Beaufort’s much anticipated Wet Willie’s opened its doors in Beaufort Town Center last weekend for lunch, dinner, and of course, plenty of drinks. After more than a year of construction, the restaurant & bar is now open seven days a week.
If you pay attention to comments on Facebook in the Beaufort area, you saw that some folks never thought it would be here.
Owner Joseph Ford said the spot was originally planed for the fall of 2016, but design work and corporate details delayed the opening. Ford opened the franchise spot with his mother, Patricia Alston, a former Marine who has made Beaufort her home since 1987. Alston is handling the day to day operations.
“We wanted to start a family business and really be able to bring something to the community,” Alston said. “We researched a number of Ideas and decided Wet Willie’s was the way to go.
Popular for their famous frozen daiquiris with (appropriate) names including Shock Treatment, Attitude Improvement and the infamous Call a Cab, the spot also boasts appealing lunch and dinner options.
The menu includes local favorites including shrimp & grits and gumbo, along with artisanal flatbread pizzas, specialty sandwiches and more. Of interesting creative note is the Mac Daddy; turkey breast with white cheddar mac n cheese and bacon on a grilled wheat bread.
Alston wants to make sure folks know they can enjoy a restaurant atmosphere. “We certainly have more than just drinks and much more than bar food,” she said.
“We’re excited about the restaurant side and enjoying seeing folks at both lunch and dinner,” echoed Ford, also a Veteran, with 8 years in the Navy.
“We wanted something that also brings value to families and our menu is definitely family-priced,” Alston added.
The bar & restaurant boasts a 2,000 square foot patio in the back with a marsh view as well as a spacious bar and plenty of seating in the restaurant.
A beautifully hand-painted mural above the bar includes Beaufort legends Robert Smalls and Joe Frazier. Sweetgrass basket weaving, the Woods Memorial Bridge and both the Marine Corps and Navy are even represented in the painting by Canadian mural artist Bill Wrigley.
Alston told us that she also brought the same old fashioned values she developed while bringing up her family on St. Helena Island to the business and has future plans to host community events including food drives and fundraisers.
Wet Willie’s has 18 locations listed on its website including two Savannah locations along with spots on Tybee Island, Myrtle Beach, Columbia and Charlotte. Other franchises are as far away as Lake Tahoe, Nevada, St. Louis, Missouri and two more spots in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Beaufort’s new Wet Willie’s is open Monday through Thursday from 11am to midnight, Friday & Saturday from 11am to 2am, and Sunday from noon to midnight. Nobody under 21 years old is permitted inside after 8pm.