The gastropub trend has finally come to Myrtle Beach, but the owners of the new restaurant/bar Fire and Smoke have been opening this place in their minds for some time. Longtime friends Jimmy Horkan and Tyler Rice are veterans of the Myrtle Beach restaurant scene and have been kicking around the idea of partnering in this endeavor for years.
Charcuterie platter at Fire and Smoke — Photo courtesy of Fire and Smoke
"We've known each other forever, and we've always talked about doing something different like this together," Horkan says. "One day last fall, Tyler called up out of the blue and said, 'Are you ready?' I had been thinking the same thing, so the timing was perfect."
Perfect for those two, but how about for Myrtle Beach? Although a few local brew pubs have adopted the gastropub label without offering the same level of high-end cuisine and worldwide beverage selection, Fire and Smoke claims the title of Myrtle Beach's first true gastropub.
"[Myrtle Beach has] a lot of great restaurants and pubs, but what we're doing is completely different," Horkan said. "Tyler is so amazing, and if you look at our menu, you'll see a lot of things you won't find anywhere else."
Specializing in grilled and smoked meats served with a creative flair of flavors, Fire and Smoke uses a wood-fired grill and a hot and cold smoker that allows for making everything from tender cuts of beef, lamb and pork to fresh cheeses. These items are woven into a diverse menu for people of all taste buds.
Starters include sharing portions of cheese fondue plates and Duck Confit Nachos, as well as soft pretzel bread and hickory-grilled chicken wings. Fresh soups and salads, like the Wood-Grilled Caesar and the Fire and Smoke Chopped Salad, serve as nice warm-ups for the goodness cooking on the grill.
Tapas servings include the Seared Nantucket Bay Sea Scallops, Lamb Porterhouse and Crispy Pork Belly over Mustard Greens. "Comfort Foods Revisited," as the entrees are listed, include the popular Buffalo Meatloaf, Lobster Cobbler and the house specialty Smoked Chicken Mac and Cheese.
Of course, food is only half of the gastropub experience. Fire and Smoke has the pub part covered as well. An extensive wine list of reds, whites and ports accompany a full bar featuring 10 microbrews on tap and an endless selection of bottled beers. Fire and Smoke even incorporates alcohol with some food options, like the oyster shooter in a Bloody Mary slushie.
The atmosphere is sophisticated but warm and casual, and the crowds are growing ever larger since Fire and Smoke opened its doors in January 2014. Based on early results, Myrtle Beach is ready for its first gastropub.