After more than three decades of catering to customers at three different locations on the Grand Strand - the famed stretch of South Carolina beaches - a popular local restaurant has served its final meal.
Nibils Restaurant, a culinary institution on the Strand, closed the doors on its Myrtle Beach store for good on Dec. 15, 2013, ending a long and successful run. A new restaurant, Johnny D's Waffle House and Bakery, is scheduled to open in 2014 at the building at 3301 North Kings Highway, but plans are still under wraps.
Last call at Nibils — Photo courtesy of Nibils
But for thousands of longtime regulars and returning visitors, breakfast and lunch won't be the same without the Cahill family's great food and friendly service. Husband and wife owners Jack and Margaret Cahill have decided to hang up their aprons and retire to spend time enjoying family meals at home with their six children and grandchildren, many of whom grew up waiting tables and greeting customers at the family-run restaurant.
The Cahills originally opened Nibils in 1984 as a fine dining establishment in Myrtle Beach, but soon made the transition to a new family-style menu and family-friendly location on the Surfside Beach Pier three years later. Patrons enjoyed the food, view and family atmosphere for 23 years before the oceanside location came to a controversial halt after the town of Surfside Beach took over management and operation of the pier.
When the town council voted not to extend Nibil's lease for the final few years of the Cahill's culinary career, an angry and hungry public was outraged over the move, especially when the deal for a replacement restaurant fell through and left beachgoers without the convenience of a place to dine on the pier.
Nibils relocated to Myrtle Beach in 2011 for its final two-year run as a lunch and breakfast-only diner. As a testament to its loyal customer base, many longtime regulars made the 10-mile drive from Surfside Beach just to visit the friendly staff and enjoy the fluffy pancakes.
Nibils also built a new following among the Myrtle Beach crowd, but it didn't last long. The Cahills decided to call it quits and will open for one last farewell dinner for close friends and family members only, which will be one of the toughest tickets in town.
Details on the new restaurant that is scheduled to open in its place remain hushed, but Johnny D's Waffle House and Bakery is expected to serve the same traditional American breakfast-and-lunch format as its predecessor. The eatery is expected to be ready sometime in early 2014 after the building and staff undergo a remodeling and training period. No specific date has been scheduled for the grand opening.