With all the restaurants in the Wilmington area showing up in movies and television, going out for a meal there could give you a case of déjà vu. Pull up a chair and see if you feel like a celebrity in these recognizable eateries.
1. Hell’s Kitchen, 118 Princess Street, Wilmington: Fans of Dawson’s Creek (Katie Holmes, James Van Der Beek, Michelle Williams, Joshua Jackson) will recognize this as a set created for that series. Purchased weeks after the show ended, the restaurant retains the same atmosphere. Casual food such as sandwiches are available, and live music is offered weekly.
2. Elijah’s, 2 Ann Street, Wilmington: Used as Pacey’s Restaurant in the Dawson’s Creek finale, this restaurant is located on the riverfront in view of the Cape Fear Bridge, the USS North Carolina Battleship and beautiful sunsets. Sit inside or out and enjoy everything from sandwiches to shrimp and grits.
3. Circa 1922, 8 N. Front Street, Wilmington: Seen in the indie film, Stateside (Rachel Leigh Cook, Jonathan Tucker, Val Kilmer, Carrie Fisher), this restaurant is in a vintage building with rich wood and brick construction and large art works filling the walls. The menu is varied, including tapas and interesting prix fixe options.
4. Paddy’s Hollow Pub and Restaurant, N. Water and Walnut Streets in the Cotton Exchange, Wilmington: Halle Berry appears in a scene with jazz musicians in this restaurant filmed in Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding. They serve everything from shepherd’s pie and a pint to steak and ribs in a pub atmosphere – or outside on the patio.
5. The George, 128 S. Water Street on the Riverwalk, Wilmington: Appearing in the movie, Stuck in Love (Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly), this restaurant has a great view of the river and its gorgeous sunsets. You can even arrive by boat. Try the wonderful brunch on Sunday, sandwiches for lunch, or seafood and pasta for dinner.
6. Ports of Call Bistro and Market, 116 N. Howe Street, Southport: Fans of the film, Safe Haven (Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel), will enjoy this restaurant where characters Katie and Alex go out for a romantic dinner. Ryan Seacrest even came to Southport to take Julianne Hough there for her 21st birthday, says Cindy Brochure, Southport’s Tourism and Economic Development Department director. A Mediterranean atmosphere and menu inspire the tapas bar and dining room for lunch, dinner, or Sunday brunch.
7. Old American Fish, 150 Yacht Basin Drive, Southport: Otherwise known as Ivan’s Fish Shack where Katie worked in Safe Haven, this is the place to enjoy a cold drink right at the edge of the Intracoastal Waterway. Watch fishing boats go by, water birds searching for dinner and the sun on the water.
8. Fishy Fishy Café, 106 Yacht Basin Drive, Southport: Seen as Porter’s Stowaway Tavern in the television series Revenge (Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Gabriel Mann), this lunch and dinner spot sits at the water’s edge. Check out the website for photos of Revenge film preparation and a webcam of what’s going on in real time. Menus offer a seafood focus with appetizers and non-seafood dishes as well.
Strike out on your own with a map from the visitor center or sign up for a tour. In Wilmington, Hollywood Location Walk or Cape Fear Segway guides will point out interesting sites, including some of these eateries. Take Southport Fun Tours or a self-guided tour of locations in the Brunswick Islands area.