Marlin Quay Marina to open restaurant, fishing center, shop

Dr. Mark Lawhon recalls that Marlin Quay Marina in Murrells Inlet was a gathering spot for area residents and visitors when he regularly vacationed in the area as an adolescent.

His family has had beach houses in the Garden City Beach area for generations.

Now the owner of the marina with his son, Chris Lawhon, he wants to reestablish its social standing in the community, and he’s about to open a building that will be worthy of the attention.

The building is four levels, but the lower level can’t be occupied due to FEMA regulations and is being used only for storage. So a ship store, fishing center and retail gift shop is on the second floor, a restaurant is on the third floor, and a rooftop bar completes the structure.

“We want to get it back to its original roots and see it live in its glory,” Chris Lawhon said.

The store is expected to be open by the end of May, and the restaurant and rooftop bar should open simultaneously sometime in June. Rooftop karaoke is planned for a couple days a week.

The rooftop offers views of the Atlantic Ocean, inlet and Garden City Point. It will be covered with a canvas and have retractable shields to block the wind, and food will be available on the roof as well.

“Our motto is ‘The best sunset north of Key West,'” Mark Lawhon said. “You won’t get a better view than this right here.”

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The Marlin Quay Marina fishing center, retail store, restaurant and bar are in the final stage of rebuilding and the facility is expected to fully reopen this summer. The property is owned by Mark Lawhon and his son Chris Lawhon and Chris is the General Manager. May 06, 2022. JASON LEE [email protected]

The details of the new Marlin Quay

Mark Lawhon, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with offices in Murrells Inlet and Florence and his son will be the marina general manager.

Mark Lawhon purchased Marlin Quay Marina and ship store in 2014 and made improvements to the two-story ship store. But Hurricane Matthew in 2016 caused flooding that broke through a seawall and caused erosion beneath the building, requiring a rebuild that will soon be completed.

The store will sell bait, tackle, ice, drinks including beer, first aid kits, medicine, souvenirs and clothing.

The restaurant is called the Quay Seafood Grille at Marlin Quay. It will have a seating capacity of 110 indoors and outdoors combined, and has two chefs who have developed the menu.

It will feature burgers, steaks and seafood, with a changing catch of the day. The third floor will be more formal while the rooftop will be casual attire, including bathing suits.

“We want to get it back to its original roots and see it live in its glory,” Chris Lawhon said.

Marlin Quay has a commercial fishing boat docked at the marina, and it receives shrimp from Lila Lee Shrimpin, which is docked there.

The marina features 67 slips with a waiting list. Most are owned by individuals and about 30 are owned by the Lawhons, who are buying them as they become available.

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The Marlin Quay Marina fishing center, retail store, restaurant and bar are in the final stage of rebuilding and the facility is expected to fully reopen this summer. The property is owned by Mark Lawhon and his son Chris Lawhon and Chris is the General Manager. May 06, 2022. JASON LEE [email protected]

Pontoon rentals are available, and 10 charter boat captains have their boats there. “We have a charter boat in the price range of about any budget,” Chris Lawhon said.

The marina building has showers, washing machines and dryers for boat slip renters and transient boaters on their way through the area.

Mark Lawhon said 95 cement pylons are driven 60 to 75 feet into the ground for the building’s stability.

The marina plans to sponsor and host two or three fishing tournaments annually, including one that will support the Garden City Chapel and Retreat that supports area youth.

The Lawhons said a lot of community members have been stopping by the marina during construction and many have been offered to help. He wants and expects Quay Seafood Grille and the rooftop bar to be local hangouts.

“We’ve got 5,000 people who want to come to our grand opening,” said Mark Lawhon, who said the marina is now hiring many positions. “There are a lot of people who are looking forward to this thing.”

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The Marlin Quay Marina fishing center, retail store, restaurant and bar are in the final stage of rebuilding and the facility is expected to fully reopen this summer. The property is owned by Mark Lawhon and his son Chris Lawhon and Chris is the General Manager. May 03, 2022. JASON LEE [email protected]

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Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina University athletics, business, and numerous other sports-related topics that warrant coverage. Well-versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the 1992 Northeastern University journalism school valedictorian has been a reporter at The Sun News since 1993 after working at papers in Texas and Massachusetts. He has earned eight top-10 Associated Press Sports Editors national writing awards and more than 20 top-three SC Press Association writing awards since 2007.

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