The only chemistry most people associate with Myrtle Beach is NaCl H2O – as in salt water. But just steps away from the Atlantic Ocean and Myrtle Beach's booming downtown district is a restaurant that will have you boning up on the periodic table.
The Chemist is a recent latest addition to Myrtle Beach's increasingly adventurous dining scene, introducing the culinary trend of molecular gastronomy to the Grand Strand.
The only one of its kind along the 60-mile stretch of Carolina coastline, The Chemist offers a unique mixture of creative cocktails and a food menu that reads like a science experiment gone horribly right.
The Chemist — Photo courtesy of Terry Massey
Located on Ninth Avenue North in the heart of the downtown district near the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, The Chemist ushers in another modern concept to a culinary scene that was once dominated by seafood buffets and steakhouses.
While recent restaurant trends such as gastropubs, fusion and farm-to-table concepts have made waves on the local lineup, none have created a reaction quite like The Chemist.
Co-owners (and husband-and-wife team) Larry and Fabiana Bond recently opened Art Burger Sushi Bar on the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, serving the odd combination of burgers and sushi while also serving as an art gallery for local painters and sculptors.
The positive reception to new concepts prompted the Bonds to form another bond – this time a chemical one – in opening The Chemist, led by executive chef Sean Thomas.
The dining area looks like a party-themed science lab, with servers and bartenders dressed in lab coats, beakers and test tubes decorating the bar and tables, and the floor tiles doubling as the periodic table. Behind the bar, a smoldering liquid nitrogen machine that makes frozen drinks (and other bubbly and colorful concoctions), adds to the chemistry-themed atmosphere and scientific mystique.
Chemical reaction — Photo courtesy of Terry Massey
The Chemist's food menu is filled with modern twists on traditional dishes, using a series of infused sauces and cooking techniques to create something new and different. The drink menu reflects the chemical mixology in cocktail names, serving bizarre potions in test tubes instead of shot glasses and beakers instead of beer mugs. The Chemist also carries a wide selection of craft beers and scientific martinis.
Unlike many theme restaurants that rely on overpriced gimmicks, The Chemist offers surprisingly affordable options for folks looking to run a flavor experiment on their taste buds. Everything on the menu is less than $17, and food and drink specials and off season happy hour deals are in the works.