by Donna Byrd
I have a small confession to make. I’ve lived in the area for six years, and although I know it’s hard to believe, today was the first time I visited Lo-re-Lei Pub and Grill. The restaurant is located in Sneads Ferry near Topsail Island.
Now, for all of you guys and gals out there wondering, I happened to look up the definition of the word “pub.” I’m a true believer in thinking that a place should live up to its name, and I wondered about the “pub” part of Lo-re-Lei PUB and Grill.
Wikipedia says that, “A pub, or public house, is an establishment licensed to sell alcoholic drinks, which traditionally include beer, ale and other brewed alcoholic drinks. It is a relaxed, social drinking establishment and a prominent part of British culture, Irish culture, New Zealand culture and Australian culture. In many places, especially in villages, a pub is the focal point of the community.” Ok, of course we’re not a part of British culture or anything, but Sneads Ferry DOES have a culture. So, that’s good, right?
As for the “Grill” part in Lo-re-Lei Pub and GRILL, I looked that up in the Oxford English Dictionary and it said “a grill is a restaurant that serves food cooked on a grill.” I had every expectation that this Pub/Grill was going to be the “real deal.”
Other than all of the above, there were three other reasons I wanted to try out this restaurant. 1) I was supposed to meet my sister-in-law, Kelly, for breakfast and there are not many breakfast restaurants in Sneads Ferry. 2) It’s very close to my house and number three. 3) I heard they made good omelets and pancakes. I talked it over with Kelly, and she was up for the new culinary, neighborhood adventure.
Kelly met me at Lo-re-Lei’s crowded parking lot on a cold, Saturday morning. Trying to escape the cold, stiff, north wind, we rushed up to the door and entered in a hurry, shaking off winter’s chill. A happy, warm tinkle of laughter and a low buzz of pleasant conversation rose up to greet us as we stood inside and gave the dining area “the once-over.”
Many of the tables were filled with hungry locals and there was one huge, specialty group of about 25 or so, seated in a long line of put together tables, awaiting their breakfasts. It certainly seemed to be a community gathering place!
We took the booth next to the door and as we waited for our waitress to arrive, looked around the room. It was a bit dark, even with the windows banking one of the walls, but in keeping with the pub theme, it was exactly like it should be: half dark/kind of private and at the same time, cheerful with a touch of whimsy.
Mermaids and nautical themes adorned the walls but the most cheerful decor were the garlands of red Solo cups and twinkling lights strung across the bar area and along the rafters. They were even strung outside, hanging from the porch. A sign over the bar reading “Proceed to Party” explained their significance. That night, Lo-re-Lei’s was having a Red Solo Cup Party. I think they were celebrating the pub’s anniversary.
We looked at the menus while we waited for our coffees and couldn’t believe the number of dishes that were offered. We had a full breakfast selection to choose from and we both went with the scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon and pancakes. There were also other dishes from which to choose: great looking sandwiches, burgers, hand-cut steaks and lots of fresh, local seafood! I will have to come back with my husband for a date night and check out one of the steaks!
Our breakfast was served to us by our friendly waitress. It was good and exactly what we expected. Since I haven’t had any of the other meals offered on the menu, I checked out some of the food reviews on TripAdvisor and Yelp. Lo-re-Lei Pub and Grill seems to have good ratings from local and vacationing patrons. Most of them are return customers.
Kelly and I left Lo-re-Lei’s with full bellies and a satisfaction that comes from sitting with a good friend over a good meal in a pleasant place. I was glad that this little pub and grill lived up to its name!
I’d like to return soon for a late dinner. I hear that after the kitchen closes, oftentimes, they have a DJ play all-time favorite party tunes. I think that would make for a fun night! I mean…come on! Red solo cup decorations? The “pub” part of Lo-re-Lei Pub and Grill must be begging for a party!
I do feel a strange and mystical allure to return. Perhaps that’s in the name as well. Lorelei is a lovely Germanic name evoking the image of the mermaid, siren, and muse. What’s in a name? Now you know.
Lo-re-Lei Pub and Grill is located at:
Kitchen is open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday – Sunday
Pub is open till 2 a.m. every day!
Phone: (910) 327-0900