Sea Captain’s House: a Historic Myrtle Beach Landmark

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If modern progress had its way, one of the Grand Strand’s oldest and most popular restaurants would be just another high-rise hotel on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront.

But, as fate and the current owners of Sea Captain’s House Restaurant would have it, this world-famous eatery is still serving up some of the freshest seafood on the Strand for more than a half century. After all these years, it’s hard to believe that the Sea Captain’s House almost didn’t happen.

“Generation after generation have come back,” said Jennifer Neill, manager of the Sea Captain’s House. “We remain the same.”

Just call it a case of excellence by accident. The original structure on the site was a small beach cottage built in 1930. Initial owner and North Carolina resident Henry Taylor used it as his personal beach getaway, and the property remained the same over the years through a series of ownership changes.

But after Hurricane Hazel blew through in 1954, the property was purchased by Nellie G. Howard, who operated the cottage as Howard’s Manor. Meanwhile, the post-Hazel Myrtle Beach oceanfront began to see an influx of high-rise hotels replacing small family beach cottages.

After being sold in 1962, Howard’s Manor was planned to undergo the same fate. The new owners decided to operate it as a restaurant for one season until they had the capital to construct a hotel. More than 50 years later, the Sea Captain’s House is an institution the owners wouldn’t dream of leveling.

“It’s become a landmark, not just another restaurant in Myrtle Beach,” Neill said. “It’s the one place that is a must-stop.”

Indeed, the Sea Captain’s House has become a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its unique combination of seafood cuisine and Southern cooking. Specializing in its famous seafood platters, shrimp and grits and she-crab soup, the restaurant has been featured in various national publications and ranks high on virtually every list of places to eat in Myrtle Beach.

“It’s part of Myrtle Beach,” Neill said of the Sea Captain’s House. “It’s home for a lot of people.”

The Sea Captain’s House is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and features excellent food and ocean views. For more information on Sea Captain’s House Restaurant and to make reservations, visit or call (843) 448-8082.

(posted 4/7/14)