Drums Along the ICW
Blue Drum Waterfront Restaurant in Little River focuses on fresh seafood with a spectacular water view and the perfect combination of indoor-outdoor seating.
Most fisherfolk have heard of a Red Drum and a Black Drum, but I suspect few have heard of the rare Blue Drum.
And the reason is, there’s no such thing. If we’re talking fish, anyway.
But if we’re talking restaurants, well, that’s another story,
Opened in the early summer of 2023 on the ICW in Little River, this breezy, airy waterfront restaurant yields a most pleasing vibe. With indoor and outdoor seating — and one section that combines the best of both in case of inclement weather — Blue Drum works on multiple levels. The brainchild of Jamee Blanton, Blue Drum’s location is prime.
As with any new restaurant venture, it takes some time to work out the kinks and get everything running smoothly, but if the crowds are any indication, that’s a hurdle that has been — or is close to being — surmounted.
There is no signage indicating that the building at the end of Kingsworth Road off Highway 90 in Little River is indeed the Blue Drum.
But the full parking lot is all the indication you will need to know you’ve arrived. In fact, you’ll probably be fortunate to find a space.
Tables are available directly on the dock or up a level under a covered overhang. There are more tables inside for those who so choose. But with the bar windows flung wide open, the gentle breezes of the ICW waft through all the spaces, providing a breezy waterfront experience for all.
With the right atmospheric conditions, sunsets could fall into the spectacular range, and in the event of foul weather, those windows can be closed to keep any excess wind and moisture where it belongs — outside.
Blue Drum’s menu is quite extensive and heavy (natch) on seafood options. But there is a nice selection of burgers at reasonable prices for those so inclined.
For appetizers, the missus opted for the Fried Green Tomatoes, and the portion size could have been an entreé. The dish was completely clean in short order. I chose the She-Crab Soup. It was very different in appearance from what I am used to. But apparently, Chef Mauricio knows his way around the galley, as the concoction was quite flavorful and laden with pieces of crab.
The Shrimp Tacos the missus ordered for her dinner were very good — and the missus knows her shrimp tacos just as I know my Shrimp and Grits.
What was nice at the Blue Drum is that you could order a half portion of the Shrimp and Grits dish, which was certainly more than enough after two Dirty Myrtles and the She-Crab soup. Again, the flavors that Chef Mauricio coaxed out of the dish were delicious.
We had a chance to chat with builder/designer Jamee Blanton, who’s not even a restaurateur in his main gig. But he always wanted to develop a unique waterfront seafood restaurant, and, with its design and its dishes, the Blue Drum is the culmination of that dream. The picture of the space just after he took it over testifies to his skills, his vision and his abilities when you finally see the finished result.
The location, ambience, food and overall pleasant vibe of Blue Drum have drawn rave reviews from guests on social media, and that doesn’t look to be ending anytime soon.
If you go, reservations are suggested (available online), and be aware that the parking lot proper has somewhat narrow spaces. On our visit, there was one left, and the huckleberry in the next space parked so cockeyed, navigating to avoid damage was a challenge.
But the challenge was worth it.
Go catch yourself a Blue Drum.
Want to go?
Blue Drum Waterfront Restaurant
4430 Kingsport Road, Little River, SC