Located at 4031 US 17, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, Drunken Jack’s is legendary in more ways than one. First, they are legendary for their delicious food, great service and exquisite view of the marsh and goat island. Serving tourists and locals on the Grand Strand for approximately 40 years, they have become an institution, best known for their seafood.
Fried seafood platters are the biggest hit at Drunken Jack’s, piled high with Calabash-style shrimp, scallops, oysters and fish with sides of slaw, fries and melt-in-your-mouth hushpuppies. Other house favorites are the Steak Neptune, filet medallions topped with a creamy lobster sauce and the Grouper Royale, topped with mushrooms, crab meat, asparagus and béarnaise sauce. Based on Drunken Jack’s reviews by its patrons, it is living up to the legend as stated by BillO below:
“Great Atmosphere, Great Food! Went here for dinner, the service was excellent. From the bartender while we waited for a table, to the wait staff, all were friendly and accommodating. The hush puppies are famous here and the honey butter is a great topping for them. I had the potato skins as an appetizer then the sole fillet for dinner. My wife had the seafood platter. Everything was excellent, well prepared and presented. The portions were very nice and we were both stuffed enough to bypass dessert. I will definitely be back to and will recommend it to everyone.”
Since Drunken Jack’s has its own fleet of fishing boats that fish only for its restaurant, they serve the freshest fried, grilled, blackened or sautéed seafood. Its more interesting dishes on Drunken Jack’s Murrells Inlet menu include calamari, frogs’ legs, grouper, oyster stew, she crab soup and conch fritters. They also offer steaks, prime rib and chicken for a variety of surf-and-turf options, and the Black Joke pie is delicious. According to Amy, it is one of her favorite places and worth waiting for:
“This is my favorite place to eat in Murrells Inlet!!! We go here every summer! The salad bar is great and the hush puppies are yummy! I’ve never had a bad meal here. I recommend…..crab cakes, seafood chowder, surf n turf, broiled scallops. Prices are fair for fresh seafood and large salad bar. This place is VERY BUSY during vacation season so be prepared for a long wait. We always go at 4pm when they open….we are seated right away and never have a problem. By the time we pay our check and leave there is at least an hour wait. I highly recommend this restaurant. They have plenty of tables for large groups too. We travel with a group of 10 people.”
Drunken Jack’s is located right on the inlet’s salt marsh, making the view while dining picturesque. You will see fishing boats, ducks, egrets, herons and pelicans as they feed on the fish and relax in the sun. You will also see the unexpected—goats and peacocks– on “Goat Island” which is located just to the right of Drunken Jack’s and named for the goats that are roaming freely along with the beautiful male peacocks and white pea hens.
The goats were put on the island 24 years ago by the owners of Drunken Jack’s to help keep the underbrush down. Placed on the island mid-spring each year and removed late fall, they spend their winters at Osprey Marina, where they have a nice area to roam and graze. They get to vacation on the island in the summer months where they graze, play and get fresh food and water daily. They are evacuated from the island if there are any major hurricane threats. The peacocks were added in 2006. Definitely a great life for the goats and peacocks!! According to JohnK below, Drunken Jack’s has delicious food and a nice view of Goat Island:
“Very nice Restaurant. This was our 2nd visit to this restaurant. The food was delicious! We each had Shrimp Cocktail for an appetizer … the shrimp were VERY large! My wife had Grouper and I had Fried Oysters! Very nice Salad Bar! Nice view of “Goat Island” … interesting to read about how the island got its’ name”
“Great Fun! Beautiful views. active bar, great food. The location was very interesting…really Low Country atmosphere,” stated Jodiem928
Drunken Jack’s also has a fully stocked bar with an extensive wine list, beer, frozen drinks and specialty drinks such as Drunken Jack’s Rum Punch. You really should try their Drunken Jack’s Goat Island Tea which is made with a unique blend of house liquors, sour mix, triple sec and a splash of Pepsi.
The second thing that Drunken Jack’s is legendary for is its history or back story which is the “Legend of Drunken Jack”. According to the legend, in the early 1600’s, when bands of pirates roamed the sea, “Blackbeard”, the most notorious pirate of them all, and his crew stopped at a small island off the shores of Murrells Inlet to bury his booty of hijacked rum.
The pirates buried all the casks of rum except for a few dozen. That night, they had a feast of shrimp and oysters, washing it down with lots of rum, boozing the night away. The next morning, waking from their drunken stupor, they sailed away, accidentally leaving a crewman named Jack behind, who was sleeping off his massive hangover.
Eventually, they missed Jack, but had sailed too far into the Caribbean during battle to return for him. Two years later, they finally made their way back to the island to pick up their cargo and get Jack. Upon arriving, they found 32 empty casks scattered up and down the beach, and Jack’s bleached bones at the edge of the myrtle and palmetto scrubs. Thus, the Legend of Drunken Jack was born.
“In tribute to the tale of “Old Jack” there is a spirited and intriguing restaurant overlooking his island and bearing the name Drunken Jack’s. Now Drunken Jack’s Restaurant and Lounge has become legendary, entertaining and serving tourists and locals the best that our bountiful inlet and the Carolina Low Country has to offer.
Drunken Jack’s hours begin at 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for lunch with a bar menu available after 2:30 p.m. It begins serving dinner at 4:00 p.m. and offers live entertainment throughout the week in a laid-back atmosphere that is family casual and festive. It is a great place to take the whole family, to have dinner and drinks in the dining room that features a nautical décor or on the back patio overlooking the inlet and goat island. We are going to leave you with two reviews, and you can decide for yourself.
MaryC—” First time dining here. Highly recommended by the staff at the resort. They were absolutely correct about this place. The food was so fresh, the seafood was delicious. Our party had a variety of items, scallops, shrimp, mahi-mahi, flounder all wonderful. BTW, great margaritas also. The salad bar was well stocked, fresh and clean. For desserts Black Joke Pie was recommended and it was delicious. We also shared the Key Lime Pie. Our server-Heidi took great care of our party. KUDOS for the hook lowered to hang your purse in the bathroom stalls. Health Score=A, fantastic. Beautiful view of the marshes from the dining room. Will bookmark this restaurant and visit again when in town.”
LauraC—”So this place is a must stop for our family when we are in town. Reasons: the bloody Mary’s are incredible. The hush puppies and honey butter are swoon worthy and the service is always great. I had the grouper sandwich and it was flakey, tender and succulent. Plus. You can’t really beat the views of the marsh walk.”