09/09/2014

When visiting the Grand Strand you will encounter people from a variety of places.  There are many of our “locals” that have moved to the beach from different locations to enjoy the special lifestyle that the beach offers.  We are so grateful that Benny Rappa chose to just that.

Benny moved to Myrtle Beach in 1996 with his lovely wife Michelle, from Syracuse, New York.  Michelle’s family was in the restaurant business and they were actually looking for a restaurant to buy in New York, when the real estate agent they were working with convinced them to check out Myrtle Beach because there was a lot of opportunity.  Boy, are we glad they listened to him.

Before moving to Myrtle Beach, Benny was in the construction business after he had attained two associate degrees in hospitality and building.  Soon after arriving on the Grand Strand they opened Benny Rappa’s Italian Trattoria in North Myrtle Beach.  It is by far one of the most popular dining establishments in North Myrtle Beach for not only locals but visitors alike.  There are many choices for dining in Myrtle Beach and we do not hesitate to list “Benny’s” as our favorite.  With a “chalk board” menu that changes daily you can always find something to your liking.

Michelle worked alongside Benny in the restaurant until their beautiful daughter Julianna was born and then she returned to the real estate business which gave her the flexibility needed to be a mom.  Julianna is now 11 years old and is very active in gymnastics on a local and statewide level.

Benny says that he really enjoys the weather and the people in North Myrtle Beach.  The restaurant keeps Benny pretty busy, but when time allows he also enjoys riding his Harley, the water and the occasional round of golf.  He lists his favorite golf course as the Surf Beach & Golf Club and of course he is a New York Yankee fan.  When he does get a night away from the restaurant he enjoys dining at New York Prime.

With Benny’s background he still has a passion for design and construction as many of his patrons can attest as they have witnessed the evolution of the restaurant.  The expansion and renovations that he has made are beautiful.

The very first time I encountered Benny was in 1996, shortly after he had opened up his eatery.  Hurricane Fran was bearing down on North Myrtle Beach and Hwy. 17 was a parking lot with everyone evacuating.  I was headed north on 17 and stalled in traffic with everyone else.  While stopped I looked to my right and Benny was standing in front of his restaurant by the highway with a sign Chicken Parm Sandwiches for Sale.  I knew then that this guy was something special.

In the near future Benny would like to open up a neighborhood Pub.  If this does in fact become a reality, I know it will be hugely successful.

On your next visit to our beautiful city, do yourself a favor and visit Benny’s.  You could not hope for a more congenial host and your dining experience will be very special.