One of the shining examples of great hospitality in a small-town is their main street. Where you can get a hair cut, grab lunch and some sweet baked goods all in walking distance from each other. More, you create an everlasting relationship with those small business owners because you probably live close to them.
The City of Georgetown has such a main street. It's called Front Street, and the warm welcomes you get here couldn't be contained in the river beside it.
As goes the water.
The street is lively during Spring and Summer, when locals and tourists alike flow through like blood in veins. It's exactly that for the owners. The business generated during this time keeps them afloat during the off season (tourism season is typically early Spring to early Fall).
However, other items have been seen afloat on the street, too.
In three years, Front Street has seen itself under water time and time again. Whether it be the "100-year-Flood", hurricanes or king tides, business owners have had to habitually prepare for the worst - and come to expect the worst.
One year, Castaway's Bar & Grill saw water in their restaurant as high as the seats. It was a trying time. But, the folks there rebuilt and have moved forward.
Today, you'd walk in and think nothing happened. Plus, there's quite a bit of good food being enjoyed.
Castaway's Bar & Grill is one of many restaurants to suffer heartache during these times. It's why the tourist season is so important to them as owners. They are not only making money for themselves, but are supporting staff who work for them. When disasters happen, those staff members don't work. That's weeks of not getting paid in some occurrences.
And you'd be dead wrong to say it doesn't bother owners.
Paraphrasing South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster from recent statements, we have to get along with the water around us. We live next to it and it's going to be here.
What we, as locals, can do immediately is give endless support to the restaurants on Front Street - and the surrounding businesses - and promote our culinary adventure to outsiders.
Take time to enjoy what Front Street has to offer. From the history in our museums, which is massive, to the restaurants and shops, we can nurture our own talking points from the pleasant experiences.
Front Street is a staple point in the city and in Georgetown County. It's a meeting point. It includes a great part of the culinary adventure in our town.
More, it's always going to be home. Our home. And as hospitality goes, we'd love nothing better than to welcome folks to our home with open arms, smiles and warm food.
So, go tell a friend. Tell a relative. Share on social media.
There's a culinary adventure on Front Street and we'd love to have you experience it.
As 2018 winds down, the culinary adventure in Georgetown, South Carolina, has grown leaps and bounds. So, it's only fitting to say 2019 looks to be a breakout year for our Georgetown restaurants.
While there have been a few restaurants to close, we saw just as many open their doors. Root, located at 919 Front Street in the City of Georgetown, has been taken in with welcoming arms. They were also the December recipient of the Simply Amazing Dish of the Month (Beef Short Ribs).
Chef Armando Cobian opened Sol Cocina Mexicana, a high-scale Mexican restaurant, serving creative dishes with a "twist of Mexican flavors" in each bite. It is located at 12036 Ocean Highway in Pawleys Island.
We've also seen some of the perennial favorites strengthen their menus, develop eye-appealing and mouth watering dishes, win awards from various news outlets and further establish their status on the culinary map.
Rustic Table, Frank's and Frank's Outback, Perrone's Restaurant and Bar and Chive Blossom all fit the above mold.
We've also discovered a revival of tradition with restaurants like Janette's Super Burger and Seaboard Restaurant; and businesses like the Bearded Butcher. The patriarchs of such places have passed down their teachings, recipes to families and friends willing to carry on what so many people have enjoyed. They'll also introduce a new generation to those great tastes.
We also heard the phrases "dock to dish" and "hook to fork" when speaking with Dylan Foster of Wicked Inlet Seafood. Another business upholding tradition by having chefs and restaurant owners come to the docks and pick their fish, fresh from the catch. A sure way to know exactly where your seafood comes from.
Wagyu beef was introduced in a big way to the area with a partnership between Foodie City Network and OMD, Inc. Now, restaurants have a pristine location to order the succulent beef from and save huge on shipping costs. This partnership was years in the making.
And, a new concept to the area was introduced. A food tour! Yep, there's a actually a food tour on the culinary adventure of Georgetown, South Carolina.
Carolina Food Tours is a rapidly growing food tour business showcasing many of our Georgetown County restaurants. Not only does this endeavor help introduce locals and tourists alike to our excellent restaurants, it builds a connection with restaurants to bring in business possibilities that otherwise might not have been explored. More importantly, it is year-round and has incorporated seasonal themes.
Speaking of themes, the Georgetown Business Association has introduced restaurant crawls to the city. Quite a few restaurants participate and offer a signature drink on the trail. This exciting concept is a great way to get acquainted with out restaurants in the city. The well-known crawl is the Kringle Krawl that takes place around Christmas time.
With all this, you'd think some of the well-known chefs and food journalists would be taking an interest in our area. The fact is, our chefs are becoming famous in their own right and are drawing people because of their consistent dedication to creating the most eye-catching, flavorful dish.
Steven Perrone, Adam Kirby, Danny Smith, PaulKelly Renault, Greg Metcalfe, Armando Cobian and Graham Plummer are just a few of a huge arsenal of chefs our county has to offer.
And, yes, the interest is there. Eater, Food Network and Yelp have seen what cannot be ignored any longer. It has to be shared with the masses.
I see the year 2019 as a culinary explosion for Georgetown, South Carolina. The whole county.
All our restaurants work tirelessly to provide a great experience and awesome food on the culinary adventure of our county. For what was a secret to us locals will soon be a shining star to many.
There is a well-known dish many locals cannot pass up when offered on the menu, or God forbid... a daily special.
That dish? Well, it's shrimp & grits.
Poston's Seafood puts out a really great shrimp & grits, but you have to catch them just right. They are not open all the time to fix that awesome plate of food.
Lee's Inlet Kitchen in Murrells Inlet has a superb shrimp & grits. Eloquently prepared. Seasoned just right. Love the brown gravy. See below.
The River Room in the city of Georgetown has a superb shrimp & grits. This preparation really hits you warmly during the Fall months. That sausage is to die for. Take a look below.
A newly opened restaurant named Chacon's of Georgetown, at the former Land's End location, is putting out a mouth watering shrimp & grits. Check it out below.
I hope that gives you a foundation on where to find some great shrimp & grits in Georgetown, S.C.
All restaurants have menus. When you are seated, you're handed one. If you want take out, you ask for one. It's how we decide what we are going to actually eat and what exciting dishes are offered to satisfy our taste buds.
In today's society, we live by the swipe. We die by the swipe. Face it, we're swiping by everything at a cheetah's pace to find what interests us. If it's not appealing, it gets passed like a slow car on the interstate.
Some of our local restaurants post their daily menus to Facebook and other social media mediums to attract customers. While having the generic posting in words, it helps to add a photo, too.
Deer in headlights. A photo of an excellent daily special will stop the swiping for a second. That second is key because then the mind wants to know what is that mouthwatering dish on my screen!
Then they read what it is. Chances are it will be liked, shared, favorited, retweeted, etc. The payoff is actually having the person dine in or take out.
So, I recommend all of our Georgetown restaurants add a photo to their daily menu postings. Having a wonderful dish showcased with the daily menu grabs the eyes and mind at the same time. More importantly, some of the more involved specials are done justice with a photo more than words. A picture, may I remind, is worth a thousand words.
The more restaurants sharing daily menus with photos, the more traction among potential customers is generated. Dedicate one person to do this and make it routine, friends!
People eat with their eyes, so give them something to drool over!
There's a lot to be said about longevity. It's a measuring benchmark in one's career and life altogether. The longer you go, the more reputation you build. Eventually, you end up with a legacy.
Joann Pope Elliott not only has built a legacy, but her longevity continues with Ball & Cue.
A proper homage and thanks seems not enough. I suppose that's why a spectacular celebration is planned for Friday, July 3, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to show true thanks and appreciation to a great woman in Georgetown.
So, fellow Georgetonians... go and show support to one of our own!
Thanks for it all, friend. You have a great staff that keeps you going and continues to cement that legacy you've obtained.
And it is all well deserved.
Yesterday, I wrote about using Yelp to help our local restaurants. While the platform is very beneficial to create a local buzz and build a positive Georgetown reputation, there's another widely used social platform do that... even better.
Using Tripadvisor as a local can hugely affect a restaurant's business. Again, we should be using platforms like this as locals to dictate the message (or how good or bad a restaurant is) a tourist sees.
Tripadvisor is free, just as Yelp is, and you can add photos as well.
And, just like Yelp, you can grab an app for your phone.
I urge you all to use these platforms to help support our local restaurants, show them locals care and let them know they have a local base.
Here's an example of a Tripadvisor review. This is for Atlantic House Restaurant:
My goal is to see all of our Georgetown restaurants succeed. I hope you all begin to use Tripadvisor and Yelp to share your experiences as locals so others who visit here can enjoy our dining treasures.
In a previous post, I talked how important it is for locals to support Georgetown restaurants. The main reason is so they can have a dependable foundation during the offseason. More importantly, there'd be no offseason as a local base could be primary and consistent.
So, let's dicuss using Yelp, which publishs crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses. (Click the name above as it will take to the Yelp site.)
What I see a lot of on Yelp are tourist-based reviews of our local restaurants. While that's a good thing, these tourists can also dictate the amount of customer flow with a good or bad review.
Instead of having tourists dominate the review market, I suggest us locals sign up on Yelp and start reviewing our restaurants, good or bad, and let us be the welcoming mat for tourists.
Below is an example of a review.
What you see is a five-star review for Rustic Table. Almost all of our Georgetown restaurants are on Yelp. Once you sign up, you can search the Georgetown area for them. Then, when you find one you want to review, you can do so. I'd also add pictures of dishes you've had, too. People coming into the area love to see it before they try it.
You can even rate existing reviews as Useful, Funny or Cool, and like other reviewers' photos.
Message me if you need more explanation. I am glad to help.
If we, as locals, use Yelp to help our restaurants build the local base they need, then tourists will see how much we support them and how proud we are to showcase them to the world.
The one constant in Georgetown is faith. Faith guides us in moments of glory and pain. Faith balances us during shaky times.
This Father's Day, I suggest honoring your dad, granddad and/or great granddad by taking him to a restaurant full of faith, love, hope and warmness.
Ball & Que Restaurant always puts together a fabulous Sunday lunch, even publicizing a menu on their Facebook page for it.
This Sunday, however, should be a special one. Not only for the customers, but for staff as well.
Everyone here works tirelessly to provide a great meal, a wonderful experience and dependable service to all. If you dine in, you will be witness to that.
Friends, make this Sunday one to remember and celebrate Father's Day at this humbly awesome eatery.
Wendy Goude and her team had a successful opening last night at Townhouse Restaurant.
The new eatery is located at 724 Front Street.
I think Wendy ought to be commended for bringing yet another breath of fresh air to Front Street. This new restaurant is sure to be the talk of the town for the rest of the year.
And seeing the community support involved in helping get it off and running, and the turnout last night, Townhouse will be here for a long, long time.
When you think of Georgetown as a local, you pretty much go through your mind recollecting and reminiscing the amazing beauty and awesome kindness exemplified by our river front and smiling faces. As a born and raised Georgetonian, I have always appreciated this town, admired its people and adored the amazing community outreach.
Georgetown truly is a people’s town. Lots of faith can be seen throughout the area. A person’s good will charitable giving is often expressed anonymously. There’s so much to experience and explore. So much so, our wonderful town is constantly promoted as a tourist destination.
We have breathtaking river front views. There are some awesome parks to visit here. You can’t miss those gorgeous Oak trees. You can also experience amazing historical housing and history telling shared while on tours.
I have always loved the fact our town never gives up. After Hurricane Hugo, we never gave up. After the horrendous Front Street fire, we never gave up.
And, our restaurants never give up.
I look at our wonderful restaurants as doorways to Georgetown. Whether you are a tourist or local, our restaurants live and die by your business, and if the food or service isn’t great, they see it by not seeing you come back.
Restaurant owners in Georgetown work day and day out to provide the best dining experience for the area: locals and tourists. Yes, that’s right, locals.
These restaurants, specifically the ones on Front Street, are not tourist-only. They would bend over backwards to have a local base they could depend on. They work hard, from hostess to chef to owner, to create fine dishes for all to enjoy.
I want locals to know they are always welcome in Georgetown restaurants. They are part of our town. They want you to be part of them.
I am strong-skilled in advocacy, however, what I was known for I do no more. Life changing events allowed me to refocus my life and goals in 2013. I have always wanted to help Georgetown and I think this niche is just it.
Georgetown Foodland is a Facebook page created to help and support our local restaurants. What I do and share is free, at no charge to restaurants. I just want to provide exposure for them to our town (locals) primarily and tourists. Locals need to know they are welcome, appreciated and needed.
The website, georgetownfoodland.com, just went online this month. It will feature short stories on restaurants and other possibilities later.
Please support our local restaurants. Dine with them. Build friendships. Create a bond through food.
Oh, and enjoy the scenery… the tastes are beautiful.