THE STORY OF DUDLEYS
Like the oldest of anything, the oldest gay bar in Charleston has many stories to tell. Dudley's first came into existence in 1984 when a new owner purchased the former bar "Street Car." He changed the name to Dudley's, in honor of his grandmother who aided in funding his business endeavors through the sale of her house. Dudley's thrived at it's King Street location for nearly two decades, becoming a home to both locals and tourists. Kenneth Grizzard had been with Dudley's from day one, and was a fixture in the community as the "face of Dudley's." Kenny ran the bar from open to close, and was known for remembering customer's names and preferred cocktails months after meeting someone only once. In 2008, Kenny lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and left a hole in the heart''s of many Dudley's faithfuls.
2001 brought many changes to the Dudley's landscape. The bar moved to a brand new location, where it still resides at 42 Ann Street. In what was at the time a 'rougher' part of town, the bar settled in and set the tone for what would years later become a booming part of town.
In 2012, Dudley's on Ann once again endured a change of ownership. With the goal of becoming "Charleston's 'Everybody' Bar," the bar received a facelift and change of attitude. Now home to packed Karaoke nights, outrageous 'living room' drag shows, and weekends of dancing and and fun, Dudley's has stayed true to the original bar for thirty wonderful years.
Our customer base is a fantastic mixture of locals, tourists, gay and straight men and women, transgendered men and women, young professionals, lawyers, doctors, food and beverage employees, actors…. the list is never-ending but the goal is always the same. Everyone who comes into Dudley's is promised to be met with new friends, a great time, and feel comfortable being exactly who they are.