Downtown at noon on Wednesday, usually the slowest day of the Spoleto Festival since it's not only the middle of the week but also only four days away from the end of the festival.
However, outside Jestine's restaurant on Meeting Street the crowds were way up the block.
"I'm here because I heard about the cornbread," said Jane Swazsy of near Colorado Springs who is here for three days to attend both the Piccolo and Spoleto festivals.
"We saw the '2 for Broadway' (at the Charleston Music Hall), and liked it even better than the Spoleto play ("Tristan and Yesult").
Tonight, she and her niece Tammy plan to see "TopDog-Underdog" at Pure Theatre "because a friend of ours saw it in New York."
However, on Tuesday, things were not really jumping at all at lunchtime at the Grill 225 in the Market Pavilion Hotel at East Bay and Market.
When Martha Teichner of CBS-TV's "Sunday Morning" and I arrived at 12:30 p.m., only one other table was occupied, and an hour later, only three were.
And there could be a reason.
When I made the lunch reservations, I was told I had to give a credit card number and that if the two of us didn't show up and didn't call at least one minute ahead of our scheduled reservation, that I would be charged $25.
Later on Tuesday, I ran into some friends who had made a reservation for four people for last Sunday night and were told by the folks at Market Pavilion that the no-show charge was $25 PER PERSON, should they not be notified ahead of time.
Incredulous, because even at Sardi's and the Four Seasons in New York they don't ask for your credit card number or even have a no-show charge, I called the Market Pavilion and asked about the policy. I was told that if a table was reserved for four, that it would be $100 charged on the credit card as a no-show fee.
To add insult to injury, the hotel charges a $10 valet parking fee, not including a tip.
As somone who frequently visits friends in Los Angeles, I can say that valet parking for even heavy traffic spots such as Spago and and the Ivey is free with about a $5 tip expected.
Maybe that's one reason the hotel dining was nearly empty on Tuesday. But we enjoyed our lunch, which hit the spot, and enjoyed the first-class waiters, one of whom looks like a movie star.
Butobviously some don't mind the threat of exorbitant no-show credit card charges.
Man-about-town Charleston native Guy Yates, 29, whom I met when having lunch at Vickery's said the rooftop bar at the Market Pavilion has been packed during Spoleto, as has Venue Range's rooftop gathering spot.
Harbor views are definitely a draw.
A place that WAS packed for lunch last Friday was Magnolia's on East Bay near Queen where I ate with three friends from Washington, D.C. And talk about polite watiers.
When my friends were late, the waiter boxed my lunch for me to take back to the office, and when they suddenly showed up as I was leaving, he un-boxed my salmon sandwich and re-plated it so that I could eat it there. And he could not have been more gracious, as he also gave me a gingerale in a to-go cup 'because it's so hot outside."