In a neighborhood that’s rapidly changing, The Griffon stands out as a staple in the community, and a tribute to the locals. In fact, many people consider it to be a Charleston legend.
Inside of The Griffon, the walls are plastered with 21 years of dollar bills and memories. Owner and operator, Dan Wenz muses that there must be at least $25,000 pasted to the walls. The Griffon has culture…
The Griffon was opened in the mid-90’s by two pals looking for a place to kick up their feet with their friends. It was that simple. To this day, that homey feeling still remains. Dan began working for the brothers close to a decade ago and purchased the business from them in 2008. He vowed to leave the bar unchanged—and the bills that plaster the wall are there to stay.
The Griffon is lauded by various media outlets as being a gem to the city. Southern Living Magazine called it “Unapologetically Awesome,” and Maxim Magazine added “Where to Eat, Drink, and Party in Charleston, South Carolina.” The Griffon packs a lot of power in a small punch, and the press loves it as much as the people.
The Griffon is a bar for two very different types of patrons: the locals and the tourists (who were smart enough to ask the locals). What they rarely see are the college-aged crowd. Their old English-style pub theme appeals mostly to the working class—and there’s a good reason for that…Lunch!
Quality food that’s affordable is hard to find. As the neighborhood is slowly gentrified, the locals still flock to the Griffon because they know they can get a great meal, with a price that isn’t inflated.
As Dan puts it, their lunches are “packed,” so they’re doing really well in the good eats department. Every day there is a crowd coming through the door and Dan reveals his secret is pretty simple: “We got a meat and three veg daily special.” Other items on the menu include classic comfort food, like grilled cheese, hot wings, and burgers.
“We gave up on print ads. Now we just have Facebook and Instagram…”
Dan doesn’t advertise the old-fashioned way. They quit print a long time ago—and forget about radio or TV. Word-of-mouth has always been their main source of marketing. When asked what their biggest draw is, Dan suspects it’s because they are “unique to the area.” And in an ever-changing Charleston market, that makes perfect sense.
Dan Wentz uses Evergreen for their digital signage and printed menus. He is thrilled with the convenience it has brought for the whole process of changing out menu items.
“It’s great! We have two televisions that replaced our two chalkboards.”
Aside from the ease it has given them with getting rid of the chalkboards, it has also helped the staff eliminate error. Dan recalls how prior to Evergreen, he had a template that was always being used improperly. People would change the name of the beer and forget to change the region. Although a small mistake, Dan laughing states “Pabst Blue Ribbon, Denver, Colorado.” And he’s right…even a small mistake can be noticeable.
Aside from that, the issue can lead to costly reprints. With Evergreen, however, Dan is satisfied with the margin of error, efficiency, and speed at which he can now change and print his menus.
“It’s pretty handy to just go back and hit print, and whip out about 10 copies.”
Clearly, The Griffon is here to stay. With local support, a tasty lunch, and a modern menu solution, they’ve got the recipe to be around for another $25,000 worth of bills on their walls.