New Ordinance Requires Bouncers at Wine Bars


Beraldo Leal

A new city ordinance requiring certain bars to station bouncers at their doors probably wasn’t meant to protect Charleston’s citizenry from Cotes du Rhone drinkers who huddle around candlelit tables, debating the finer points of French cheese. But because the law applies equally to bars serving liquor and bars serving only beer and wine, Bin 152 is now being forced to pay a door person three nights a week.

“We have 10 to 15 people sitting at the bar, and most of them are there to get away from the drunkenness of upper King,” owner Patrick Panella says of his late-night crowd, adding that he’s never been approached by a patron demanding a last-call shot of Silver Oak. “At the end of the night, everyone’s very polite and cordial.”

According to the ordinance, bars open until 2 a.m. must have at least one security person and one door person on duty after midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights; Exact numbers are contingent upon maximum occupancy limits. The ordinance also stipulates that bar owners monitor parking lots used by patrons; keep their sidewalks clear and close their windows and doors by 11 p.m. if music’s playing. Continue reading