Captain John's Seafood Grill - Sailing the Culinary Seas: An Unforgettable Voyage

Captain John's Seafood Grill - Sailing the Culinary Seas: An Unforgettable Voyage

For over 23 years, Captain John's Seafood Grill has been a culinary landmark in Pawleys Island, serving up an array of sumptuous New England-inspired seafood delicacies. Founded by John and Mary Lee Venuti from the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, this establishment oozes the soul of Boston, Massachusetts, where the couple spent 20 years. Their Bostonian stint is vividly translated into the restaurant's cozy, nautical-themed interior and an expansive menu that delivers more than just a meal—it delivers an experience.


The current owner, Karla, has seamlessly continued the restaurant's legacy, with doors open from 11-9, Monday to Saturday. Whether you're looking to enjoy fresh seafood with a lunch special or indulge in a specialty cocktail, Captain John's hits the right notes.

Hospitable Service, Memorable Starters

Our dining experience began with Kyle, our server, who proved to be the epitome of attentiveness and knowledge, effortlessly guiding us through the menu like a ship's captain steering through calm seas.

Gumbo Cup

We kicked off our meal with a bowl of Spicy Seafood Gumbo, which was nothing short of transformative. The gumbo was a culinary mosaic of shrimp, scallops, and an evocative gumbo paste that left us yearning for another spoonful before the first had even settled.

A Main Course to Remember

Main Course

For our entrées, we opted for a blend of their famous Haddock and Scallops. My co-diner, Dave, chose rice and a side salad, while I (Sean) settled on coleslaw and potato salad. The Haddock was flaky yet moist, each bite a tribute to the world-renowned reputation that Karla and her team have cultivated over the years. The scallops were equally divine, their succulence underscored by a perfect sear that enriched rather than overshadowed their natural flavors.

A Menu of Many Talents

But the wonders of Captain John's don't stop at what we ordered. The restaurant boasts a repertoire of mouth-watering starters like New England Clam Chowder, Spicy Fried Oysters, and Calamari served with homemade Marinara. If seafood isn't your forte, fear not: there's a Juicy Chargrilled 1/2 lb Burger and a Cajun Chicken Sandwich that are sure to please.

The dinner plates offer a showcase of oceanic delights—think Lemon Pepper Chicken Over Rice, Select New Bedford Sea Scallops, and Grilled Ahi Tuna. If you have little ones in tow, the kids' menu, featuring offerings like Chicken Tenders and Fish Nuggets, ensures there's something for everyone.

A Restaurant with Open Arms

We were fortunate to have a brief chat with Karla, the owner, who not only keeps the Captain John's ship sailing smoothly but also takes the time to welcome every patron. She exuded an air of hospitality so sincere that it's no wonder her restaurant has such a devoted clientele. Karla even mentioned that they are currently hiring both wait and kitchen staff. For those looking to work in a vibrant, community-focused setting, Captain John's beckons.

Captain John's Seafood Grill is more than just a restaurant; it's a celebration of New England's culinary traditions, melded effortlessly with the warm southern charm of Pawleys Island. Whether it's your first visit or your hundredth, this establishment promises an unforgettable gastronomic journey. If you haven't yet graced Captain John's with your presence, your taste buds are truly missing out.

To learn more visit

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.