The Stono Breeze: Shoot the breeze as you re-fuel with ease
By Deidre Schipani Special to The Post and Courier | Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Category: Neighborhood Favorite
Location: 2408 Maybank Highway, Johns Island; AICW Statute Mile 472.5 (for the boaters)
Phone: 557-1027, ext. 19
Hours: Noon-11 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday
Costs: Appetizers $5.95-$7.50, salads $6.75-$6.95, sandwiches $4-$7.25. Daily specials.
Vegetarian Options: Limited
Bar: Full-service bar
Decibel Level: Varies
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Other: Carryout, water views, outdoor deck and bar, seasonal special events, daily specials, happy hour 4- 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, “Holla Hour” 5-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, live music, no personal checks, stjohnsyacht harbor.com.
The old Buzzard’s Roost has received a makeover. It is now called the St. Johns Yacht Harbor and is home to the Stono Breeze, a small bar and cafe on the tidal channel of the Stono River.
But don’t let the name St. Johns Yacht Harbor fool you. You don’t have to own a Hinckley Picnic Boat to drop anchor here. Hey, you don’t even need to own a pleasure craft. If yours is an appetite for water views and the simple pleasures of home cooking, the Stono Breeze is your kind of spot.
The Stono Breeze is just past Headquarters Island perched above the Stono River and is a simple, casual spot.
An outdoor deck wraps around the building, leading to the “aqua bar,” where high-top tables allow for delightful water views.
Nautical flags wave colorful messages around the perimeter of the second-story deck, and well-seasoned teak furnishings bear witness to the effects of heat and humidity on anything at the mercy of the elements.
The staff had the happy energy of counselors at a sailing camp as they awaited the first crop of campers. The sheer pleasure of their water-surrounded culinary aerie and the happy satisfaction of providing hospitality to landlubbers and old salts alike put everyone in a good mood.
The menu is an uncomplicated one. Appetizers are dip-centric ($6.95) and change daily. They are served with your choice of Captains Wafers (how appropriate), chips or pita wedges.
The crab dip at the time of our visit was so popular that the kitchen sold out well before 7 p.m.
Perfect for beer drinkers is the Captains Knots ($6.95), cheese-filled soft pretzels paired with a side of Ranch dressing, and served two to an order. Mini-corn “dawgs” ($5.95) also make good companions to the ubiquitous $1 PBR cans.
Nachos ($6.95) are fresh, warm and nicely layered with cheese, chili, green onions, salsa, jalapenos, olives and sour cream: generous enough to share or a Tex-Mex lunch or dinner option.
Salads are a basic Greek ($6.75) or chicken salad platter ($6.95), and either can be ordered as a wrap or a stuffing for a pita pocket.
Chips and pickles are the dedicated “sides,” and the salads are made fresh in-house, and it shows.
Plump, tender chunks of chicken spilled out from the “sammie” ($6.95) layered with lettuce and tomato. Bread choices include white, wheat, pita, wrap, sub roll and croissant.
They cheerfully toasted the bread and managed to serve the sandwich while a trace of warmth remained in the bread.
The same could be said for the Harbor Burger ($7.25), served on a sesame seed bun. Cooked to order, it traveled from kitchen to table in a welcomed envelope of heat.
Paninis ($6.95) are grilled, not pressed, and layered on thick-cut Texas toast. The kitchen will make any bread substitution you care to have.
Menu offerings are stream-lined, as the kitchen space is small, not only on the preparation side but also as far as equipment is concerned.
Also offered are a variety of daily specials that range from tuna salad to Reuben and club sandwiches. Always popular, our server said, the special menu sells out daily.
The same menu is available for lunch and dinner service.
The bar does a brisk trade in specialty drinks, canned beers and house-made sangria called “Sambreezie” that includes rum along with a tropical mix of fruits. Mimosas, bloody marys and margaritas are featured drinks on Sunday.
Whatever your conveyance to get to the Stono Breeze, know that dock space is free for diners, and the staff will do what is needed to get you there.
Members of the St. Johns Yacht Harbor also can enjoy a waterside pool and the Captains Retreat.
The marina has a harbor store, fueling station and showers.
After seeing the traffic back up on Maybank Highway, it is nice to know that the Stono Breeze offers a quick off-the-highway harbor for food and drink.
Service was friendly and polite. Families and friends as well as those who traveled by boat and those who motored in on four-wheels all appeared to be having fun.
The latitude and longitude of the Stono Breeze at the St. Johns Yacht Harbor offer the perfect intersection of opportunity and time for those who love their food and beverage with a water view.
Whether you are coming to shoot the breeze or breeze in and out, the Stono Breeze allows you to navigate your needs for refreshment with simplicity.
Bravo Zulu, as they say on the water.