Is Big John’s Tavern Returning to Downtown Charleston?
UPDATE: Big John’s Tavern has indeed returned and is now open for business. You can learn more here.
–Original Post Below–
Is the iconic Big John’s Tavern returning to downtown Charleston after a nearly six-year absence? It certainly seems that way if the Alcoholic Beverage Licensing (ABL) form taped to its former home at 251 East Bay St. is to be believed.
Big John’s Tavern seemingly closed for good after a fire in early 2015. About a year later, it was replaced by Cane Rhum Bar & Caribbean Kitchen. However, the new business was forced to closed for good towards the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The ABL form was spotted on the building last week by local journalist Quintin Washington. An ABL form alerts the public that a business has applied for an alcohol beverage license, which community members can object to if they want to. The form is for “Big John’s Tavern, LLC,” which public records show is owned by William Sheriff.
It’s unclear what connection this business has (if any) to the original concept, but Holy City Sinner will certainly share updates as they are available.
Big John’s Tavern was originally opened in 1955 by linebacker “Big John” Canady of the New York Giants.
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August 23, 2021 at 4:25 pm
If only they’d bring back the Telly Savalis picture behind the bar and the truly unparalleled assortment of condom machines in the restroom!
Some friends and I decided to see if we could stay until he *really* closed up after he locked the front door one Saturday night/Sunday morning in 1978. John and the crowd outlasted us.