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Rosa Linda's Cafe Murrells Inlet: Late 90s   29 comments

Posted at 4:57 pm in grand-strand,historic,restaurants

Rosa Linda's was one of the first out-of-town places I became a "regular". Once I had a job, and car, my comings and goings from the beach came to depend more on my whims than elaborate family vacation plans, and when I was on the coast alone, I could always choose a place I liked. At the time (and still to a large extent), what I liked was Mexican and pizza.

Rosa Linda's billed itself as a Mexican/Italian restaurant, a combination which seems natural to me, but which I have seldom seen elsewhere. Of course, it wasn't authentic Mexican food, and the menu would cheerfully admit as much, but it was Mexican food prepared in a way which seemed very natural to me as a South Carolinian, and I quickly became addicted to the chips & salsa, which were almost my first experiences with "hot" food. I realize now that the salsa which seemed so amazing at the time was in fact Pace Medium, but it was certainly better than what was (and is) served at Mexican run Mexican restaurants, and the chips were made on-site, and were excellent. The pizza was prepared in a brick oven, and was the best single item on the menu. The crust was thin, but not anexoric, and firm but not brittle. It was also great for dipping in any of the salsa you might have had left over.

The wait staff was uniformly friendly, and they became so used to seeing me there, that they gave me their "locals" discount card (despite the fact that I was living in Fayetteville and then Aiken at the time) and membership pin. Supposedly, if you wore the pin, you would get seated first if there were a line. That didn't seem quite fair to me, so I never wore it, but I didn't hesitate to take advantage of the discount card which got you 10% off everything except bar drinks for the whole party. Being in the program also meant you got a postcard every year on your birthday with some sort of free food offer. I'm not sure I still have the pin or card. I know they were in my '85 Camry when it was totaled, and I'm not sure I've seen them since.

I was very upset when I came down to the beach one spring and found Rosa Linda's closed. I'm not sure I got the complete story from a lady in another local establishment but it seemed to boil down to family issues, and maybe moving somewhere outside the country to retire rather than to a failure of the business.

There were originally two other Rosa Linda's locations, each run independantly, but with the same menu. Once was in Myrtle Beach near the old Myrtle Square and the other was in North Myrtle Beach almost across from Barefoot Landing. The Myrtle Beach location was subpar. I ate there a few times, but it was never as good as the other two, and it closed before the Murrells Inlet location. The North Myrtle Beach location was as good as the Murrells Inlet (but too far a drive to become a "hangout" for me), and soldiered on until they lost their lease and were unable to find another location. A new Olive Garden restaurant was opened on that lot.

After the Murrells Inlet location closed down, no other operation was able to make a go of the location. The first to try was some sort of chain Mexican place whose name I cannot now recall. That lasted about a year and was followed by a Mexican run Mexican restaurant, which didn't last much longer. That was followed by The Royal Oak a faux English tavern operation which had a formidable number of different beers on tap, as well as burgers and pizza. I tried the pizza, and found it inferior to Rosa Linda's by a good bit. The pub folded last year, and the building is now vacant again. Oh well.

UPDATE 7 July 2009: Added scan of Rosa Linda's loyalty card above.

The Royal Oak was replaced by Spencerz's Sports Pub, which is now "closed for remodeling".

UPDATE 7 October 2009: Added the first picture, which shows Rosa Linda's with some wind damage after Hurricane Hugo in the fall of 1989

UPDATE 26 October 2009: Added the picture of the building's current tenant, Spencer'z Sports Pub (the pizza is 'ok', not nearly as good as Rosa Linda's).

UPDATE 22 Jan 2010: Well, looks like the Rosa Linda's folks are going to have a reunion (see the comments). Maybe they can rent their old building -- because Spencer'z South went under this week..

UPDATE 3 June 2010 -- Well, after 30+ years of being a restaurant, it appears the building will now be a golf shop:

UPDATE 12 April 2011 -- Good news! A new Rosa Linda's will be opening in the old Hoof 'n' Finz:

UPDATE 14 May 2011 -- The new Rosa Linda's is open!

I went by the other night, and am very pleased! They don't have a pizza oven because of structural limitations in the building, but the enchiladas taste exactly as I remember, as do the chips and Mexicana Mud.

Written by ted on January 14th, 2008

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29 Responses to 'Rosa Linda's Cafe Murrells Inlet: Late 90s'

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  1. This place was awesome. I loved it. What was that hot chicken dish that they served in a hot frying pan?

    FirstDennis

    21 Aug 08 at 10:23 am

  2. Hmm. I don't eat stuff with feathers or fins, so I'm not sure about that one..

    ted

    21 Aug 08 at 11:38 pm

  3. Now I know the full story, at least your version, which is far more than I could find out. What a crashing disappointment to arrive in NMB for vacation, expecting the great Mexican and Italian food at RL's, only to discover that Rosa Linda's had disappeared! (The Olive Garden is nice, but NOT Rosa Linda's.) The food was simply magnificent (and we got the secret for salsa and guacamole: Pace's, of course, now standard in our preps!). NMB isn't the same without Rosa Linda's. Too bad someone didn't step in for the NMB location and get the recipies. (I'd agree that the one in MB was inferior; was never in the Murell's Inlet location. But if anyone is reading this, what is the "marina" restaurant located "under the bridge" (??) in murell's Inlet---trying to remember from back in the 70's) We drive down from Ohio for sand, ocean, food, and fishing at Sea Cabin.

    OBERLINTRAVELER

    28 Jan 09 at 2:41 am

  4. Well, there are lots of seafood restaurants in Murrells Inlet, but no bridge that I can think of, at least not one high enough to have anything under it.

    You may mean "Land's End" restaurant in Georgetown. It is "under" the US-17 bridge, and "at" a marina.

    ted

    28 Jan 09 at 2:52 am

  5. My wife and I had our first date there in 1993. We have been together ever since.

    Tom

    28 Jan 09 at 6:53 am

  6. I think I went to this place when I was on vacation with my parents in the late summer of 1988. If its the same place, I purchased a sweatshirt that read "drag your ass to Rosa Linda's" and it had a donkey on it. Can someone verify if this is the same place???

    Holly

    6 Jul 09 at 4:19 pm

  7. Yep, that's it!

    ted

    6 Jul 09 at 4:27 pm

  8. This was my family's place! Thanks for the write-up! We're currently putting together a reunion for friends & family on March 20th, 2010. Was putting together the facebook group, and needed a scan of the logo. We never had a website for the restaurant, so nothing could be found on file. Grabbed your pic from this site ~ thanks!

    Sam

    20 Jan 10 at 10:08 pm

  9. No problem!

    ted

    21 Jan 10 at 12:41 am

  10. I know you are not going to believe this but Rosa Linda’s is not where its suppose to be and someone
    has taken the f'ring restaurant !!!! This is serious stuff and someone needs to call the "Police" at once. I came
    down to eat and the place is gone......what the heck is going on and what are you doing about
    it and who called the Police by the way and are they on the way to find Rosa Linda's......are their any leads
    I'm hungry......I mean what the hell is this about.....you cant get a meal in N. Myrtle. You drive around looking
    for it and its not their........I mean are the Russians coming........Who's on watch here...Who forgot to lock the
    place up.....This is all a joke right and Rosa Linda's planted some shrubs that are blocking it from the road ....
    right....Some call the Police.....I'm hungry.....

    gray

    15 Mar 10 at 8:22 am

  11. Hey there Sam, Was your family's place the Myrtle or North Myrtle location? I actually worked there the Summer of '88 and would love to get in contact with some of the folk that were there.
    Thanks!

    Rusty

    15 Jul 10 at 12:45 am

  12. my wife and I first ate at Rosalindas in North MB in 1981, on our honeymoon. Loved it! We lived in MB for a while before moving to Charleston but we would get up there at least once a year for their delicious Chile Rellenos. My sons grew up having pizza since they weren't ready for mexican food yet. It was heartbreaking when we went up there and Rosalindas was gone.

    Tom

    13 Dec 10 at 10:54 pm

  13. Yep, I still miss it every time I drive past the Murrells building, or where the NMB building used to be. After Murrells closed, I used to go to the NMB location on 4 July evenings and watch the Barefoot Landing fireworks from the parking lot after supper.

    The last time I was there, I knew it was closing, and I made sure to have the Mexicana Mud for desert one last time even though I was stuffed.

    ted

    14 Dec 10 at 1:12 am

  14. Here it is 2011 and we still grieve the loss of Rosa Linda's. We would visit faithfully every year, we camped next door in the Sherwood Forest camground, then it changed name to Barefoot Campground. THAT's how many years we are familiar with Rosa Linda's. Oh if only that last year we had known it would be the last I would have bought one of everthing they had in the clothing cabinet. I am always on eBay looking for memorabilia. I am occasionally looking for resale shops that might have a t shirt or sweat shirt on their rack. Do you think there will be a Rosa Linda's in heaven?

    Deb Martin

    12 Feb 11 at 1:02 pm

  15. Well -- I'm in no hurry to find out :-)

    Still would love some Mexicana Mud though..

    ted

    13 Feb 11 at 12:17 am

  16. Rosa Linda's is reopening in Murrells Inlet by Easter 2011

    Buddy

    31 Mar 11 at 6:48 am

  17. Thanks for the info! Looks like it's going into the old Hoof 'n' Finz where US-17 Business rejoins north of Murrells Inlet. Now supposedly open by Cinco de Mayo.

    ted

    11 Apr 11 at 11:06 pm

  18. So excited to hear Rosa Lindas is open again. I loved the Pizza and especially the avacado salad. You all are right, Olive Garden is good but it is NO Rosa Lindas. Their food was ssssoooooooooo delicious. thanks for the history

    Phyllis Templeton

    29 Oct 11 at 2:12 pm

  19. I drove by hoping to go Rosa's but found it was closed again. I checked on their facebook and saw this. "Sorry everyone, but we will be closed until further notice due to circumstances beyond our control. Hope to see everyone real soon." Posted Oct. 13th.

    Do we know what happened, or if they will be reopening?

    Melissa

    3 Nov 11 at 12:04 pm

  20. Certainly sorry to hear that! I went by early in October and it was fine..

    ted

    3 Nov 11 at 12:10 pm

  21. Any news on a re-opening? Or is Rosa's gone for good. :(

    Melissa

    5 Dec 11 at 2:01 pm

  22. As of the weekend of 3 December 2011, it was still closed :-(

    ted

    5 Dec 11 at 2:05 pm

  23. According to this article: http://www.myrtlebeachrestaurantnews.com/myrtlebeachrestaurantnewsarticles/food-bytes/2369-rosa-lindas-reopening-again.html Rosa Linda's will be opening sometime after valentines day. According to the article: "On Jan. 11, general manager Michael Daugherty and a few other workers were cleaning the restaurant at 3415 U.S. 17 Business in Murrells Inlet in preparation for a reopening in mid-February, after Valentine's Day. "

    Casey

    12 Jan 12 at 3:23 pm

  24. Huh. I hope for the best, but the change of managers and menus sounds ominous.

    ted

    12 Jan 12 at 6:22 pm

  25. OK, this facebook entry pretty much confirms it will be a "different" restaurant. It may still be good, but it won't be the same. I wish the original team well.

    ted

    12 Jan 12 at 6:35 pm

  26. The link seems to not be working as it takes me back to the home page.

    Casey

    13 Jan 12 at 12:17 am

  27. I hate trying to link to facebook. Try this link from the google cache of the facebook page..

    ted

    13 Jan 12 at 1:53 am

  28. I agree Ted is a diffrent restaurant, but from what I've read from the article I linked Jan 12th it will have the same name just new owners.

    Casey

    13 Jan 12 at 12:51 pm

  29. I never ate at Rosa Linda's but it had a great reputation. I think SpencerZ sports pub had a location further north and moved down to MI (or opened another location). I never tried that either. The Royal Oak pub was actually around for awhile, I know everyone on here has been talking up RL, but the pub had to have been open for like 5 or 6 years, I knew a few people who worked there and they were cool. I never ate there but went to drink a few times. It had a really good beer selection (for it's time, this was before the 2007 american craft brew revolution) on draft.

    Ryan G

    1 May 13 at 2:03 pm

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