The College of Charleston Honors College expands on partnerships between faculty and student by creating a vibrant living-learning community where personal attention gives the support students need to reach their goals during and after college. Inside the CofC Honors community, motivated students live, learn, and grow together while pursuing their unique interests and goals – everything from study abroad, internships, research and service projects at home and globally.
The research that follows addresses numerous topics of interest: nighttime economies; the regulation of establishments with liquor licenses; gentrification; mixed-use neighborhoods; and the assurance of quality of life for residents in liquor license-dense vicinities. The study location is King Street in Charleston, South Carolina, which is one of the main retail, residential, and tourism-focused corridors of the city. The upper blocks of King Street, between the cross streets of Calhoun and Canon Street, were specifically studied as this area has undergone a rapid transformation. Merely ten years ago, locals did not frequent this area, it was of no interest to tourists, and it was regarded as a neighborhood that one would not want to walk through, especially at night. Many historical buildings sat vacant and in disrepair. Since the turn of the century, this area has seen a steady influx of retail businesses and for many years it was regarded as Charleston’s “Design District”. Even more recently, however, upper King Street has experienced a profound influx of liquor-licensed establishments. This paper considers, via a purely qualitative approach, the effects that this burgeoning nighttime corridor currently has and will have on other businesses, residents, and the Charleston community as a whole.