Bowen’s Island Seafood Restaurant

Bowen's Island Seafood Restaurant

These pictures don’t do this place justice. It’s one of the most unique places I have ever been to. Let me paint you a picture. My friends and I were driving towards Folly beach (in Charleston) and you come to 2 lights before you hit the coast. Well you turn between the two lights and head down this dirt road. On either side of you is marsh and in the distance you can see abandoned boats; it’s completely picturesque. You start seeing beautiful S. Carolina mansions with private property signs posted everywhere… but you keep going straight. Then in the distance you begin to see this really odd wooden structure and then this burnt down shack and then just a bunch of cars. We were in the right place.

We attempted to find parking, by that I mean we made our own space. And got out of the car and navigated our way towards the “entrance”. We get into this “ordering shack” and my buddy turns to me and says, “all you have to know is that there are 2 choices- the seafood platter, or the big ole shrimp platter”, they have menu’s but you don’t really look at them. They are there more as decoration. I order my seafood platter and a sweet tea. He tells me that the sweet tea is in the back (in a cooler) fill ‘er up as often as you like. You can also by beer by the 6 pack and order all you can eat oysters. The people taking your order start you a tab so that you can order more food and beer as often as you like. Oh, btw, its cash only. So load up before you come.

A little back story: The original Bowen’s Island Seafood Restaurant burnt down a few years back… like 10-or-so years ago. So they have been attempting to build a new structure ever since. It is still incomplete but it’s part of the ambiance really. This is the view atop the new structure.

View atop the new structure- tres magnifique!

My Friends and I After Placing our Order

So then they tell us to take our seats and a girl will call out our names and we can get our food. We go up to the top of the structure and take a look at the beautiful marsh and then we leave to find our seats. We were so lucky because we were there at sunset. It was so beautiful. We were able to watch the water turn from golden, to red, to purple, to blue.

We walk downstairs (of the unfinished structure) and to my surprise there are people sitting next to these tables with a hole in them, and I’m thinking, “OH, this is gonna be good”. A man who is working the “all you can eat Oysters” loads a shovel full of oysters and places them on your table, people are sitting there with their knives, a sleeve of saltines, and a ketchup bottle full of cocktail sauce and they are ready to start shuckin’ them oysters. Does life get any better? There is a band of older men playing… more than slightly off-tune, but nobody cares because it adds to the atmosphere that much more. Next thing I know there is a girl screaming through a megaphone calling out my name for me to come get my food — this place is unreal. The food was amazing.We watched the sun go down, we we were happily joined by more friends and we just ate and talked the night away. It was such a wonderful time.

Atmosphere Below the Structure: Notice the exposed concrete, construction light, old man band, and the hole's in the tables!

The Seafood Platter- Delicious!

My friend was telling me that as we were leaving a man walked up to someone working and asked them if this place was a REAL restaurant.

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