ROCKFISH SEAFOOD & STEAKS SETS ITS SIGHTS ON AN ISLAND INSTITUTION
Happy hour is a Lowcountry tradition. On an island baked by the sun and surrounded by cool ocean waves, the entire day revolves around the moment we can cast off the shackles of the office and enjoy a nice cold drink in the sunshine.
So when a restaurant lays claim to the best happy hour, it’s not something we take lightly. That’s a line in the sand, a declaration of superiority that demands attention. Stacey Romoser of Rock Fish Steaks & Seafood at Bomboras knows this well. And yet, she stands firm:
“We have the best happy hour on the island.”
A claim this bold requires proof, which she happily provides in the form of the restaurant’s happy hour menu — an artistically designed leaflet in soothing blues and greens that lays out a mind-boggling array of drink and food specials. Wings, oysters and shrimp for less than a dollar apiece. A whole pizza for $5. Icy cold daquiris for $4.50.
Not to mention beer that, scientifically speaking, tastes better than any other beer on the island.
“We offer the bottoms up beer. A lot of people enjoy watching those get filled up,” Romoser said. This unique process fills the beer, as the name implies, from the bottom of the cup, resulting in a less foamy beer. “It also keeps the carbonation in your beer, which actually makes it taste better.”
But it’s not just the happy hour deals on food and drinks that help Rock Fish lay claim to its title. Those are just a bonus when those of us with kids realize the restaurant also offers the promise of a peaceful night out without the kids. Just upstairs from the restaurant is the Art Café pottery studio, which hosts regular kids nights out, when parents can drop off the young ones to enjoy a fun evening of painting their very own pottery creations while Mom and Dad dine downstairs.
“It’s like a babysitting service,” Romoser said.
Please patrons of all ages — whether with delicious seafood or with kid-friendly activities — is in Rock Fish’s DNA. Romoser’s father, Rocky Whitehead, owns the restaurant and can often be found overseeing the operation from his usual stool at the bar. The Art Café is run by the matriarch of the family, Ginny, and Romoser’s sister Brittany. Romoser’s brother, Taylor, also helps out at the restaurant when he’s not busy with his father’s other business, a pharmaceutical company.
The family’s Ohio roots also are on display throughout the restaurant, from Cincinnati Bengals artwork on the walls to familiar favorites on the menu, like Montgomery Inn ribs, Frisch’s Big Boy burgers and famous Skyline chili. For many former Buckeyes, it’s a little taste of home.