Editor's note: This is part of a series the Aiken Standard will run periodically on locally-owned restaurants around Aiken County. To have your restaurant included, email Stephanie Turner at email@example.com.
You don't have to travel to the coast for fresh seafood. A drive down Whiskey Road to JC's Seafood is all it takes.
John and Chris Hyder pride themselves on having served some of the ocean's freshest fish for more than five years.
The father-and-son team currently sells tuna, lobster tails, salmon, swordfish, tilapia, snow crab legs, shrimp, clams and more. The Lowcountry boil is one of the market's top-sale, according to John.
“Ours is unique,” he said.
The base consists of corn, sausage and potatoes. The meat portion varies.
“Everybody usually uses shrimp; ... we don't,” John said.
Everything in the boil is cooked separately, allowing the Hyders to easily customize it.
John and Chris started experimenting with their recipe since John's wife is allergic to shrimp. Now, you can have the boil with anything from crab legs and clams to mussels and lobster tails. However, shrimp still remains the popular choice, John said.
Chris drives to Beaufort every Thursday to pick up the food. John said all of it is U.S.-based.
The family is originally from Florida; when they opened the market, they wanted to bring in that coastal atmosphere.
Broken shells line the entrance; inside, Jimmy Buffet's songs can be heard. Nets hang in the corner, and a boat sits behind the counter.
A glass counter stands front and center, displaying the seafood selection of the day.
Everything can be cooked and seasoned with mild, spicy, hot or garlic butter, John said.
If you wish to eat it warm off the grill, a patio of multiple colored tables awaits outside.
One day, it may also have an awning, TV and fans, John said. Right now, you can sit under an umbrella, and, if you are there in the evening, enjoy the strung-up crawfish and turtle-shaped lights.
The Hyders take pre-orders and offer catering for events such as weddings and private parties.
They have participated in an oyster roast with the Aiken Regional Medical Centers Women Enlightened group for two years. Last year's event raised $3,000 for the Best Chance Network, an American Cancer Society program that helps women afford breast and cervical screenings, according to an article that ran in the Aiken Standard in May 2012.
JC's offers discounts on special events and holidays and sells soft drinks, seasonings and sides.
Across the parking lot is the Hole-N-One Family Center, also owned by the Hyders.
JC's, located at 3189 Whiskey Road, is open Wednesdays to Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m.
For more information, visit its Facebook page or call 803-648-6303.
Stephanie Turner has a hand on all areas of production for the Aiken Standard, where she reports, edits and layout pages. She graduated this past July with a journalism degree from Valdosta State University and lives with her family in Evans, Ga.