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Wicked Tuna is opening a second restaurant, this one on the ocean in Myrtle Beach

The second Wicked Tuna restaurant on the Grand Strand is expected to open at the 2nd Avenue Pier (pictured) in Myrtle Beach as early as late May. The original Wicked Tuna is on the marsh in Murrells Inlet.
The second Wicked Tuna restaurant on the Grand Strand is expected to open at the 2nd Avenue Pier (pictured) in Myrtle Beach as early as late May. The original Wicked Tuna is on the marsh in Murrells Inlet. ablondin@thesunnews.com

Wicked Tuna, which has thrived in Murrells Inlet featuring fresh-caught fish from its own boats, is opening a second location in Myrtle Beach.

The restaurant is taking over the top two floors of the three-story 2nd Avenue Pier.

Managing partner Erez Sukarchi said the success of the original restaurant warranted another location, and 2nd Ave. Pier will be the perfect location.

He said the restaurant’s owners – including Sandeep Patel and chef Haim Aisenberg – have property on Ocean Boulevard at 19th Ave. North but they preferred the opportunity with the pier, and have signed a 20-year lease on the building.

The restaurant has a projected opening of late May.

“This opportunity came along and we couldn’t refuse it,” Sukarchi said. “A unique opportunity like that doesn’t come along every day. We’re excited to bring Wicked Tuna to Myrtle Beach.”

Wicked Tuna, which opened in Murrells Inlet in 2013, is best known for its fresh seafood and sushi, and also offers steaks, sandwiches, appetizers, soups and salads.

Sukarchi said Wicked Tuna’s owners own two fishing boats that are docked at the restaurant and contract with another seven boats to provide fresh seafood for dinners at Wicked Tuna and affiliated restaurants.

The Myrtle Beach Wicked Tuna location will be open from morning through night, with a breakfast menu, live music at night, and a creative craft cocktail selection.

Major renovations and changes will be made to the top two floors of 2nd Ave. Pier, which will both be dining rooms.

The top floor will be both indoor and outdoor and have a new roof and a center bar. “I’m sure most people will eat up there,” Sukarchi said.

E3 Studio will be designing the interior, which features high ceilings and exposed wood trusses and will emphasize the restaurant’s “Hook to Plate” motto with custom sea life murals, floating fish metalwork, a scalloped tile bar face that spills onto the floor, and wicker fixture lighting.

The exterior will be colored dark ocean blue with white trim.

The pier has a free parking lot.

Sukarchi said he and his partners aren’t done yet.

They are planning 2020 opening for a two-story restaurant with a rooftop bar in Murrells Inlet located between The Claw House and Wicked Tuna.

With the announcement of Paula Deen's Kitchen, RipTydz on Ocean Boulevard and Lucy Buffet's Lulu's in Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach, finding a restaurant in the Myrtle Beach area isn't a hard task. But is it too much?

Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina athletics and numerous other sports-related topics that warrant coverage. Well-versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the Northeastern University journalism school valedictorian has been a sports reporter at The Sun News since 1993, earning eight top-10 Associated Press Sports Editors national writing awards and 18 top-three S.C. Press Association writing awards since 2007.
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