South Carolina’s coastal community of Little River, located about 20 miles north of Myrtle Beach, is home to a restaurant that is, simply put, divine.
Here at The Parson’s Table, patrons dine on bowls of Charleston she-crab soup and plates of broiled seafood amid a patchwork of Carolina history—one that also happens to be within the walls of a former church.
Built in 1885, the building that houses the eatery’s main dining room began its life as the first Little River Methodist Church. It welcomed congregants until 1952, when the space was converted into a community meeting place. In 1978, longtime Little River resident Toby Frye purchased the structure, moving it two blocks south to its current location and converting it into The Parson’s Table restaurant.
While prayer is no longer the order of the day, The Parson’s Table still welcomes devotees—though in this case they’re more drawn to impressive architectural elements and delicious eats, as well as a load of Southern charm. Many of the former chapel’s original features are still on display, from its high vaulted ceilings to a good portion of its pine floors, which have since been added to with siding sourced from a 19th-century farmhouse.
That’s just the beginning of the building’s unique decor. The Parson’s Table’s antique front doors are made of local cypress that dates back over 150 years. An original Tiffany lamp brought over from an old Atlanta farmhouse hangs within the main dining room. The reclaimed stained and beveled glass that adorns the restaurant’s windows come both from old South Carolina churches and Mr. Frye’s own collection, which he put together over the years. There’s even a colorful stained glass image of St. Matthew, which some might say is alone worth a pilgrimage to see.
When it comes to the restaurant’s culinary aspects, The Parson’s Table gets plenty of praise. Expect a menu of continental cuisine with a bit of Lowcountry flair, as well as dishes utilizing locally sourced produce and seafood from across the state. The eatery is also known for its award-winning wine list.
Know Before You Go
The Parson’s Table serves dinner only, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and is closed Sundays. Early bird specials run from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., and happy hour is from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day the restaurant is open.