The beachfront Koko Cabana on Oak Island doesn’t disappoint the PubScout.

While folks down here in Brunswick County really never “leave” their beloved beaches — even in the winter — there’s a special electricity in that first “true” beach day. You know, the one with 80º temps, clear skies and abundant sun.

And the local yokels at OKI were out in force on April 7 for the occasion. From my perch on the shaded porch of the Koko Cabana restaurant, the familiar scene played out: swimmers, sunbathers, walkers, runners, pelicans, seagulls and diggers (I’ve often wondered what it is about a sandy beach that sparks a primal urge to dig in the sand — even in those over the age of 10).

Oak Island NC Koko Cabana

But no matter. It’s all good and part of the fun. Another part of the fun is eating good food and quaffing good beer from that Koko Cabana porch, where the food was really good, the service was great and the breezes were as cool as the Anubis tattoo on my server’s arm. I didn’t get her name, and her face was half-covered, but any young person who even KNOWS who Anubis is gets extra credit in my book.

I ordered, for the first time, Wahoo Fish Tacos. Wahoo! Guaranteed it won’t be my last time, especially paired with an excellent 8.5% DIPA called Texas Rig. Another wahoo!

The missus ordered a Blackened Shrimp Quesadilla, which was also excellent. And because I stole from her plate, I can attest that they went just as well with the DIPA. I’d have no problem getting that quesadilla next time. SIL Lisa ordered grilled shrimp and BIL Ray had a fisherman’s platter, which they each enjoyed.

Koko Cabana Oak Island NC

But what we enjoyed just as much was the ambience of this cool, beachy place as we chatted and watched the scene described earlier. The Oak Island restaurant shares the building with a place called the Pier House, and has an access door to the long, well-maintained pier that juts out into the water. Pier House must own the pier (makes sense), because there are signs that announce that “any alcoholic beverages brought onto the pier must have been purchased in the Pier House.”

I don’t know how they’d determine the source of whatever you were drinking, especially if it was in a clear plastic cup or ensconced in a beer hugger but it didn’t affect me. I only had my trusty iPhone in my hands. My beer had been long gone by the time I perambulated onto the pier.

I can’t comment about the Pier House, at least not until I go in it to eat and drink, but apparently lots of folks love the Koko Cabana, which has been on the site for just two years. The place was packed at lunchtime with folks waiting to get in.

After quaffing and dining there, it’s not hard to see why. Good food, a good beer list, great service and great ambience provided by happy humans and Mother Nature will do that.

I’ll go back for sure, just to enjoy a good beer, the sky, the surf and the sand. And it’s OK to “dig” sand.
Digging in it is another issue.

Want to go?
Koko Cabana
705 Ocean Drive, Oak Island
(910) 933-6222