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Good food and friends beckon at Captain Woody's

Worth rowing a dinghy through rollingseas for.

This isn't part of Captain Woody's promotionalcampaign, but it should be. Sailorswho live on their boats moored off PalmettoBay Marina on Hilton head Island stop by thefriendly, casual restaurant for dinner and abeer before heading "home" for the night.There, they relax in a warm, inviting atmosphere,welcomed by owners Russell Andersonand Shannon Wright and their staff.

Captain Woody's Bar & Grill is the bestkind of Lowcountry tradition-one that offersan authentic coastal experience for longtime locals, newcomers and vacationersalike.

"I tell vacationers that if they need informationabout Hilton Head Island, come toCaptain Woody's. There are always locals atthe bar who love to talk," Anderson said.

Lunch specials for $5.99 make now anespecially good time to eat at CaptainWoody's, whether you sit at the bar, aninside table or on the patio overlooking thewater (patio heaters make this a pleasant optionyear-round). These specials include a Cajun tilapiasandwich with homemade remoulade sauce;an Italian sausage sub topped with pizza sauce,sauteed peppers and parmesan and provolonecheeses; anda turkey Reuben with sauerkraut, thousand islanddressing and Swiss cheese served on rye bread.

In the evenings, Anderson and Wright have newhappy hour food and drink specials from 4-6 the bar only. Among other great deals, order afish taco or nachos for $3.50, a half dozen oysterson the half shell for $3, and $2 domestic beer.

Captain Woody's is full of memorabilia, reflectingboth its 1982 beginning as a hang out for localshrimpers and fishermen and the current owners'passion for University of Kentucky sports (andthe Kentucky Derby). For the Hilton Head restaurant,a local artist made customized stained glasspanels. Captain Woody's also sponsors an annualcharity fishing and golf tournament. Upstairs inthe Bluffton location, sports fans gather to watchgames in the evenings and on weekend afternoons.

Captain Woody's is known for its shrimp andgrits (secret ingredient: cream cheese) on Sundays,a fabulous grouper melt sandwich and thecustomers' favorite, "He Crab" soup.

"It doesn't matter if it's 100 degrees outside ortwo degrees, we go through this soup," Andersonsaid.

He said he's thankful that the Bluffton restaurant,which has been open about a year, is a greatsuccess. The location in the Calhoun Street Promenadelets Captain Woody's easily take part in thetown's many festivals, he said.