Johnson Creek Tavern: Worth the drive to the end of the Earth

How far would you go to find fabulous food? Popular website says that the Johnson Creek Tavern on St. Helena Island is worth the drive “to the edge of the continent.”

Plenty of folks from all over already know that.

To be exact, the website said it’s a “South Carolina restaurant that’s located on the edge of the continent, but it is so worth the drive to have your meal inside and enjoy the unusual decor that probably includes enough dollar bills taped to the walls to pay your mortgage for several months.”

Yes. Several.

When you walk into the Johnson Creek Tavern the first thing that hits you is the decor. It’s tradition at the local eatery for patrons, locals and tourists alike, to post a bill to the wall or ceiling as a record of their visit to the popular island spot.

The last eatery along Highway 21 between Beaufort and the open ocean has been serving up favorites for years and owner jay Lloyd and staff have made many visitors to the sea islands happy eaters.

The website touted JCT as “definitely one of a kind”, and for more reasons than one. “The panoramic views of the tidal marshes and even the Atlantic Ocean a little further away are only part of what makes Johnson Creek Tavern so unique,” the article said.

“This come-as-you-are unpretentious seafood restaurant dishes up a cozy, fun and casual atmosphere along with some of the best and freshest seafood around.”

Looking at the menu, the article went on to clamor about it. JCT serves local favorites including Frogmore stew, shrimp & grits, homemade crab cakes and much more.

The menu at JCT is full of local favorites and lots of fresh local seafood. Images courtesy YELP

“The Frogmore Stew is among the favorite menu items,” it said. “So many other Lowcountry restaurants try to dress this out with extras, but Johnson Creek follows the same old traditional makings of this seafood favorite that began in – and was named for – the nearby Frogmore community.”

Shrimp was a hot topic as well with the writer making sure folks know that ,”no matter how you like your shrimp, you’re sure to find it fresh and prepared just the way you expected.

Talking about the bills on the walls, every couple of years Lloyd takes them down and makes a donation to a local charity. The last time was in 2015. The restaurant’s walls yielded close to $13,000 to help fly veterans over age 75 of World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C.

But that’s just another thing that helps make this local spot so great. The Lowcountry isn’t the special place that it is only because of the food; it’s also because of the people who live here.
But we already knew that, too.
When you walk into the Johnson Creek Tavern the first thing that hits you is the decor.

See the original Only in Your State article here.

It’s also not the first time that JCT gained a bit of notoriety on a larger scale. The Washington Post hit it up a few years ago too. See that one here.

And, get on out to Johnson Creek Tavern as soon as you can. Local oysters are in season and there’s still a plentiful supply of local shrimp to make you happy.

See more about our local Beaufort cuisine and the fantastic restaurants that serve it in our Lowcountry Food column.