By Becky Billingsley
Tuesday, June 5, 2012, Myrtle Beach - Myrtle Beach diners can take advantage of a new casual oceanfront bar and restaurant with beach access and views and a frisky dog-loving theme.
Gracie's at the Point recently replaced Toppers at the Pointe, the large first-floor restaurant at Sands Beach Club, which is at the extreme south end of Shore Drive. Shore Drive begins where Lake Arrowhead Road in Myrtle Beach ends at the beach.
The public is welcome to park at Sands Beach Club to patronize Gracie's, which has four new partner-owners. John Mathena is one of those owners, and the restaurant is named in honor of his yellow lab named Lady Grace.
Dogs are also memorialized in a mural depicting dogs on the beach engaged in various activities like playing the guitar and sunbathing in a bikini. That mural is behind a line of frozen slushy machines.
Any vacationing parent (Sands Beach Club has condos, time shares and hotel rooms) will realize the appeal of these slushy machines to their children: "Mom, I'll be right back, I'm going to Gracie's for a slushy." Parents who like a little something-something in their slushies will appreciate they can first get a shot of liquor at the bar to pour in their slushy cups.
The decor is handsome in the large renovated space with bamboo-esque chairs, pressed tin ceiling, big bar area and floor-to-ceiling windows with great beach views. While our party of three enjoyed a late lazy lunch, we enjoyed watching a kite surfer catch some serious air.
Gracie's dog days start with breakfast ($3-$9), including egg plates, French Toast, Pancakes, Biscuits and Gravy and customized Omelets.
For lunch and dinner there are salads, sandwiches and a few entrees ranging in price from $4.50 for a Dog House Salad to $15 for a Chicken Parmesan entree that comes with a house salad and garlic bread.
We started with a Dog Bowl that is a real stainless steel dog bowl filled with chicken tenders, wings, celery and spiced hot boiled shrimp. Children may dine from Puppy Bowls ($4-$6.25) containing chicken tenders, PB&J, hot dog or wings.
For our entrees we tried a Gamecock Meltdown (grilled chicken, provolone and veggies on French bread), Caesar Salad with blackened chicken and shrimp and Lasagna, and we were all happy with our choices. The garlic bread that came with the lasagna was dusted with tasty seasonings and was nicely crispy.
Executive Chef Carman Jeffery is responsible for the new menu, and as long as he has the ingredients he's happy to grant special requests. Tip: Ask him to make you some Chili Lime Popcorn.
From 7-10 p.m. Mondays there is live music, and there are daily drink specials such as Tequila Tuesdays with $3.50 Margaritas.
Gracie's at the Point is inside Sand Beach Club at 9400 Surf Dr. in Myrtle Beach, and the number is (843) 692-5354. It's open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Happy Hour is 4-7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.