Pros: I rate this place five star if you like beer, music, and humor.
Cons: It's a three star if you are looking for a romantic place with great food.
Our visit to Charleston included a bit of eating, drinking, and listening to local music. One of our favorite nights was when we went to Tommy Condon's Irish Pub and Seafood restaurant. While staying at Charleston Place, an upscale hotel, that has some great value prices at times we walked a few blocks up Market Street and made a right turn onto Church. There, just a half block away, you can see the corner restaurant's open deck area. The deck wasn't open the night we were there, it was still the off season, but the next night, a Friday, it was.
We walked into the entrance and were quickly seated. We timed our entry just a bit before the entertainment was to start. Shortly thereafter the place filled up quickly. You could tell that many of the patrons were familiar with the entertainers and the entertainers with them.
Two fellas came on and except for one ten minute break they played music, sang songs and told jokes for the almost two hours we were there.
This isn't a fancy place, it's a dark wood pub with a high paneled ceiling with fans coming down from it. The place had a few Irish flags, many ornate and simple mirrors, a 2002 World Cup banner, a map of Ireland and some pictures of Irish pubs. A fireplace was also there but not on. I mentioned the outdoor deck but there is more than that and the room we were in. The busy bar attracts its own crowd and there is a dining room too.
There is a saying that everyone is Irish on St Patricks day. Here at Tommy Condons everyone is Irish as you enter the door. Their menu boasts....
.....At the center of the historic Charleston Market, you will most likely happen upon a bit of frolic, friendly conversation, laughter, and song. You have just discovered Tommy Condon's True Irish Pub and Restaurant, where we charmingly re-create the air and ambiance of the Emerald Isle. No matter your homeland, we at Tommy's welcome you with open arms, friendly smiles, and true Irish hospitality. Relax and enjoy live Irish entertainment over a tot of Bushmills, a pint of Guinness, or even a delicious hot Irish coffee......lift your glasses high because everyone becomes an honorary Irishman at Tommy's. After all, "There are no strangers here, only friends you haven't met."
The prices are very fair and the food is good. It is not gourmet, the presentations are uninspired, yet the portions are generous. Hey, this is an Irish pub. What are you expecting, service for the Queen of England?
We started off with a Guinness or two as the music started. We weren't in a hurry and the place was not overly crowded.
More about the beer in a bit.
The menu depending on whether lunch or dinner offers a full selection of Starters, Salads, Soups, Irish and Low Country Specials, Deli sandwiches, wraps and desserts and a full bar with Irish specials. The prices are slightly higher for dinner, yet still quite reasonable. We started off with Crab Fritters. This is described as lump crab meat lightly breaded then deep-fried served with red pepper dijonnaise sauce. This happened to be very good. We had the Charleston She-Crab soup that was also very good. At $4.99 a bowl I believe it was the most expensive item on the menu per portion size. It was also very good. At lunch time Tommy's offers a soup and half a sandwich for $5.70. You have a choice of the Irish Potato soup or She-Crab soup along with a half of corned beef on rye or sliced turkey on white.
We were there for dinner and we both went with the signature dishes that were supposedly voted Charleston's Best. Staying with local fare, my wife had the Lowcountry Jambalaya and I had the Shrimp and Grits.
The Jambalaya was just too hot(spicy) for my wife. She just had tiny bits of it for the full time we were there. Fortunately we were having a great time so the food was secondary that evening. I was trying lowcountry foods the full time I was down there. Their shrimp and grits was OK, nothing special, nothing to send back to the kitchen, but certainly not an award winner. These specials were $9.99. At lunch time the huge dish is $7.99.
The fact is I'll probably go for a Rueben sandwich, corned beef, or their great lookin' burgers if I ever have the chance to return to Charleston. The lunch prices of these are $5.29-$7.29. Again, slightly higher at dinner time. Remember, you also get a side of entertainment at dinner.
How do you like that? This Irish Pub had beer on tap. Actually they were pretty well stocked. According to their menu they offered....
Budweiser - Bud Light - Palmetto Amber
Murphy's Irish Stout - Murphy's Irish Amber
Samuel Adam's Lager - Miller Lite - Bass Ale
Killian's Red - Woodpecker Cider - Harp
Guinness Stout - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Newcastle Nut Brown Ale - John Courage Amber
These guys didn't stop there. They were big on sharing their mixes of different beers. How about these combos?
Black& Red, Guinness & Killian's
Black & Tan, Guinness & Bass
Snake Bite, Harp & Cider
Crown Float, Guinness & Cider
Three Star, Equal parts of Guinness, Harp and Bass Ale
Shandy, Harp & Sprite
Half & Half, Guinness & Harp
Black & Brown, Guinness & Newcastle
Rosey O'Grady, Harp with Lime
The fact is we stayed with the Guinness and let others do the combos. I have enough trouble distinguishing one beer at a time.
This place also offers a children's menu but it didn't seem like parents would bring kids there. I must say though, the prices were conducive to family eats.
It seems that in season they have some kind of entertainment every night. We had a couple of guys, forgive me I don't remember their names....hey the beer was good.....Well these guys kept the crowd involved the full time they were there. They went through the crowd doing intros of who is from where and had some pat jokes to go with the answers along with some pretty quick witted, off the top of the head, humor. They sang traditional Irish songs, whatever they are. OK I do know that "Danny Boy" and that "....Irish Eyes are Smiling" song are traditional but the others were just more of the same. Some people sang along and the patter between the entertainers and the audience kept us laughing all night. These guys worked for some tip money too and many did give when making a request or as they were leaving.
Other local Charleston reviews by popsrocks
Charleston, Much to see and enjoy!
Charleston Place A fine hotel and well located.
Charleston, A recommended Charleston Hotel
Gullah Tours An amazing tour with an African American slant. I Strongly recommend this one!!
Fort Sumter Where the Civil War started.
Cypress Gardens, South Carolina a fun half day visit
The GIBBES MUSEUM
Some fun and fine dining in Charleston
Anson Restaurant High Quality Dining of Lowcountry Cuisine
Sticky Fingers A local chain restaurant featuring ribs, chicken and pulled pork.
MISTRAL Restaurant Our favorite in Charleston
Tommy Condon Irish Pub Restaurant Food Drink & Entertainment in the Market Street area.
High Cotton Maverick Bar and Grill Live it up and try this place!
Joseph's Restaurant Breakfast and Lunch