What's good here? The Whig

May 27, 2009 

  • WHAT’S GOOD HERE: A series that lets you get to know the people behind local restaurants

    ADDRESS: 1200 Main St., at Gervais Street. The bar is below street level.

    CONTACT: (803) 931-8852; thewhig.org

    HOURS: Opens at 4 p.m. Monday-Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Weekday happy hour until 7 p.m. Stays open until at least 2 a.m.

    MENU: Bar food, including pizza, burgers and sandwiches. Tuesday is taco night. Get late-night waffles and chicken on Saturday.

    Make a nomination: Do you have a restaurant, nightspot, server or bartender you would like to see featured in “What’s good here?” Send nominations to Megan Sexton at msexton@thestate.com.

‘Cheap beer and cheap food’

Phill Blair is the co-owner and bartender at The Whig, an underground bar at Gervais and Main streets across from the State House. The Whig will hit its four-year anniversary in July.

What’s good here?

“Cheap beer and cheap food.”

Some examples?

“Monday is dollar a slice pizza. Tuesday is 50-cent tacos. Wednesday is $2 pints.”

What’s the most popular?

“Tuesday is definitely the busiest day. It’s painfully busy. It’s out-the-door busy.”

How’s the jukebox?

“We hear quite a bit of it. People say it’s the best in town, but we’ve heard all of it a thousand times.”

What’s on it?

“We hear the Talking Heads played over and over, The Who played over and over and over. Of course Bruce Springsteen, every single day. ... ‘Born to Run’ usually. I’m a fan, but I’m still pretty sick of it.”

When are you most crowded?

“Monday, Tuesday, Friday late night. Saturday night we do this thing, chicken and waffles. Two pieces of chicken, two waffles, 5 bucks. From 11 to 1:30.”

How did that start?

“There are a lot of chicken and waffles places in big cities. About time we had one.”

What’s the biggest misconception about your place?

“We are always called a hipster bar. That’s not quite accurate. And people think we’re a wild and crazy place. Not really.”

So who goes there?

“Everyone. Local people. Main street workers. All types. It depends on the hour. It changes.”

Dark inside?

“It’s kind of dark, kind of small. Mondays and Tuesdays are pretty cramped. We think Wednesday is the best day to come. You can get a table and have elbow room. There’s a full menu and $2 beers.”

What’s on the menu?

“Pizza, burgers, standard bar food. ... Gouda mac and cheese, people love that. We took it away for a while, and people panicked, so we brought it back.”

Anything else?

“Free Space Invaders.”

— Megan Sexton

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