When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Criminal Defense Lawyer in West Ashley, SC

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If you have been accused and charged with a crime you are in need of a seasoned criminal defense lawyer in West Ashley, SC. Having a skilled and dedicated criminal defense lawyer on your side is key in order to protect your freedoms and to ensure that a proper legal defense is built to shield you. Dealing with legal charges in West Ashley can be a highly distressing ordeal with even minor violations causing considerable impact on an individual's personal and work life. The repercussions of having a criminal record can be severe, leading to loss of employment, severed relationships and alienation from loved ones.

At Theos Law Firm we offer trustworthy legal representation to those who need it most. Our criminal defense team has over 50 years of combined experience and is committed to ensuring our clients maintain their freedom and move forward with their lives. From handling drug-related charges to more nuanced federal cases, sexual misconduct offenses and murder cases, we take a personalized approach to every case. By utilizing cutting-edge legal strategies and decades of combined experience, we provide the best opportunity to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Service Areas

We help clients overcome criminal charges in a wide range of cases, including the following:

  • Homicides
  • Drug Crimes
  • Juvenile Crimes
  • Sex Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Violent Crimes
  • Misdemeanor Offenses
  • Federal Offenses
  • More

If you are facing one or more of the charges above, it's imperative that you establish contact with a legal advocate ASAP. At Theos Law, you can rest easy knowing our phone line is always open. When your future is up for grabs, let our team of criminal defense lawyers fight for your rights. It all starts with a free consultation at our law firm in West Ashley where we will educate you on the particulars of the charges you're facing and explain the next steps in our representation.

At this point, you probably have many questions in mind. Keep reading for more information on criminal law in South Carolina and some of our criminal defense specialties at Theos Law.

Criminal Defense Lawyer West Ashley, SC

Understanding Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

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In South Carolina, criminal cases are classified into different categories based on the severity of the crime. Generally speaking, offenses that carry a maximum penalty of less than one year are considered misdemeanors. On the other hand, crimes that carry a punishment of more than one year in prison are generally classified as felonies.

State and Federal Criminal Defense Cases in South Carolina

Crimes in The Palmetto State are usually split into three categories: (1) Magistrate or Municipal Level Offenses; (2) General Sessions or Circuit Court State Charges; and, (3) Federal Crimes. Classifications are based on which prosecuting body has jurisdiction to prosecute a particular charge or offense. Regardless of which court your criminal charge is in, the Theos Law Firm has decades of experience protecting individuals from prosecution and assuring that the best possible outcome is achieved.

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The Difference Between Misdemeanors and Felonies in South Carolina

Understanding the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony crime can be challenging for someone facing their first charge. Misdemeanors are generally considered minor offenses, and can result in punishment by incarceration up to one year.

Conversely, felonies are more severe crimes which are punishable by incarceration of more than one year. Those charged with a felony may face significant fines and a prison sentences of over a year in a federal or state institution. Convicted felons may face difficulties after their release such as losing the right to vote and the right to carry a firearm. These penalties make it crucial to have a reliable criminal defense attorney in West Ashley, SC.

Plea Deals in South Carolina

It is not uncommon for legal cases to be resolved without a trial through a plea deal. In order to assure that the best possible plea deal become available it is crucial for your legal defense to properly build your defense and prepare your case for trial. Deciding to represent yourself or not hiring the best legal team will likely result in exposure to unnecessary penalties, fines and jail time.

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When is the Right Time to Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer in West Ashley, SC?

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At Theos Law Firm, we often receive questions from potential clients about when they should hire a criminal defense attorney for the charges that they're facing. Although each situation and client are unique, there are some common criminal situations to keep in mind. In general, it's always best to reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as you're charged or have been arrested.

Below are some guidelines to help you decide when it's necessary to retain a criminal defense attorney for your case in South Carolina.

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When You've Been Accused or Charged

Thinking about hiring a criminal defense lawyer when you're charged with a crime is a no-brainer for most, and for good reason. Our team of experience criminal defense attorneys can offer assistance with various offenses, ranging from minor crimes to more serious ones such as sexual assault and manslaughter. Regardless of the charges, navigating the legal system can be complex, and without the guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the situation can escalate rapidly. It is critical that you engage an experienced attorney as soon as possible!


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When Investigators or Police Question You

As you may have observed in movies or television shows, the police might request you to provide a statement, giving the impression that you are not under arrest. Remember, it is within your rights to have a criminal defense attorney in West Ashley, SC, present during questioning, and you should absolutely use that to your advantage. If possible, consult with an attorney before answering any questions or participating in any discussions with law enforcement.


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When Authorities Search Your Residence

In the event that law enforcement officers arrive at your residence with a warrant, it indicates that a judge has determined there is reasonable suspicion that evidence related to a criminal offense is present in your home. Regardless of whether they discover and confiscate anything, it is advisable to seek the guidance of a seasoned defense attorney to discuss the situation and receive assistance in determining any potential charges or locations they may investigate in the future.


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When You Are Wrongly Accused of Committing a Crime

Could you imagine being accused of something you didn't do? When you are accused or charged with committing a crime that you didn't commit defending yourself may seem straightforward but it can be an arduous task to see to it that the charges are timely resolved. It can also feel hopeless and like it's impossible for you to get someone to listen to your side. The truth is that anything you say or do can and will be used against you. To increase your chances of being cleared of charges, it's advisable to have a defense lawyer who can support your innocence and fight for your rights. Criminal defense attorneys at Theos Law don't just listen - we act swiftly and always with your best interests at heart.


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When Your Child Is Involved

The legal system for juveniles in South Carolina is different than it is for adults. It comes with its own complications and hurdles to overcome. If you your child has been accused of a crime it's imperative to get legal counsel swiftly. Failure to do so could be destructive to your child's life, your family or result in a exposure to jail time. Keep reading to learn more about just a few of the most common criminal defense cases we accept at Theos Law Firm.

Criminal Defense for DUIs in South Carolina

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In terms of common criminal offenses in South Carolina, DUIs top the list, especially regarding mindful drivers with clean driving records and no criminal history. Unfortunately for these drivers, a DUI conviction in South Carolina stays on your record and cannot be expunged. Even first-time offenses with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent can be costly. Your insurance premiums go up for years, you may end up paying almost $1,000 in fines and fees, and there's a good chance you'll have to perform community service or serve jail time.

If your breathalyzer test result is more than .15%, you refuse the breathalyzer, or it is recorded as a refusal, your license will be automatically suspended, which complicates matters further. Throw in the possibility of interlock device rental, and your life may never be the same. For those reasons alone, it is crucial to approach such charges with the help of a DUI defense lawyer. At Theos Law Firm, our attorneys have years of experience in successfully fighting these types of charges.

Fortunately, if you or a loved one has been charged with DUI, there is hope. That's especially true if the accused has undergone a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve such tests are successfully beaten every day. At Theos Law Firm, we will thoroughly investigate your DUI case in West Ashley and explore every possible angle to have it dismissed.

To begin that process, your criminal defense lawyer in West Ashley, SC, may seek answers to many questions, including:

  • Was your DUI stop legal? If not, your case could be thrown out.
  • Is there enough probable cause or evidence for an arrest? If there is not, it's possible to file a pre-trial motion for your case to be dismissed.
  • Did officers explain implied consent rights? One of the most common errors police make is failing to take this step.
  • Did the police maintain your BAC and breathalyzer results? Breath testing often comes with inherent weaknesses. This can create doubt in a juror's mind.
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Criminal Defense for Drug Cases in South Carolina

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If you are dealing with drug-related crimes in West Ashley or another city in South Carolina, it is crucial for you to understand the potential penalties involved. Possession of a controlled substance may fall under the category of a misdemeanor, but many drug offenses are considered felonies. Even a minor drug offense conviction can result in long-lasting negative consequences. As such, it's always advisable to explore your options and seek the assistance of a West Ashley drug crime attorney. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can help safeguard your rights and may help achieve a favorable outcome.

One of the most frequent questions we hear at Theos Law is, "What does possession mean?"

Drug charges based on possession in South Carolina are divided into three categories:

  • Simple Possession
  • Possession with Intent to Distribute
  • Drug Trafficking

However, the state also has other drug charges that are not based on the weight of the drugs. These include:

  • Drug Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution Near Schools, Parks, or Playgrounds
Criminal Defense Lawyer West Ashley, SC

Possession-based drug charges in South Carolina are deemed "graduated offenses" with penalties that grow more severe based on the weight of the drugs. It's important to note that the charges can be based on either actual or constructive possession. Contact a criminal defense lawyer in West Ashley, SC, today to learn more about the complexities involved with drug cases in West Ashley and other cities in South Carolina.

Some of the most common drug charges we see at Theos Law include the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy
  • LSD and Hallucinogens
  • Cocaine
  • Meth
  • Prescription Pain Killers
  • Fentanyl
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Can I be Arrested for Drug Paraphernalia in South Carolina?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding "Yes." Drug paraphernalia can refer to various items such as pipes, bongs, syringes, scales, grinders, and rolling papers which are linked to drug usage, preparation, storage, or hiding. Even though some of these items may have legitimate uses, like tobacco pipes or medical syringes, they can still be scrutinized by law enforcement if there is proof of illegal drug use or intent.

Criminal Defense for Assault and Battery Cases in South Carolina

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If you are facing assault and battery charges, it is possible that you haven't actually physically harmed someone. Many people associate assault and battery with brutal beatings, but that is just one example. There are other situations that are less severe than what people typically imagine.

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It's a common misunderstanding that physical injury is required for assault and battery charges. The fines, penalties, and jail time you may face depend on the severity of your charges and the number of offenses. Regardless of the degree of your charges, Assault and Battery is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly. The consequences of a conviction can be life-changing, and as such, your criminal defense lawyer in West Ashley, SC, should work relentlessly to fight the charges being levied against you.

Though this list isn't comprehensive, here are some of the biggest factors that dictate the severity of your assault and battery charges:

  • Age of Victim
  • Severity of Injuries Sustained
  • Size and Weight of Accused vs. Size and Weight of Victim
  • Whether or Not the Victim Presses Charges
  • Whether or Not Weapons Were Involved
  • Whether or Not the Victim's Privates Were Touched

Understanding the Degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina

Third Degree

Causing harm to someone or threatening to do so with the ability to carry out the threat can result in a charge of third-degree assault and battery. This misdemeanor offense is typically heard in municipal or magistrate courts and may carry a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail.

Second Degree

Causing harm or making threats to harm someone that results in moderate bodily injury can lead to charges of second-degree assault and battery. Additionally, touching someone's private parts without their consent can also result in charges of assault and battery in the second degree. This misdemeanor offense is heard in General Session court and can carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

First Degree

Assault and Battery in the first degree can involve a number of actions such as inflicting an unlawful injury when kidnapping, touching a person's privates "with lewd and lascivious intent," and much more. Contact Theos Law Firm for more info on the degrees of Assault and Battery in South Carolina.

Everyone Deserves a Reliable Criminal Defense Attorney in West Ashley, SC

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At Theos Law firm, we work tirelessly to ensure that our client's rights are not overlooked. Because unfortunately, the rights of everyday citizens are often trampled by law enforcement oversights and legal system failures.

That's why every criminal defense lawyer at our firm works hard to provide guidance and support throughout the legal process by keeping you informed of updates and as comfortable as possible during this trying time. Benefits of hiring Theos Law Firm include:

  • Thorough Knowledge of South Carolina Criminal Law & Procedures
  • Seasoned Legal Representation in the Courtroom
  • Years of Experience Structuring Plea bargains
  • Ability to Identify Due Process Violations
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients & Vigorous Representation
  • Skilled Negotiation Tactics Involved with Bail, Sentencing, Appeals, and More
  • Familiarity with Local Prosecutors

Unlike some criminal defense law firms in South Carolina, our team believes that everyone deserves a great lawyer when their freedoms are on the line. If you or a loved one has been accused of a crime in South Carolina, trust Theos Law to have your back without judgment.

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Latest News in West Ashley, SC

Charleston inks construction contract for West Ashley pedestrian bridge

After some last-minute funding maneuvers, Charleston approved the terms of a construction contract for a long-awaited bike and pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and West Ashley.It now awaits federal approval before the mayor can sign off on it and work can begin.As construction firms submitted proposals for the project this summer, local leaders became aware that their most recent ...

After some last-minute funding maneuvers, Charleston approved the terms of a construction contract for a long-awaited bike and pedestrian bridge connecting downtown and West Ashley.

It now awaits federal approval before the mayor can sign off on it and work can begin.

As construction firms submitted proposals for the project this summer, local leaders became aware that their most recent cost projections were insufficient.

That’s when the estimate ballooned from $42 million about a year ago to about $74 million today. As a result, city officials had to secure more funding from county, state and federal agencies. In addition to dipping into the city’s hospitality tax funds, the Medical University of South Carolina chipped in too.

In total, the city’s contribution to the project via hospitality tax funds stands at $13 million.

Construction bidders attributed the higher-than-expected cost projections to rising interest rates, as well as increased labor and material costs. The winning bid came in at $73.8 million.

City leaders had considered scaling the project back when the new estimates were calculated but Councilman Mike Seekings said South Carolina Transportation Secretary Christy Hall was determined to find additional help from all levels of government to bring the project across the finish line.

“Secretary Hall put her money where her mouth is,” he said.

With Hall’s help securing an additional $30 million committed from various agencies, the city was able to move forward with a contract with civil contractor, Superior Construction.

Charleston City Council voted 11-1 on Sept. 26 to authorize the mayor to sign off on the contract once it gets approval from the Federal Highway Administration. Councilwoman Caroline Parker voted against the authorization and Councilman William Dudley Gregorie was absent.

If all goes according to plans, the contract will be signed within the next few weeks and design work can begin. Signing the contract locks down a “guaranteed maximum price” from the contractor, which can only fluctuate within a certain percentage of the total project cost. Any additional overrun would need special approval from City Council.

Design is expected to take about one year and construction about three years, said Jason Kronsberg, Charleston parks director and the project manager for the effort.

There should only be minor disruptions to road and boat traffic during construction, he added. It will tie into the existing West Ashley Greenway and cross the Ashley just south of the U.S. Highway 17 vehicular bridges.

Despite the cost estimate struggles, city leaders struck an optimistic tone saying that the project will be transformative for the city.

Editorials

“It’s a game changer,” Kronsberg said. “Its a significant infrastructure project that will be just as successful as the Ravenel Bridge bike and pedestrian lane when it was first implemented ... If you build it, they will come.”

Councilman Peter Shahid, who is running for mayor, said the project is not only a recreational amenity but also an important piece of the city’s transportation network. It will provide commuters who travel on foot or ride bikes a safe crossing to the city’s employment hub and also could relieve some traffic on the existing vehicular bridges in the same area.

Debate continues regarding development of former West Ashley Piggly Wiggly site

The City of Charleston Community Development Commission met Thursday to discuss the development of the old Piggly Wiggly lot on Sumar Street in West Ashley.CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston Community Development Commission discussed the development of the old Piggly Wiggly lot on Sumar Street Thursday night for the first time since last month after a city council meeting deferred discussions due to ...

The City of Charleston Community Development Commission met Thursday to discuss the development of the old Piggly Wiggly lot on Sumar Street in West Ashley.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston Community Development Commission discussed the development of the old Piggly Wiggly lot on Sumar Street Thursday night for the first time since last month after a city council meeting deferred discussions due to a split vote.

The meeting lasted for three hours as commissioners argued back and forth, with some advocating for green space to be the focus, and others wanting the project to focus on revitalization.

City officials and the public were asked for their input on three different proposals last month, with the first option including underground parking, outdoor areas and a civic building.

Option one was the most popular with 72% of the community in favor of the design, yet approval failed in a split decision vote by the city council.

“I just want to say I’m a little surprised and disappointed that it seems like the politicians are just not listening to the residents of West Ashley,” community member Sharon Gardner says.

Thursday’s meeting was set with plans of potential action for the project, but after hours of heated discussion, the only decision made was to develop another proposal with a design only including civic building and green space.

“I think we need to develop another option,” Charleston City Councilmember, William Dudley Gregorie, says. “We need to develop another option that is green space, and municipal space, and let the people of West Ashley take a look at that.”

The motion was made even after dozens of members of the public continued to push for option one.

“Having something in our community to allow us to gather is very important,” West Ashley resident William Tinkler says. “I’ve talked with many people in the last couple of months, and I can tell that people in West Ashley, they want action; they want something done now.”

Although the meeting was held by the Charleston Community Development Commission, almost every member of the Charleston City Council joined, saying no project in the city’s history has had this large of a public response.

“Approach this effort in this project through the lens of West Ashley revitalization,” councilmember Ross Appel says. “We need to find a way to jumpstart the economy of West Ashley; because let’s face it, West Ashley does lag behind other parts of the city and other parts of the region.”

Unless one voting member changes their mind, at this rate the decision will simply remain split.

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg himself is on the side of economic growth.

“If we approve it, we would be able to move forward and get something going, that includes the multi-uses that respectfully many hundreds of our citizens weigh in upon over the last few years,” Tecklenburg says. “It’s a good option; it will revitalize the West Ashley, it’s a good way to go”

A community member who has been involved in the process says this is the nineteenth meeting on the development in the last six years.

Robert Mitchell, Perry Waring, William Dudley Gregorie and Caroline Parker were in favor of Thursday’s motion to develop another proposal with design only including civic building and green space. Mayor John Tecklenburg, Ross Appel and Jason Sakran were opposed.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

West Ashley families without landline for month demand better from phone carrier

A woman and her son say more should have been done after she was without a landline for over one month.CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman and her son say more should have been done after she was without a landline for over one month.Queen Little has lived in the North Forest Acres neighborhood in West Ashley for over 40 years.Her phone line has been out since June 5. Queen suspects it was cut during construction work on Playground Road.For the last six weeks, Queen’s son, Darrin Little, has been persistently ...

A woman and her son say more should have been done after she was without a landline for over one month.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman and her son say more should have been done after she was without a landline for over one month.

Queen Little has lived in the North Forest Acres neighborhood in West Ashley for over 40 years.

Her phone line has been out since June 5. Queen suspects it was cut during construction work on Playground Road.

For the last six weeks, Queen’s son, Darrin Little, has been persistently calling their phone carrier, AT&T.

“They gave me a date for when it would be on, that day came and went and it wasn’t on,” Darrin said. “Called again, called again, called again, kept getting dates and dates and dates.”

Queen has underlying health issues, and Darrin said not having a working landline in her house is dangerous.

“She needs a means of communicating with me, with my brothers, in an emergency she needs that phone,” Darrin said.

Queen said she keeps minutes on her cell phone but rarely uses it. She said she feels more comfortable with a permanent, dependable option, like her landline.

“I’m a senior citizen, I’m 78 next month. I need things like that,” Queen said. “And especially having COPD, I could have a flare-up any time.”

One day after Live 5 News reached out to AT&T, phone access was restored to Queen’s household.

The phone rang for the first time in Queen’s household in over a month during a Live 5 News interview with Darrin and Queen. It was AT&T calling to let them know phone access was restored.

“We’ve been calling for weeks, and nothing has happened until Live 5 reached out to them, and now ironically, the phone’s on,” Darrin said. “Our conversation didn’t matter, but when you guys reached out to them, it mattered.”

Queen said she has had a lonely month without a phone, describing her home as a “ghost house.”

“They fixed it today because y’all came here and I appreciate y’all doing it, but it should never have been that way because I’m a paying customer,” Queen said.

It wasn’t only Queen that went without a landline.

Betty Poaches lives a couple of streets over from Queen, and also went without landline access for six weeks.

Poaches has lived in the North Forest Acres neighborhood since 1959. She is not able to use a cell phone because of her hearing aids.

Her daughter said over the last six weeks she’s worried about her mother’s safety.

“Without her having a phone I came here every day, because she had no protection,” her daughter, Regina Gamble, said.

A spokesperson from AT&T provided the following statement:

We’ve restored home phone service to this customer following repairs to a section of our cable that experienced water damage during recent heavy rains. We apologize for the delay.

Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.

8 Stellar Selections for Chinese in Charleston

Looking for Charleston’s best Chinese food? Sure, there’s plenty of Chinese-American spots to choose from, but where can you get something worth your money? From a restaurant with dishes from all over Asia to spots dedicated to Sichuan, there’s a small range of establishments offering Chinese cuisine, but they pack in a lot of flavors in the Lowcountry.Look here for our top picks. Read MoreEater maps are curated ...

Looking for Charleston’s best Chinese food? Sure, there’s plenty of Chinese-American spots to choose from, but where can you get something worth your money? From a restaurant with dishes from all over Asia to spots dedicated to Sichuan, there’s a small range of establishments offering Chinese cuisine, but they pack in a lot of flavors in the Lowcountry.

Look here for our top picks.

Read More

Eater maps are curated by editors and aim to reflect a diversity of neighborhoods, cuisines, and prices. Learn more about our editorial process.

North Charleston restaurant Jackrabbit Filly is like if someone said, “Make Chinese-American comfort food, but make it chef-y.” Owners Shuai and Corrie Wang opened the restaurant after years of running acclaimed food truck Short Grain. The menu has touches of Chinese and Japanese. There’s Sichuan dry pot, Mama Wang’s fried rice with lap cheong, and a highly-sought-after chirashi bowl. The restaurant recently added a dim sum brunch.

Looking for a dim sum dinner or lunch in the Lowcountry? Hit up Dragon Palace on Daniel Island for pork buns, shu mai, dumplings, and sesame balls. The interiors are retro fancy with ornate wood carvings and plenty of red. Dragon Palace also offers classics like chow mein, cashew chicken, and egg drop soup.

King BBQ offers Chinese barbecue with a Carolinas influence. The menu centers on smoked meats — five-spice duck, char siu ribs, ginger scallion kielbasa, and rotisserie chicken — and all the ways to serve those proteins — on a sandwich, rice, or noodles. Don’t miss the crispy shrimp toast sliders.

Downtown restaurant Beautiful South serves American-style takeout Chinese classics like General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef, but there’s also Cantonese roasted meats and Hainanese chicken. Try one of the inventive cocktails, such as the Love Your Enemies, which is a tequila and mezcal milk punch with a hint of oolong tea.

Eastside Chinese spot Hot Mustard may not be winning any culinary awards any time soon, but the restaurant’s takeout and delivery game is on point. Compared to other Americanized Chinese restaurants, Hot Mustard seems the most generous with the portions and the meat-to-noodle ratio. The pork lo mein or the sweet and sour chicken are reliable choices. This is eat-out-of-the-box-type of Chinese food — best served while sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, and in your pajamas.

Downtown restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit (XBB) has been around since 2012. The kitchen draws from different regions across Asia and delivers on some solid Chinese choices. The mapo tofu is some of the best in town, and the dumplings always satisfy. XBB is usually packed with lively customers looking for Asian comfort foods. Starting during the pandemic, the restaurant began offering takeout.

If you haven’t heard of Old Li’s Restaurant on Savannah Highway in West Ashley, it might be because fans of the Chinese establishment would rather keep it a well-guarded secret. The can’t -miss menu item is the crispy Peking duck, but the oyster pancakes, dumplings, and squirrel fish are worth ordering as well. Old Li’s is BYOB, so plan accordingly.

James Island Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei has enough peppercorns and punk-rock sensibility to keep any dinner interesting. Owners David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg moved from New York to Charleston for another restaurant project, but when that didn’t pan out, the culinary community lucked out when they decided to bring Sichuan flavors to town.

The restaurant usually full of locals enjoying lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and tingly beef to the soundtrack of loud rock and funk music.

North Charleston restaurant Jackrabbit Filly is like if someone said, “Make Chinese-American comfort food, but make it chef-y.” Owners Shuai and Corrie Wang opened the restaurant after years of running acclaimed food truck Short Grain. The menu has touches of Chinese and Japanese. There’s Sichuan dry pot, Mama Wang’s fried rice with lap cheong, and a highly-sought-after chirashi bowl. The restaurant recently added a dim sum brunch.

Looking for a dim sum dinner or lunch in the Lowcountry? Hit up Dragon Palace on Daniel Island for pork buns, shu mai, dumplings, and sesame balls. The interiors are retro fancy with ornate wood carvings and plenty of red. Dragon Palace also offers classics like chow mein, cashew chicken, and egg drop soup.

King BBQ offers Chinese barbecue with a Carolinas influence. The menu centers on smoked meats — five-spice duck, char siu ribs, ginger scallion kielbasa, and rotisserie chicken — and all the ways to serve those proteins — on a sandwich, rice, or noodles. Don’t miss the crispy shrimp toast sliders.

Downtown restaurant Beautiful South serves American-style takeout Chinese classics like General Tso’s chicken and Mongolian beef, but there’s also Cantonese roasted meats and Hainanese chicken. Try one of the inventive cocktails, such as the Love Your Enemies, which is a tequila and mezcal milk punch with a hint of oolong tea.

Eastside Chinese spot Hot Mustard may not be winning any culinary awards any time soon, but the restaurant’s takeout and delivery game is on point. Compared to other Americanized Chinese restaurants, Hot Mustard seems the most generous with the portions and the meat-to-noodle ratio. The pork lo mein or the sweet and sour chicken are reliable choices. This is eat-out-of-the-box-type of Chinese food — best served while sitting on the couch, watching Netflix, and in your pajamas.

Downtown restaurant Xiao Bao Biscuit (XBB) has been around since 2012. The kitchen draws from different regions across Asia and delivers on some solid Chinese choices. The mapo tofu is some of the best in town, and the dumplings always satisfy. XBB is usually packed with lively customers looking for Asian comfort foods. Starting during the pandemic, the restaurant began offering takeout.

If you haven’t heard of Old Li’s Restaurant on Savannah Highway in West Ashley, it might be because fans of the Chinese establishment would rather keep it a well-guarded secret. The can’t -miss menu item is the crispy Peking duck, but the oyster pancakes, dumplings, and squirrel fish are worth ordering as well. Old Li’s is BYOB, so plan accordingly.

James Island Sichuan restaurant Kwei Fei has enough peppercorns and punk-rock sensibility to keep any dinner interesting. Owners David Schuttenberg and Tina Heath-Schuttenberg moved from New York to Charleston for another restaurant project, but when that didn’t pan out, the culinary community lucked out when they decided to bring Sichuan flavors to town.

The restaurant usually full of locals enjoying lamb dumplings, spicy noodles, and tingly beef to the soundtrack of loud rock and funk music.

West Ashley couple’s new sodary capitalizes on mocktail trend

Danielle and Brent Sweatman understand the complicated relationship between sobriety and the food and beverage space. The couple, who have worked in the industry for years, are two years sober.“We knew how it feels to be uncomfortable with limited options and wanted to change that,” said Danielle, who with her husband Brent, opened Sweatman’s Garden — a sodary and fondue Lounge at 90 Folly Road Boulevard in the South Windermere Shopping Center.Brent said they chose the location for a few reasons.&...

Danielle and Brent Sweatman understand the complicated relationship between sobriety and the food and beverage space. The couple, who have worked in the industry for years, are two years sober.

“We knew how it feels to be uncomfortable with limited options and wanted to change that,” said Danielle, who with her husband Brent, opened Sweatman’s Garden — a sodary and fondue Lounge at 90 Folly Road Boulevard in the South Windermere Shopping Center.

Brent said they chose the location for a few reasons.

“We live in West Ashley and have been living in Byrnes Down for about five years. Because we love our community, we wanted to provide a cool hangout spot close to home for both drinkers and non-drinkers.”

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According to Brent, he and his wife were happy to fill a much-needed niche in the community.

“There are so many young people in the area that are becoming part of the sober curious movement and it was important to us to provide an inclusive space for the people that would want to take advantage of it,” he said.

And with the rise of mocktail culture, their timing couldn’t be better. According to research conducted by NielsenIQ, the non-alcoholic beverage sector is expanding rapidly as alcohol consumption declines, with popularity soaring over the past five years — a trend driven by Gen Z and millennials.

An Instagram-worthy experience

When the couple moved into what was Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen, they were presented with a tabula rasa, enabling Danielle, as she says, “to go wild.”

She transformed plain, white walls into ones with a dark green hue and festooned them with dozens of thriving plants. Quirky and colorful seating areas are Instagram-worthy, like the attractive curved yellow couch which faces tufted lilac chairs and is separated by a ‘70s-era coffee table.

“We set them up to appear like little living rooms,” said Danielle, adding that she loves maximalism and color. “I was inspired by an art-deco, 70s funky vibe,” she said.

The offerings

Brent is no stranger to libation creation, having helped open the King Street Diner known as the Rarebit featuring homemade ginger beer, tonic, sodas and bitters.

“We’re doing 12 different taps, featuring our tonic and ginger beer and additional playful, fun stuff when it comes to our sodas, like plum rose citrus and a delicious habanero fresca sweetened with monk fruit, which is currently getting a lot of love, along with our root beer,” said Danielle.

For an additional $5, customers can add their choice of alcohol, or a cannabis-based infusion to their sodas. Sometimes customers opt for both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages in the same evening.

“I’ve seen some of them take a non-alcohol root beer break from drinking,” said Danielle

The couple also decided to offer a limited menu featuring fondue.

“We’re serving savory fondue, like Mediterranean and beer cheese and also offering sweet options like white chocolate and milk chocolate,” said Danielle, explaining that she loves cheese and chocolate, but that they also wanted to make the menu a fun, interactive experience that doesn’t take staff too much time to create. For now, the business employs a total of seven staff members.

As for the future, Danielle said they are working on finding their bearings at the moment. “We were intentionally a little mysterious about being open to see what worked and what didn’t, but we may consider live entertainment in the future, if all goes well,” she said.

Stefanie Kalina-Metzger is a contributing writer for SC Biz News.

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