which opens at the end of January 2023. Sitting at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers, Charleston also has nature at its heart, with waterways, gardens, parks and lovely beaches attracting locals and visitors. Charleston is known as one of the top food destinations in the US, and there are ample opportunities to enjoy an authentic taste of the South with traditional Southern cooking and Lowcountry specialties with a strong focus on local seafood.
Charleston is the state’s business capital, and as well as a busy seaport – the fourth largest on the East Coast – boasts a growing IT sector. It follows that a city as vibrant as this needs a private club for those seeking a professional setting to conduct business and inviting spaces to socialize, a need that the Harbour Club has been meeting for over 25 years with a signature blend of southern hospitality and contemporary flair. Set up to provide a home away from home for the city’s sizeable leadership community, its membership represents all the backgrounds and cultures that make up the rich, diverse tapestry that defines Charleston.
The original Harbour Club opened in 1994 at the city’s historic heart in an early 19th-century warehouse that was transformed into an elegant, exclusive social and business club. After 25 years, the doors at this location were closed and the new club was opened: Harbour Club at WestEdge, located on the 7th floor of the prestigious 22 WestEdge building. The club’s new premises offer 18,000 square feet of space, including a restaurant, a bar and lounge, an outdoor dining terrace, a ballroom and a choice of 12 customisable business suites. The new clubhouse also offers plenty of action outside, too, with panoramic views of the Lowcountry and a beautiful vista of the city’s skyline. The event spaces feature floor to ceiling windows, offering one of a kind views of the Ashley River, the city’s glittering bridges, metropolitan expanse and beyond.
The main dining room, Ashley’s Gate, features fine dining in apicturesque, garden-inspired setting overlooking the Ashley River and the neighbouring park. Guests enter the restaurant through an eye-catching wrought-iron gate, which eeferences the numerous gates throughout the gardens, grounds and secret alleyways of historic Charleston. The gate dates back to the 1800s and originally safeguarded the Bank of France in Paris. The menu focuses on elegant southern staples with a modern twist, and is committed to using seasonal ingredients in an innovative style. An extensive list of carefully selected wines and a cocktail list complement the food.
The Harbour Bar and Lounge is the perfect place to gather and celebrate. Taking inspiration from the river, the long, undulating bar serves coffee at one end and craft cocktails and a selection of beers and wines at the other. The bar includes coworking spaces and lounge areas, creating a multi-functional area where members can have a lunch meeting or dinner with friends, or access their private stash of wine in the lockers in the wooden Wine Wall. A row of tables with banquettes provides semi-private spaces for dining or coffee while catching up on emails or calls. There is also a “living room” area complete with a sofa, coffee table and chairs to take in the scene and relax. While the overall impression is crisp and contemporary, there are many subtle nods throughout the club to the region and its history. For instance, the wooden counters at the concierge and the self-serve restaurant are stained with tea, a reference to Charleston’s traditional tea industry, and the ceiling above the bar is painted with indigo, another crop formerly cultivated extensively in the region.
The club has roughly 850 members, comprised of leading local entrepreneurs and professionals from all walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, corporate executives and entrepreneurs who want to enjoy the social scene and the business connections and opportunities. Community activities include the mentor programme for young professionals: every year, 15 dynamic youngsters receive free membership to the club through the Harbour Club’s Future Leader scholarship. The club also hosts a busy calendar of events, including networking get-togethers, golf tournaments, screenings and cocktail evenings where members can meet and mingle.
The Harbour Club
22 WestEdge Street
Charleston, SC 29403