MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Murrell's Inlet adds a special flare to the Grand Strand that you just can't find everywhere. During the weekends and when the season hits, the Marshwalk in Murrells Inlet is packed with locals and tourists.
The third annual Taste of the Marshwalk event was held February 27th and 28th. The atmosphere was clearly reflective of the success of the restaurants calling the Marshwalk home.
Dead Dog Saloon and The Claw House Managing Partner John Campbell said "We've grown every year. We've been very fortunate with the growth of our business, I think this year's going to be incredible."
Campbell's family owns Dead Dog Saloon and the new restaurant opening next door, The Claw House. The family opened Dead Dog in May of 2002 and when he spoke of growth, he wasn't only referring to his family's restaurants. "The more people on the Marshwalk, the better it is for everybody," he said after referring to other Marshwalk restaurants as 'neighbors' instead of competitors.
Many heads of the restaurants serve on a mutually beneficial committee that examines Marshwalk business. They're responsible for most of the annual events which has accumulated to about ten a year now. This includes Marshi Gras, the 4th of July party, Halloween on the Marshwalk as well as the newest event, Luck of the Marshwalk, scheduled for March 17th. Campbell referred to these events 'as key' to success. "It's a very important aspect of having a local family run business-without the community where would we be? It's the people that make this happen, so it's very important to us," he said.
Another important factor is the economy. The Campbell family will create 120 jobs when the new family restaurant The Claw House opens later this month. Myrtle Beach is called the seafood capital of the world, but The Claw House plans to bring a new twist to Grand Strand eating. Fresh cold water seafood will be driven to The Claw House in a refrigerated truck from Massachusetts, Campbell said. The family got the truck Wednesday and plans to make the first of a few test trips next week. Once they get the hang of it, they will hire another company to take over the driving.
Expect fresh scallops, haddock, a raw oyster bar and a lot of lobster. The Claw House website says the opening is scheduled for March 21st.
As for parking, don't expect anything to change soon. Campbell said he wishes the county could add some space but "if you don't have a parking problem, you have a business problem," he said.
If you're looking for a job, The Claw House, Dead Dog Saloon, Wicked Tuna and Creek Ratz are hiring in preparation for the season. They all say they are staffing more than last year.