Coastal Uncorked makes changes to improve in 2012; Full schedule (Update: Starts tonight)

Update April 23rd: Coastal Uncorked's Restaurant Week kicks off tonight at Abuelos and The Melting Pot.

Restaurant Week lasts until Friday which brings Coastal Uncorked into their main events. Read below for a list of all the restaurants participating in this years Restaurant Week. Also below you'll find the full schedule for all of the Coastal Uncorked events. 

First Report April 2nd, 2012: The Coastal Uncorked Food and Wine Festival will host it's 3rd annual event later this month with a full plate of events running the week of April 22nd until the 29th. While some things are similar to past events, many things have changed in 2012. 

The most notable change is the heart of the festival will take place at the former Pavilion location just outside the downtown Myrtle Beach area. In previous years, the festival was distributed across the area with trolleys transporting the attendees. Another key change is the new Executive Director, Sara Wise, a local area business owner. Myrtle Beach Alternatives has more background on Wise. Read that here. 

"We are excited that this year's event will take place at a centralized location, rather than around the city", says Wise.  "While the trolley concept was original and fun for many guests, it was a challenge to host a mobile festival." The new location is being called the Oceanfront Grand Tasting Pavilion.

Coastal Uncorked has received some local scrutiny in the past for their use of public funds granted by the City of Myrtle Beach and Horry County. A $300,000 accounting error also caused the S.C. Secretary of State to order an amended tax return last year. The Sun News reported more details here. This year, the festival received $60,000 out of the $80,000 it requested from the City of Myrtle Beach.  

Similar to past years, the festival is comprised of numerous events. Some take place at participating restaurants through the week but most of the action will be at the festival grounds.  A $40 day pass gives you access to the for either Friday or Saturday and your choice of 3 of the scheduled sessions. The grand finale event on Sunday which includes and "Iron Chef" style competition amongst local chefs costs $50 to attend. The price includes a commemorative wine glass to use for tasting (whiles supplies last)  and a visit to the guilt-free Bloody Mary bar sponsored by Grand Strand Magazine. For a flat $100, you can get full access to both days and the Finale Gala.  "The new festival grounds require no travel for guests", Wise adds. "Once they are inside the festival grounds, they can stay and enjoy themselves all day." Live music will be performed by numerous bands including Grasstowne,  A1A,  Austin-Mowery Band,  Tim Clark Band and Painted Man. 


Throughout the Week

Restaurant Week: Theme Dinners & Prixe Fixe
The week of events kick off on April 22nd with some restaurants offering theme dinners that feature multiple courses. Dates,  restaurants, and per-person prices are as follows:

Not up for a high dollar, four-course meal? Several other restaurants will be offering tasting menus for $20.12. The best place to see which restaurants will be participating is the Coastal Uncorked website.

Sip, Savor, and Stroll, Thursday, April 26th 5-7 p.m.
The Market Common will have various restaurants offering samples of food and wine in their retail district. $10 ticket per person. 

Sip & Shop, Friday, April 27th 12-4 p.m.
Boutique shops North end of Myrtle Beach will have snacks available while you shop. There is no ticket charge. Shops include The Little White Dress bridal shop, Studio 77, Kitchen Capers, The Social Garden, Rose Arbor Fabrics, and Ooh La La. 

Oceanfront Tasting Pavilion, Friday, April 27th

2-8p.m. Gourmet Village. Purchase food with tickets or other items with cash.
2-8p.m. Grape Stomping. Photo opportunity while donating to HGTC and CCU. 
2-8p.m. Owens Wine Shop. Buy a bottle of the wine to take home with you.
2-8p.m. Tasting Tents. Various beer, wine, and food demonstrations.
3:30-8p.m. Live Music

Oceanfront Tasting Pavilion, Saturday, April 28th

11 a.m.-8p.m. Gourmet Village. Purchase food with tickets or other items with cash.
11 a.m.-8p.m. Grape Stomping. Photo opportunity while donating to HGTC and CCU. 
11 a.m.-8p.m. Owens Wine Shop. Buy a bottle of the wine to take home with you.
11 a.m.-8p.m. Tasting Tents. Various beer, wine, and food demonstrations.
12-8p.m. Live Music

Food Fight & Finale, Sunday, April 29th, 6 p.m.

The big finish for the entire festival is the Chef's Challenge that will pit local chefs against each other in a timed competition that will feature celebrity judges the Lee Brothers. The Gourmet Village will not be open on Sunday, but the tasting stations from various participating restaurants will be serving food, beer, and wine throughout the evening. 

Last year, Coastal Uncorked gave Horry-Georgetown Technical College and Coastal Carolina University each $10,000. This year, an endowment fund has been established. A portion of the event's proceeds from the festival will go to the endowment  to help Culinary Arts and Resort Tourism students.