After a month-long remodel and makeover, The Hangout restaurant & beach bar has finally opened. Yesterday was their "friends & family" soft opening, and my wife and I were fortunate enough to be a guests. First impressions... refreshing and yummy!
The new owners obviously got wind of the previous restaurant's shortcomings and addressed each of them with care. Aside from the noticeable exterior changes, the first physical improvement I noticed was the lengthened bar that has been opened to the dining area. That being said, I had to indulge a jalapeno margarita that is served in a beautiful (and non-traditional) tall glass that is as tangy as it is spicy.
We ordered the cheesy grits with shrimp and fried oyster appetizer to temp our palette. Though my doctor may have advised otherwise, the cheesy grits pleases your taste buds with the flavor of bacon and seafood that I can only describe as the perfect marriage of bliss & cholesterol. As the warm feeling of this comfort food rolled over me, I began noticing the care that was put into warming up the interior decor.
Paintings from a local artist and special attention to bring in the "beach wood feeling" you get when looking at the pier made the surrounding feel like it's finally in sync with the environment. Speaking of that, the owners made sure that nearly all of the menu items are locally sourced, organic and sustainably farmed.
As with any new restaurant, The Hangout Restaurant & beach bar is sure to have some kinks it will need to iron out. The good news is that the owners Rhys and Aaron are determined to make this a destination for years to come. That combined with the excellent food, drink and atmosphere will keep the Ferguson family coming back time and again.