By Grace Nichols for The Island Eye News
Is rum the next “undiscovered” treasure? According to owners of the new bar, Smugglers-Island Eats and Rum Shack, it definitely is. Opening Smugglers was a collaborative effort, especially with all of the initial work happening during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The four co-owners, Benj Farmery, Bret Jones, Garc Osborne, and Malcolm Burgis all stayed optimistic through the process of opening knowing that things would eventually return to normal. Inspiration for the restaurant came from wanting to highlight a liquor that had not been done before. With Jones already having made tequila a stand out at one of his other restaurants, Papi’s Taqueria, the logical next step was to introduce rum to the equation. After throwing out name ideas, and realizing that rum was a great liquor option to expand upon Smugglers came into fruition. As Jones said, “smugglers lends itself to rum, and rum lends itself to smugglers,” so it was a fun way to make the concept for the bar cohesive. The new rum shack opened back in early June. With Smugglers’ central location being right on Ocean Boulevard on Isle of Palms, it is bustling with patrons both locals and tourists coming straight from the beach. The menu follows the already laid back atmosphere of the island featuring American classics such as the Smugglers smash burger, fries, and the signature Smuggler salad. The unique tropical twists come from specialty rum drinks ranging from daiquiris, dark n’ stormys, to “ankle breakers.” There is indoor seating if you are looking to cool off from the sun with a drink, or you can hang out on the back deck to get some ice cream. The outside deck will also be a great spot to be when Smugglers starts featuring live music soon.
With the co-owners having almost 50 years of bar restaurant experience all can be assured of what Smugglers has to offer. When you go, be sure to ask for Uncle Jimmy because if you buy him a drink he will tell you a Smugglers’ tale.