What do you get when you combine a restaurant, a concert venue, a juice bar, a winery, an art gallery, a coffee shop and an ale house? The charming and uplifting How Art Thou Café, Juice and Wine Bar, located off of Maybank Highway, on James Island.
How Art Thou was first opened in September of 2011, by Dave Berger and his son-in-law Joshua. Joshua had a dream to create a place where people could go and enjoy a genuine conversation, while freely expressing themselves artistically in various ways, leaving them feeling better than when they arrived. Sadly, Joshua passed away after a tragic accident, but his dream lives on through the success of this inspiring café.
During my visit to the Café, I met with the shift leader and beer connoisseur, Shannon Fisher. She tells me that the café is known for their customer service and outgoing staff. She says, “When customers come in I’ll ask, ‘How are you doing?’ and I genuinely mean it because that’s what the place is about.” The staff makes it their goal to lift their patrons’ spirits and put them in a better place than they were when they walked in the door.
While talking with Fisher, I noticed a quote on the bar, which was written by Joshua; “Encouraging and exploring individual identity and inspiring artistic expression and discovering our natural creativity”. Fisher tells me that this perfectly embodies the restaurant’s mission- to inspire patrons to express their natural artistic ability in a variety of ways. How Art Thou offers other creative and enjoyable events throughout the week and weekend. Informal beer tasting takes place on Tuesdays at 7 PM, followed by a blues rock band that usually starts around 8pm. Formal Wine Tasting on Thursdays is hosted by Dave Berger, followed by the chance to show off your creative side with the Folk Jam Session. The Folk Jam Sessions are when local bands can come in and play their music free of charge. “When we say Jam we mean anyone who may be sitting around can jump up and say, ‘hey let’s jam together’”, says Fisher. This is just one of the ways the café invites patrons to express their artistic side, as Joshua envisioned. Friday and Saturday nights, bring in your family and friends to enjoy the awesome Jazz Trio Band. Don’t forget to check out the amazing brunch selections on Saturday mornings from 7AM-2PM. Fisher suggests that you try their excellent French toast, omelets and breakfast burritos as well as $1.00 Mimosas and $2.00 Bellini’s served all day!
If you’re going for a healthy snack, the juice bar offers completely customized drinks along with a variety of menu selections made from fresh veggies and frozen fruits. As for their coffee selection, they offer almost any flavor imaginable. If you desire almond or soy milk, don’t hesitate to customize those options as well. Fisher also mentions that many craft beers are available along with new menu offerings specifically created to pair with the new selections. They also carry many craft beers in bottles, which allow you to create your own six pack. Fisher tells me that she also allows patrons to buy individual beers, depending on their personal preference of what they wish to try.
Lastly, you can’t forget to go in for your 10% discount when going to see a movie next door at The Terrace. “Bring in your theater stub and we do 10% off your order. But if you happen to miss your movie, you can join the many people who end up staying here to hangout, which has happened.” Fisher giggles.
The next time you’re out and about on James Island and want a unique and enjoyable experience in a different and inspiring environment, don’t forget to go to How Art Thou. Whether you are partaking in the delectable menu, delicious juices, creative coffees, enjoying a wine tasting, jam session or band, you are sure to have an uncommon and memorable night. By: Kelsey Whelan