Wednesday, April 16, 2014
There are plenty of opportunities to eat, drink and be merry this year as a number of businesses have opened their doors in Garden City Beach and Murrells Inlet.
Restaurants, bars, and retail outlets call the area home this season, and more are scheduled to open soon.
Already opened are Pinky O'Doyle's, a bar aimed at women; Gino's New York-style Pizza; Flamingo Porch; Big Dave's Too; and Murrells Inlet Outpost.
Still on the drawing boards or close to opening are The Watering Hole Saloon and Grill; a restaurant at the former Admiral's Flagship; Just Because IYQ tea shop; Art & More; Little Pigs Bar-B-Que; and King Street Grille, at the former Fuego's.
Gino's, at the shopping center that already contains an Eggs Up Grill, Icon's, Grilled Cheese and Crab Cake Co., and Twelve, has made itself right at home with its giant New York style pizzas, available whole or by the slice, pinwheels and a pair of Italian entrees.
The Garden City location is the family-owned franchise's fourth; the American version started locally in North Myrtle Beach.
Another South Carolina franchise that is moving south is Little Pigs, which started in Gaffney in the 70s and now counts seven offshoots.
Known for its hickory smoked barbecue, served in a casual setting or available for carry-out, Little Pig offers a number of sides, including deep fried apple sticks, corn, onion rings, potato salad and fried okra.
But the specialty is the barbecue and the sauce offerings — all of them homemade except for one — Sweet Baby Ray's.
The South Strand is in line for its first tea shop, but this one comes with a twist.
It incorporates some of the collectibles found at Eileen Cyrus' kiosk from the Coastal Grand Mall.
Women who come to tea can dress up — vintage hats, jewelry and scarves abound — while sipping tea and, of course, eating tea sandwiches.
In addition, Cyrus, who hopes to open in early May, intends to serve scones and muffins in the morning and even a high tea by reservation.
Cyrus said she had been considering opening a shop for some time, but it seemed that she never had the money or the time at the same time. Now she does. She's doing much of the renovation work herself, using the skills she perfected as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.
She plans to have works of local artists available for purchase on the walls – and everything tea related – including infusers, different teas from around the world and pots, available for sale.
Just Because IYQ (put the emphasis on the “Y” to pick up the proper pronunciation of the name) is in the same shopping center as Gino's.
The Watering Hole also has its roots elsewhere. Cheryl Fouker, who managed Dennis Rose's bar in Gaffney, has moved to the Grand Strand to open the bar, which she intends to make comfortable for bikers and for families alike.
“This is a great high-traffic area,” she said, looking out from behind the renovated building that once housed a crab cake restaurant. She's waiting for the OK from DHEC to open, but said she realizes that even the best plans go awry at times.
Weather delayed the planned opening, but she said she expects things to get back to a normal schedule soon.
She plans to serve bar food, including barbecue, wings, and fish and chips.
Pinky O'Doyles also is a bar, but there's a twist. It's a female friendly sports bar, explains Felicia Orton, the general manager. She and the woman who has since become one of her closest friends, Debbie Doyle, have tried to make the décor female friendly, too. There are tables, chairs and a woman's touch on the menu – homemade beef pot pies, homemade soups and even frozen drinks.
“The idea is that women can come here and not be hassled, they can feel at home,” Orton said. She said she wants her bar to be cleaner and plans to instill a “no pig rule.”
“There will be absolutely no shenanigans,” she said.
JaRena A. Handy has found success with the Flamingo Porch in the Mink Avenue center that includes Tuesday Morning and Food Lion. Open about three months, she's already expanding.
The store holds treasures that she's acquired from her years as a self-professed “plunderer.” Handy was one of the people who was part of the consignment store that housed the Flamingo Porch and other vendors. When she had the chance, she bought the entire business, that now includes 22 vendors with offerings that include furniture, clothing and knickknacks.
When it gets the OK to open – perhaps this summer – Art & More also will contain treasures that Betty Owens and her husband, Kent, have acquired over the years.
“We're getting ready to be older, and there are things that just don't fit anymore,” she said, picking up a decoy and placing it on the counter at the shed that sits across from Creek Ratz.
“We both turn 70 in October and we decided that perhaps other people would appreciate what we found,” she said.
Much of the works are linked to Francis Marion, including old maps and paintings.
Nothing says Murrells Inlet as much as fishing, and two new entries in the Inlet cater to the fishers.
Big Dave's Too is the brainchild of David Altman and Chris Conklin, and include gear for the recreational and commercial fisher, including bait, boat storage, crab pots, and nets. The facility is across from Seven Seas Seafood, which is happy to take the catch.
“We want to make it easy for the fishermen to get what he needs at one spot,” Altman said, adding that the location was “perfect” because it is close to the north entrance to the Inlet. “They can stop and go,” he said.
A bit more inventory is available at Murrells Inlet Outpost, the brainchild of Ned and Brandy Campbell, who officially opened the store the first week in April.
Rods, reels, clothing and even a place to sit and talk about the catch are among the attractions in the retail store across from the Beaver Bar.
Ned Campbell, who was raised in the Inlet, ran R&R Charters but when he had the chance to expand, he jumped at it.
“This lets people touch it, feel it,” Brandy Campbell said.
Although the store has not been open long, the couple already is looking ahead. They plan to add an official weigh station and maybe add kayaks to the boats they rent and sell.
In the fall, the stock will turn to hunters. “It's everything for the outdoors,” Campbell said.
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