A Bona Fide Local’s Favorite

Written By: 
Paul Grimshaw
Photographs by: 
Scott Smallin

Simple, delicious seafood keeps Bimini’s booming

For an astounding 31 years, Bimini’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Café has been the kind of place you might drive by and not give a second glance. Except for the packed parking lot and the crowds of people coming and going, you might wonder what all the fuss was about.

The islands-themed seafood restaurant/neighborhood bar sits within a nondescript strip mall on Lake Arrowhead Road near the corner of U.S. 17 in Myrtle Beach. While it’s not a grand, fine-dining establishment, it’s not a seafood dive either. Year after year Bimini’s earns its place in the lexicon of Grand Strand eateries as a bona fide “local’s favorite.”

Why? Ask any regular and they’ll tell you “It’s the food, the service and the fun.”

Bimini’s has learned the fine art of preparing lots of seafood dishes quickly, efficiently and with a consistency of quality. It’s the primary reason that visitors and locals return again and again.

In season it’s not uncommon to find multigenerational families who’ve been coming to the beach for years and dining at Bimini’s since its earliest days. They actually plan their vacations around at least one trip to the eatery and are now introducing the youngest family members to the tradition of picnic table dining, paper towel rolls for napkins and the throw-caution-to-the-wind atmosphere.

Bimini’s offers a mix of fried, broiled and steamed seafood. Though you can find chicken and burger options and even a 10-ounce sirloin steak, what most patrons come for is the steam pot—a savory mix of oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, crab legs and corn on the cob, served with slaw and hushpuppies. In short order, the giant, steaming kettle of food is unceremoniously plopped down on the table with cups of drawn butter, oyster shuckers and claw crackers. The meal is big enough for two, and a half-pot option is also available. Additionally, oysters (roasted or raw) and crab legs by the full or half-pound, along with seafood samplers, grilled salmon, mahi-mahi, tuna, grouper, conch fritters, flounder, crab cakes, salads and a kids’ menu, assure something for everyone.

Perhaps Bimini’s greatest success comes from its ability to transport you away from its urban locale, regardless of the season or the weather, to a far-off dockside island cafe where sun always shines, there are “no bad days” (Bimini’s motto), the seabirds sing, and the shrimp, rum and cold beer are always in abundance.

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