The building at 1859 Folly Road that is now home to The Barrel has been many things over the years. It even survived Hurricane Hugo in 1989. In the 70's it was a juke joint called Black Man Sugar Shack. In the years following that it's been a bait and tackle shop and a club. Most recently, and what most of us remember, it was Greg Elliott's spot, Inner G Surf Shop. Greg shut his doors around 2005 and it sat idle for 8 years. Not counting all of the graffiti tags it got over those 8 years!
In September 2013 the owner, Chad Reynolds, made the decision to leave the commercial construction industry while doing the seismic retrofit to Buist Academy in downtown Charleston. December of that year would be his final month in the industry so he began thinking, “What's next?” Recognizing that James Island didn't have a craft beer retail store where you could fill growlers but taste the beers before committing to a 64 oz container of beer, Chad began his search for a space. Folly Road was the obvious starting point so on a Saturday in late September Chad hopped in his truck and headed down Folly Road to search for spaces for lease. The turn around point was to be the Piggly Wiggly (now Harris Teeter) a couple of miles up from Folly Beach, but less than half a mile from the Pig a “For Sale” sign caught his eye. A sign he had never seen in his 6 years of passing the property on the way to Folly Beach. The graffiti covered, overgrown, former surf shop property was for sale. After nearly 2 months of working with the sellers and even being beaten out by another buyer that eventually fell through, Chad closed on the property. Within a week of closing he dropped his tool trailer on the property and began his long journey of renovating The Barrel.
Besides the structure of the building and the front barrel door, The Barrel was created using mostly wood that Chad reclaimed himself. The majority of the reclaimed wood used was the former roof of Buist Academy. His contract called for him to remove the old roof of Buist and install a new one. Well Chad, being the lover of history and old wood, didn't have the heart to throw it away so he brought in trailers and men on the weekends and stockpiled the wood on Johns Island not knowing at the time what he was going to do with all of it. The back door, the bar tops, the bar fascia boards, the ceiling, the collar ties, and some miscellaneous trim were all built using Buist Academy reclaimed wood. The walls and ceiling of the bathrooms were built using weathered lumber from an old boardwalk on Seabrook Island. The bathroom doors were built using cedar that came out of Ace Basin. The walls in the bar area were built using wormy pine from the South Edisto River and wood that came from an old barn up in Tennessee. You won't find one piece of sheetrock in The Barrel!
In July 2014 renovations were finally complete and Chad opened the doors of The Barrel on August 4, 2014.