Beach season is right around the corner, and the Surf City restaurant scene is heating up just in time.
SURF CITY | Beach season is right around the corner, and the Surf City restaurant scene is heating up just in time.
Beach Bunny Ice Cream & Coffee decided to filled some big shoes in late March, expanding into the former Batts Grill property at 306 Roland Ave. Opening a second venture named Beach Bunny Subs & Grill, the new outpost specializes in build-your-own pizza and sandwiches, rounded out with a menu of burgers, sides and breakfast offerings.
Manager Crystal Treadway said business has been strong since opening in the storied location. Batts was a much-loved island institution and many visitors made a point to visit for a plate of fried seafood every year. Some of the former staff can be found behind the new Beach Bunny grills, Treadwell noted.
Look for a regular lineup of live music to kick off Memorial Day weekend; for more information visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Seafood fans will have a new destination to hit with the opening of Mombo’s Beach Restaurant on May 15. Rob and Deanna Howard’s new eatery at 107 N. Shore Drive will focus on traditional breakfast fare in the morning with a few unique items like Taylor pork roll, scrapple and a Philly steak omelet revealing their eastern Pennsylvania roots.
The diner menu switches to a focus on local fish, with greater emphasis on broiled preparations over the more common fried platters. Rob Howard said the couple is working to secure a full liquor license.
Mombo’s also boasts a selection of 38 ice cream flavors available at both a walk-up window and inside. Visit the restaurant’s Facebook page for more information and opening updates.
While it’s hard to beat two scoops in a cone, Christine Anthony and Carl Sorensen of Cape Fear Cannoli are working hard to lure visitors off of the island into the neighboring community of Holly Ridge. Anthony, a native of Martha’s Vineyard, chose the Topsail Island area for its similarities to the Massachusetts hometown she remembers from her youth in the 1970s.
Raised in a large Italian family with nine children, Anthony missed many of the foods she could find in the North after moving to coastal North Carolina, but didn’t have any trouble finding fellow countrymen in the area. A longtime cook, Anthony figured a tiny shop specializing in cannoli – crunchy pastry tubes filled with a sweetened cheese mixture – would be a hit with the many New England transplants in Pender County.
She hopes to add delivery and party catering services in the near future, but in the meantime grab a selection of her large, small and chocolate-dipped desserts at 714 E. Ocean Road or by calling 910-581-5638.
If you’re passing through Hampstead on the way to the shore, consider a stop at Village Cafe. The eatery at 15444 U.S. 17 is back under the ownership of Gary Hinrichs, with his son Jamie Hinrichs helming the kitchen team.
Longtime owner Hinrichs sold the business in 2013 and bought it back earlier this year. Along with the revitalized ownership, Village Cafe now sports a completely refreshed dining room and kitchen, with new floors throughout, a more spacious feel thanks to the removal of a wall and other improvements.
The menu has received some updates from Hinrich’s first time around, and nightly specials including prime rib and a unique take on shrimp and grits continue to prove popular. The restaurant is yet to add breakfast hours, but Hinrichs hinted that could be a possibility in the future. For more information and daily specials, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.