Step outside Planters Inn and explore King Street, recently named one of the nation’s top ten shopping streets by U.S. News and World Report. Lined with emporiums of chic and unique wares, souvenirs of all type await discovery.
Lower King Street is a nationally known antiques district with the likes of George C. Birlant & Co., maker of the Charleston Battery Bench. Upper King is a thriving contemporary design district with shops like Felice Designs and Circa Lighting. Other King Street favorites include Bob Ellis shoes and Croghan’s Jewel Box, a family-owned repository of estate pieces and eye-popping baubles run by the third generation of William Joseph Croghan’s descendants.
One aspect that gives shopping on King Street its unique character is the presence of multi-generation merchant families.
At Berlin’s, the third generations of the Berlin family have furnished well-dressed Charlestonians with everything from cashmere to cufflinks—for more than 125 years!
Ben Silver is a haberdasher’s dream! The second generation now designs custom bowties, tortoiseshell spectacles, jewelry-quality blazer buttons and other tasteful accessories that are prized by customers around the world thanks to its booming mail order business.
George C. Birlant & Co. is now run by fourth generation owners, this is arguably the most respected local purveyor of 18th and 19th century furniture, silver, china, crystal, and brass; however, what’s really grand is the Charleston Battery Bench—a one-of-a-kind hand cast bench is beautifully engraved with the motifs of indigenous flora and fauna indicative of Lowcountry wildlife and sporting lifestyle.
M. Dumas & Sons would be more accurate if called “and grandsons” since this self-described “Town and Country clothier” is now run by the third generation of Dumas men. In addition to sport coats and golf shirts, this store offers apparel embroidered with the state’s beloved Palmetto tree and crescent moon emblem.
Croghan’s Jewel Box is a treasure trove of heirloom silver, estate jewelry and classic gifts. Sisters Mariana Croghan Hay and Rhett Croghan Outten are the third generation owners of this gleaming boutique that has been in business for more than 100 years.Bob Ellis has been in the business of luxury footwear for three generations, and its oversized display windows draw a lot of attention, especially when decked out during the holiday season. From Christian Louboutin to Yves Saint Laurent, this is the place to get that pair of party shoes.