Hickory Tavern opened on March 16, 2016, joining the lineup of restaurants on Hilton Head Island.
But instead of specializing in just one thing, they’ve brought a menu that boasts everything from fish tacos to filet mignons, and a little of everything in between.
Even specialties like their Oregon Cedar Salmon, which is smoked over an Oregon cedar plank with a pecan rub on it appear on their menu. The menu also boasts steak, wings, crab legs, oysters, sandwiches, gumbo, nachos, and a build your own salad.
“You can pick everything from the lettuce to the toppings and protein you want on it,” said General Manager Chris Smathers, who transferred from their Asheville location. “It’s basically like a salad bar that we make for you so you don’t have to get up and walk through the line.”
But it’s not just the food that’s a crowd pleaser, but the space itself.
Set on the corner of 278 and Shelter Cove Lane, right next to the Shelter Cove Community Park, Hickory Tavern’s location is prime. So it comes to no surprise that they’d capitalize on the great location with floor-length windows and doors that allow the outdoors to come in. A patio wraps around two sides of the building. Hickory Tavern’s bar boasts 100 beers. An open and spacious layout with cozy booths on the back wall and tables of all sizes spread throughout the space. And, over 70 TVs are on hand, so you never miss a play. There’s a playful, laid-back vibe that everyone craves when eating out.
“The best way I can describe it, is a sports-themed restaurant with a TV problem,” Smathers said with a smile. “We’re not necessarily a sports bar, because we’re somewhere for the whole family can come.”
That’s been a goal from the beginning.
Founded in 1997 in Hickory, North Carolina, Hickory Tavern has grown to include 25 businesses throughout the Southeast. With expansions already in motion in South Carolina, Hickory Tavern seized the opportunity to open a restaurant surrounded by beautiful beaches in the Lowcountry. They took the 7,300-square foot building and completely remodeled the interior for 17 weeks. This gave it the Hickory Tavern flavor with a few unique touches.
“We’ve done a little different décor here,” said Cliff Hagar, the director of new stores.
“Normally it’s all wood, but we tried to make it a little more beachy. We did a lot with the patios; that’s one of our draws.”
The large bifolding doors next to the bar open in an accordion-like manner. A weighted screen comes down to give the space a more open-air feel. So guests can smell the salty air during happy hour in the nice breeze.
“We want to make sure we’re a place for the locals as well,” said Smathers. “We want to a part of the community so we can give back to the community.”
Hickory Tavern is located at 44 Shelter Cove Lane. For more information, call Hickory Tavern at (843) 802-0010 or click here to go to their website.