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At Shell Crackers, even your dog can pull up a chair

Dog lovers will dig Shell Crackers.

The raw bar and grill, at 761 Pendergrass Ave. in Murrells Inlet, allows owners to dine in with their four-legged best friends.

I can only imagine how your face looked just now. I bet plenty of you displayed a look of disbelief. Others are probably giggling. I did both.

"It's not a dog's world," said Harris Willard, who opened the place Jan. 1. "It's our world, and we socialize the dogs to our world."

The story of Shell Crackers actually began with A Dog's Way Inn, a kennel operated by Willard and his business partner, Anne Ritchie, also his wife-to-be, that opened Dec. 1, 2004.

"I always had hunting dogs, and I trained dogs long ago," Willard said. "She was a professional pet groomer."

The eatery is actually between Willard's quaint dog park and A Dog's Way Inn. There are 8 acres here, but I will focus only on the restaurant part.

There is a designated section for the dogs, including a gated section where dogs chill out while their owners dine.

Each dog owner must bring the pet's veterinary records and undergo an evaluation by Willard, a self-taught dog trainer.

Danielle Pellicci, a certified dog trainer and graduate of Animal Behavioral College, has trained many of the dogs that enter the restaurant with their owners.

If the dog isn't up on its vaccinations and proves to be rough around the edges, it won't be allowed at Shell Crackers. All dogs, regardless of how sweet they are, must be kept on a leash while in the restaurant.

Willard said rules are strictly followed, and dog owners must understand that they must be respectful of other diners without dogs.

Menu prices range from $2.25 (for a hot dog with chips) to $18.25 (for a whole rack of barbecue ribs).

To find out more, about the food, fees for the dog park and the kennel, call Willard at 357-2899 or 357-4545. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Flamers ready to roll

Now I can have that Flamers burger.

The Conway eatery, at the corner of Third Avenue and Elm Street, had a trial run March 18, the day I initially mentioned it in Eateries.

Skeet Wage wrote me a kind e-mail last week to tell me that he and his wife, Beth Wage, own the Conway location.

He also told me Flamers is a franchise. Handmade burgers and sandwiches are the specialty. According flamersgrill.com, there are 61 locations in 14 states and four countries.

Wage said they will not have a wait staff, which will help keep the cost down for customers.

If you visit Flamers, at 1129 Third Ave., please let me know about your experience. Call 488-0577.

Cafe Rouge calls it quits

Cafe Rouge (Coffee, Dessert & More) in Carolina Forest has closed. It opened June 22, 2007.

It was on Oak Heart Road and owned by Jeb and Gail Byrum.

Byrum was a wonderful baker, and the cafe had a super cozy atmosphere.

I will miss the place.

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