This is Carolina: Restaurant gives new life to wood from old Surfside Beach Pier

Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 11:29 PM EDT
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SURFSIDE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - In March 1993. the Surfside Beach Pier was reopened after being destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

After standing for over a quarter-century, the pier was knocked down again by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Instead of throwing away the pier’s preciously-aged wood, the Town of Surfside Beach organized a pick-up so people had the chance to buy it for their own creations.

While there, WMBF News met quite the duo with a pier project in the works for everyone.

“I grew up down here. My grandparents always had a place in Garden City,” said Jonathan Melton. “So I remember this pier when it was standing, and the pier before Hurricane Hugo took out,”

Melton, the interior designer for the Tavern in Surfside restaurant, picked out some pier wood Wednesday along with his team.

“Everyone coming into the Tavern can see it and remember Surfside,” he said.

Melton was there with his assistant, Emi Davis. The two had big plans for the pier project and they invited WMBF News to tag along.

“Y’all should just follow us. Hook a camera up to me and Jonathan because it’s amazing the places we go,” Davis said.

First, the wood went to the mill. Melton and Davis learned pier wood is thicker than most and holds a lot of nails.

It took over two weeks of delays for it to be milled, cut and to have enough nails removed to work with for their idea.

“You know we kept getting stopped. It’s what the wood’s willing to do, not what we wanted it to do,” Davis said with a laugh.

It was worth it because it’s a special project for the duo in the new restaurant.

“It’s super cool. It’s something that we’re really proud of, like, just be on the visual aspect of that. We were really able to kind of bring something that’s meaningful to Surfside,” said Drew Doss, Tavern in Surfside’s general manager.

“Beyond it just being a cool design piece. You know, it really has history and really meant a lot to people. So we’re excited to have that.”

Melton and Davis created a pier-inspired mirror that’s supposed to make you feel under the pier while sitting at the bar.

They also wrapped the hostess stand in the pier wood.

“They love it,” Melton said of the restaurant owners. It’s a job well-done and compliments well-earned for Melton and Davis.

Melton also designed Tavern in the Forest and said they’re working on a new project now in a restaurant coming to Carolina Forest.

To learn more about the taverns in Surfside Beach and Carolina Forest, click here.

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