The PubScout predicts that Big Chill Island House in North Myrtle Beach is poised for a warm future.

While life often throws us a knuckleball, it sometimes throws us a slow-hanging curve.

One such pitch landed in my inbox when Charlotte Mabry (of CharlotteBergerPR) delivered it.

Somehow, Charlotte got the idea that The PubScout was some kind of VIP, and she sent me an invitation to an exclusive media party at the newly opened Big Chill Island House in Barefoot Landing. Always interested in checking out new businesses, I accepted with alacrity, and brought the missus (the real VIP) as my plus one.

Part of La Vida Hospitality, parent company of Barefoot Landing’s popular Crooked Hammock Brewery, Big Chill Island House was the dream of cofounder Josh “Grap” Grapski. It seems Grap longed to offer a place that would “create a haven reminiscent of the carefree magic of island hopping.”

NMB SC The Big Chill

To say he has succeeded is an understatement.

Charlotte shared: “Boasting cool breezes and even cooler views thanks to the surrounding Intracoastal Waterway and Carolina coast, guests will soon be able to share unforgettable memories in a family-friendly atmosphere and enjoy island-inspired cuisine with fresh seafood and tropical, hand-crafted cocktails. This impressive two-story, 10,000-square-foot restaurant can seat 370 guests total and features unique dining spaces, including outdoor seating under a stunning live Grand Oak tree, North Myrtle Beach’s first and only dockside bar for boaters to easily grab a drink after a day in the sun, a fresh oyster bar in the Lanai Room and more.”

Charlotte and her business partner, Emma Bueltel, who both look far too young to be the highly successful PR magnates they are, greeted us as we entered.

“Hi, I’m the PubScout. Are you Charlotte?”

“Yes, yes,” the young professional replied. ”So nice to finally meet you face to face!”

She obviously mistook me for a — well, a VIP.

She and Emma were attired in lovely island-style dresses, as were many of those other VIPs who got invitations.

I was in jeans, as was the missus; and she wished she had worn one of her dresses in this place we both found airy, comfortable and visually stunning.

Barefoot Landing SC The Big Chill

Then she saw a dress some other debutante had on and expressed a desire to have one like it.

Hoping to avoid any expense that wasn’t Harley-Davidson related, I told her that Charlotte had assured me that “come as you are” was a perfectly acceptable dress code.

I chatted with Manager William Morris to get some background information, to thank him for his island hospitality and to assert that this place and its location looked to be a grand slam. That it offers beers from sister company Crooked Hammock also recommended it well.

Both floors of this building have separate kitchens, so those folks seated on the lower level who just come for drinks and dinner get food from their kitchen, while those who rent the upstairs for special occasions also have a personal scullery. Neither kitchen is then hampered by the demands of the other.

SC The Big Chill

And the food that comes out of them is both delicious and “islandy.” The prawns in the shrimp cocktail were the size of my forefinger and succulent in a special sauce. The crab cakes were all delectable, sweet crab, and a mahi-mahi ceviche was especially noteworthy. Shrimp empanadas, Kahlua pork sliders, mini beef sliders, skewered Chicken peri-peri and shredded pork sliders appeared with regularity from the upstairs kitchen. A few very tasty lobster roll sliders also appeared — and disappeared quite quickly. The coup-de-grace was coconut cake and a very different and very good key lime pie.

Charlotte added: “Their one-of-a-kind menu consists of delicious island classics and land and sea options, including Short Rub Bao Buns, Jumbo Crab Cake Sandwiches, Island House Lobster Rolls, Fish & Chips and Banana Leaf Mahi Mahi, to name a few. For sailors 12 and under, options include Chicken Fingers, Fish Sticks, Cheese Burger Sliders and more, making Big Chill Island House the ultimate spot for family dinner.”

Drinks-wise, Big Chill Island House offers tropical cocktails, such as the Painkilla, Island House Rum Runner and Sunset Margarita, for guests to sip on while taking in breathtaking views of the Carolina coast.

There were samples of those spicy margaritas and The Painkillas, which greeted us upon entry. I opted for The Painkilla.

Four times. Then I had a few Crooked Hammock IPAs.

The Big Chill Island House

In all, it was a good night. But the smart money says Big Chill Island House is going to have many of those.

Oh, and because we had such a great time in a great locale, the missus called me Mr. VIP.

All the way home.

It does have a nice ring to it.

Want to go?
Big Chill Island House
Barefoot Landing, 4736 U.S. Highway 17 S., North Myrtle Beach, SC
(843) 491-9949
Bigchillislandhouse.com