MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — From the South Strand to the North, there are more than 2,000 restaurants.

It’s a number that keeps growing, and restaurateurs say it’s important to keep in mind how the industry and food scene have changed during the past few years.

Some business owners say they know the area.

“Being able to open one of the first health-focused breakfast and lunch places, I think it’s amazing,” said Jordan Lazarus, the owner and executive chef at Lekker Eats. “I think it’s awesome because I was born and raised here, and growing up, I didn’t have a place like this.”   

Others are new to the Grand Strand.

“When I moved down here, I retired and moved down to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina,” said Louis Leggio, a co-owner at Roma Ray Italian Bakery and Food Market. “I love South Carolina. I love what it has to offer, except there is no food like I had in New York.”  

However, they all have something in common — a passion to bring a unique taste to the area.

“We are now Lekker Eats Market and Kitchen,” Lazarus said. “24/7, 365, I am focused on the locals and what I can do to make sure they have the kind of food that is from around the world and right here in Myrtle Beach.”

Lekker Eats offers fresh grab-and-go meals or the option to dine in. They recently expanded their services and opened up a larger location.

And coming soon, the Roma Ray Italian Bakery and Food Market in Surfside Beach: things that people have been asking for — fresh bread, bagels, bialy, kaiser rolls and twists, Leggio said.

What led to a market rather than a bistro or restaurant?

“Restaurants are quite expensive,” he said. “If you are lucky [and] find a real good restaurant, there’s an hour wait. This way, they can come here, we are going to be selling some prepared foods, and my logo is going to be ‘heat and eat.'”

A few other businesses are planning to expand their operations in the near future. Sweet Girlz Creamery is opening a new location in North Myrtle Beach. Also on the North Strand, Crave Italian Oven & Bar is opening a second, larger location. In Myrtle Beach, an Alabama-based restaurant, Moe’s Original BBQ is coming soon.

Many of the restaurants opening soon plan to be up and running before the end of the year.

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Adriana Cotero is News13’s weekend evening anchor and a morning reporter. She joined the team in July 2023 after working in the island of Guam. Adriana is from Saline, Michigan, and graduated from Central Michigan University. Follow Adrina on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and read more of her work here