Ashton Kutcher took over for Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men. Steve Young replaced Joe Montana as San Francisco 49ers' quarterback. And Sammy Haggar stood in for David Lee Roth in the rock band Van Halen.
It's never easy to replace a legend, but sometimes there's a little magic in trying to live up to an established high standard. Such is the case for Johnny D's Waffle House in Myrtle Beach, which recently opened in the building formerly occupied by an all-time favorite - Nibils Family Restaurant.
Sign of changing times — Photo courtesy of Johnny D's Waffle House
After more than three decades in business on the Grand Strand, the 60-mile stretch of coast that surrounds Myrtle Beach, Nibils closed its doors at the end of 2013 so the Cahill family patriarch and matriarch could retire from long careers in the restaurant industry. The closing marked the end of an era in Myrtle Beach and left longtime patrons mourning.
Enter Johnny D's Waffle House, which opened in February 2014. Offering the same breakfast and lunch format with a more diverse menu than its predecessor, Johnny D's has quickly won over regulars who feel an attachment to the place, plus a new customer base looking for unique alternatives to the pancake house genre.
Yes, as the name implies, Johnny D's offers waffles and other traditional breakfast items. But it's the addition of several new dishes, ones that have been in Johnny Daskalis and his children's recipe book for many years. In fact, Daskalis has been in the restaurant industry for 37 years, which is as long as Nibils was open on the Strand.
Not much has changed on the interior of the building, but the dishes flying out of the kitchen are uniquely Johnny D's. Enjoy the Scrambled Skillet, filled with all your breakfast favorites in one sizzling skillet. Or try one of more than 30 different types of waffles topped with everything from fresh fruit to red velvet pancakes with cream cheese frosting.
Red velvet pancakes at Johnny D's — Photo courtesy of Johnny D's Waffle House
The creativity spills over into lunch time, when piled-high sandwiches, fresh soups and salads also come with local seafood and other treats. Traditional favorites such as Philly cheese steaks, gyros, fajitas and more ensure everyone in your party will find something on the menu that makes their mouth water.
The restaurant includes a bakery, and it's hard to get out the door without taking home brownies or cupcakes that were made on site. Cakes and pies can be ordered in advance for special events.
Johnny D's Waffle House is located at 3301 North Kings Highway in Myrtle Beach. The restaurant is open from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.