Fans of al fresco meals now have more local dining options, with the June opening of two casual restaurants touting their outdoor seating.
The second location of The Rusty Rudder, a Cornelius, N.C. lakeside joint, is now operating in the former 17 North. According to the Mt. Pleasant restaurant's Facebook page, "The Rudder focuses on farm-fresh ingredients and menu items from the Lowcountry," but the original Rudder is better known for cheap beer, fried food, live music and corn hole tournaments. In addition to burgers, the Rusty Rudder's menu features steaks; oyster pot pie; stuffed flounder; fish tacos and po'-boys.
Renovations at the Rusty Rudder 3563 N. Hwy 17, included remaking the back patio with tables, sofa seating and a detached bar.
At the new Sunsets Bar and Grill, the patio is situated along the Ashley River. Still, chef-manager April Turner says, "the location is far from ideal."
Alluding to the failure of Crawdaddies Restaurant and Lighthouse Waterfront Pavilion, she adds, "We knew it would be a challenge, but we also know that this is a place that could really succeed with the right menu and great customer service."
Sunsets' menu centers on an assortment of sandwiches, salads and appetizers such as wings, quesadillas and peel-and-eat shrimp. The vibe is far from fancy: The only wine available is Copa di Vino, which comes prepackaged in a plastic glass. The canned beer choices are Busch and Miller Light.
"We have happy hour pricing all day, and our vision is to be a great place for the local businesses to come for lunch, and (to offer) a family-friendly environment for the boating community," Turner says, adding that the restaurant has 18 free slips for boaters.
"On a personal note, I think we have the best Shrimp and Grits in Charleston," she continues. "But I bet they all say that."
Rusty Rudder is located at 3563 N. Hwy 17. For more information, call 388-3177 or visit facebook.com/rustyruddermtp.
To learn more about Sunsets Bar and Grill, 2079 Austin Ave., call 745-0426.