The PubScout scopes out the new House’s Patio Bar & Grill in Sunset Beach.

When I first settled in Brunswick County, I took a ride to Sunset Beach, mostly because I thought that its bridge to the island was neat as heck. And it is.

But I also noticed a few pub/restaurant businesses at the base of the bridge — mainland side — that intrigued me, though I could never seem to catch them at a time when they were open.

One of these was a place on pilings right next to a creek that led out to the ICW. It was called either Crabby Oddwaters or Bill’s — I could never determine which — but I planned to go in and check it out one day. The business, whatever its name, closed recently, however.

House's Patio Sunset Beach NC

Another business has taken its place, and it’s not called Crabby Oddwaters anymore. It’s called House’s Patio Bar & Grill. And the business sits in the space atop the structure. It’s accessible only by a pretty long flight of stairs around back, so be prepared to get your cardio in when visiting.

The effort will be more than worth it.

While House’s upstairs bar is certainly inviting and comfortable, and the views out to the park and the ICW are quite pretty, the dining area will not be winning any interior design awards anytime soon.

That, however, is not the fault of House’s business, which rents/leases the space from the Crabby Oddwaters folks and can therefore make no modifications without permission.

As is so often the case, the ambience is not always the star of the show. I’ve been to many a gorgeous-looking restaurant and have come away less than impressed with the food or the service.

Shrimp n Grits House's Patio

That will not happen to you at House’s Patio Bar and Grill, as the food Chef House sends out of his kitchen is absolutely fabulous. Having spent considerable time in the Crescent City (that’s N’awlins for you Yankees), Chef House has nailed the culinary wizardry of the city perfectly.

The missus, who, among other titles, is the Queen of Blackened Mahi-Mahi Tacos, flatly declared Chef House’s the best she had ever had anywhere. My Louisiana etouffée was dead on target and as good as I’d ever had in New Orleans.

One lady at a table near us was heard to exclaim, “What is that sauce?”

Fish Tacos House's Patio

“It’s remoulade. You’re supposed to dip your shrimp in it,” advised her server.

“Shoot,” she declared. “I want to dip my face in it!”

The PubScout would never presume to dictate proper table behavior to anyone, but that étouffée might cause one to throw etiquette out the window, too.

Chef House, whose first name I suspect is actually “Chef,” is a former AAU basketball coach who once ran his business in a spot in Sea Trail.

On the night of our visit, his new place had been open just about three weeks, according to our very pleasant and efficient server, Trish.

Sunset Beach NC House's Patio

When we arrived just before 5 pm, the place was relatively empty, save for the remoulade- diving lady and her friends. But by the time we left, the place had packed out, so the word must be getting around. And you know us geezers … we may not be able to handle AI and social media, but, dadgummit, we know where the best food is.

Chef House was hopeful that his lower patio would be opening and available for seating very soon. That would be a great thing for those who are handicapped and might have difficulty negotiating the Stairway to Heaven.

Then they, too, can dip their faces in their remoulade.

Want to go?
House’s Patio Bar & Grill
310B Sunset Boulevard N., Sunset Beach
(910) 575-2572
Facebook: House’s Patio Bar & Grill