Poe's Tavern – Sullivan's Island, South Carolina - Atlas Obscura

Poe's Tavern

A quirky Poe-themed joint on an island keen to celebrate its overlooked connection to the famous writer. 


Although not commonly known, the enigmatic Edgar Allan Poe spent a few years in the Army under the alias Edgar A. Perry. Stationed on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, Poe served from November 1827 to December 1828.

Nearby Charlestonians proudly attribute the setting of Poe’s 1843 story “The Gold Bug” to his time on Sullivan’s Island. After the discovery of Poe’s southern roots, a group of Charlestonians decided to create a sort of literary revival. Writers and poets alike wrote of Poe’s time in South Carolina. They went as far as to indicate that Poe’s spirit still walks its beaches.

Some even assumed the writer’s experiences on Sullivan’s Island had a resounding impact on his work. Fact has transcended to legend, and some residents claim “Annabel Lee” was about a woman Poe met while on the island. Even if Poe’s connection to the southern spot wasn’t as deeply rooted as locals may claim, it hasn’t stopped them from peppering the town with reminders of his presence.

Poe’s Tavern is located close to Sullivan’s Island’s Atlantic shore. It proudly boasts its vicinity to the streets and beaches that Poe once walked. Eclectically decorated with different quotes from Poe’s work and several portraits of Poe by various artists, it is a quirky stop for passersby to grab a bite to eat, meet some locals, and experience a little history—even if it is beefed up a bit.

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