Around five years ago, Butch and Sherri Broome bought the little restaurant at the marina. Now, Fish Tales Restaurant at Fort McAllister Marina has become a successful and popular spot among Richmond Hill residents and visitors – even being awarded Business of the Year from the Richmond Hill-Bryan County Chamber of Commerce this year.
Guests love the live entertainment every Thursday evening. This Thursday, Liquid Ginger will be playing acoustic versions of its music. Butch said the band plays a little bit of everything.
The restaurant and marina offer other events as well, such as the upcoming Poker Run on July 26. Last year, 53 boats and one jet ski participated in the event. The Poker Run includes a full day of fun along the river, fresh seafood from local restaurants and cash prizes for the winner.
Butch and Sherri also host a “first-class fireworks show” the Sunday before Labor Day and the first Saturday in December.
Delicious food, live entertainment and tons of events – many say Fish Tales is one of the most popular restaurants in Richmond Hill. So how did it all begin?
“The restaurant started out of boredom and it’s turned into what it is today,” Butch said, who bought the spot after retiring. “My family was in the restaurant business for years, and I was in the business when I was about 20. But then I went out on my own.”
After selling a company to semi-retire, Butch and his wife Sherri decided to buy the “hole in the wall restaurant” they had ate at sometimes.
“It became available, and I thought I could make it into a place like one of those joints we used to go to all the time as a kid,” Butch said.
Turning the restaurant into what it is today took years of work and plenty of renovations. Butch explained he and his wife had to gut the restaurant, ripping out the ceiling and remodeling the bathrooms.
“We started from scratch,” he said. “One of the first things we did was to rip out the ceiling and make it a vaulted ceiling. We basically completely remodeled the whole place. We wanted to make it a family friendly place. On the weekends, you’ll see just as many kids as adults here. It’s become the hub of the community, I guess.”
The first year of owning the restaurant, they concentrated on renovating the inside. The second year, Sherri and Butch concentrated on fixing the outside of the restaurant. Three years ago, the couple added a small tiki hut outside.
Two years ago, the couple acquired Fort McAllister Marina. According to Butch, Sherri runs the marina.
“She pretty much runs the marina, and she’s stayed with me all these years,” Butch said of Sherri. “She’s still my baby doll. We have just as much fun today as we did 36 years ago.”
His love for his wife is just as evident as his love for his restaurant. Last year, the Broomes added the large tiki hut outside of the restaurant so they could accommodate even more guests.
During the summer months, Fish Tales Restaurant staffs approximately 35 locals. For many of the dishwashers and bus boys, this is their first job. Many college students are hired as servers.
“We try to hire local people, and give these young people an opportunity to work. It’s a good experience for them,” Butch said, who has lived in Richmond Hill for almost 20 years. “Our kitchen is so small that it’s amazing the amount of food the cooks can put out on any given night.”
Fish Tales serves a variety of food including fresh seafood, sandwiches, pasta and even dishes like quesadillas.
Fish Tales Restaurant is open Monday through Thursday from 4-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. For more information, visit www.fishtalesrh.com.