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Sea View Inn History - A Barefoot Paradise Since 1937

Sea View Inn Pawleys Island Simple, unspoiled, and uncrowded.... A "barefoot paradise" awaits you at Sea View Inn, nestled on Pawleys Island, SC. You can walk on the the beach, cast a crabbing line into the marsh, or settle into a rocking chair with a good book.

A vacation, a retreat, you bet! Sea View Inn has been welcoming guests to its tranquil setting since 1937. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the island became a retreat for wealthy rice planters to escape the heat of summer.

Today, Sassy and Brian Henry, continue the tradition of offering a comfortable and casual hideaway, full of charm and hospitality, steeped in tradition and history.

The following article on THE SEA VIEW INN appeared in the Georgetown Times News, Georgetown, South Carolina:

March 2002
Brian, Sassy, May May, and Camille "The tourist season begins in earnest Friday at the historic Sea View Inn on Pawleys Island.

Brian and Sassy Henry will be trying their best to make a good impression. The Henrys have taken over the Sea View from Page Oberlin, a fixture at the place for 25 years.

The inn has maintained a clientele that returns to the inn year after year for the peace and quiet, the camaraderie, the access to the beach and, of course, the food. Guests get three meals a day for a weekly rate that can run as high as $1,500.

Guests are skeptical when they hear there will be somebody new in charge. Sea View has not had many rules and allowed the guests to feel like they owned the place. Many stay in the same room during the same week every summer for decades.

As Brian has confirmed reservations with guests during the past few weeks he's gotten the same message over and over: Don't change anything.

The Henrys hope to make a few subtle improvements that guests will appreciate. Sassy has planted flowers in the yard facing Myrtle Avenue, and the Henrys' friends from Atlanta showed up last weekend to paint one of the little guest houses. They want to tweak several other things, from the menu to the decor.

Sassy says there's untapped talent in the present staff. "It's amazing how hard these people work," she says. "They really care about the people staying here."

Sassy vacationed on the south end of Pawleys Island many times as a child and was familiar with the Sea View Inn. She and Brian heard about the possibility of it being for sale a few years ago, but they weren't ready to take such a plunge.Brian, Sassy, May May, and Camille Henry

They were living in Atlanta and having the first of their two daughters, Mary Frances (called May May, 3). Camille, 1, came later. They had the big house in Buckhead and the "fancy car." Both had careers on the rise. Brian worked for Anderson Consulting, Coca-Cola and an Internet startup firm, Sassy had a flower and landscaping business and also worked for an executive chef at a brokerage firm. But the frenzy of Atlanta's traffic and the vicious social climbing lifestyle convinced them to look elsewhere. Families competed for slots in everything from soccer teams to private school.

"We came back here in the summer and rented a house on the beach," Brian says, "and started investigating further. We wanted to move to Pawleys Island anyway. We just needed to find a way to make a living down here. We think this is a wonderful place.

"Sassy kept the heat on. It sounded like the purchase price was out of our reach, but maybe there is another way."

The Henrys jumped right into the fire with their first meal: a Moveable Feast crowd of 50 with another 20 guests last Friday. They served an old Southern standby: fried chicken, potato salad, green beans and pecan pie. Sassy made one menu change: sweet tea.

The Staff at Sea View Inn Myrtle Edwards and her sister, Vertrella, will continue to cook most of the inn's food. Sassy asked them what they liked to cook, and curry chicken, barbecue ribs and baked ham with scalloped potatoes will go on the menu. The inn will drop some of its specialty nights like Mexican and Thai for more traditional Lowcountry fare.

The Henrys want a few more local residents to dine at the inn. Reservations are required 24 hours in advance for any of three meals, seven days a week. Breakfast is at 8:30 a.m.; dinner at 1:15 p.m. and supper at 6:30 p.m.

Guests for meals, like those at the inn, may bring their own spirits.

They've hired an assistant manager, Michael Bratsafolis, 21, and "sharp as a tack," says Sassy. He is completing his degree at Coastal Carolina University and will live at the inn during the tourist season.

The Henrys have bought a house in Hagley and are confident they can win their guests over during this first, crucial summer and still set aside quality time with their young children.

Meanwhile, Brian and Sassy are bracing themselves for the first of what's sure to be the question on every guests' lips: Where's Page?

Call the Sea View Inn at 237-4253 to make reservations for meals at least 24 hours in advance. "
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414 Myrtle Avenue - Pawleys Island, South Carolina 29585
Fax: (803)753-9402
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