If you are lucky enough to live in Chapin, the Frayed Knot is probably one of your go-to watering holes since it’s right on the water. The casual bar and grill is the brainchild of Justin Brooks. Half restauranteur, half general contractor, the Chicago-area native fell in love with the lake while visiting his parents.
Opened in January 2014, the establishment has found its sandy footing with a steady influx of residents throughout the year, while most of its downtown customers make the trek during Columbia’s famously hot summer.
“Our busy season is April through August,” Brooks said. “But we keep open all year-round because we have a lot of regulars that live in the area.”
At the bar, one of the most popular drinks is “the perfect piña colada,” made with local spirit Topper’s Coconut Rhum.
“We love Topper’s,” Brooks said. “They take a lot of pride in how their bottles are made and how their labels are put on. It’s a small factory where it’s hands-on on almost everything. That’s just one of the reasons I love them.”
In fact, all of the Frayed Knot’s frozen drinks are made with Topper’s. Another popular frozen favorite, the strawberry daiquiri, uses Topper’s white Caribbean Rhum. A must-try drink served over ice instead of blended is the Frayed Knot’s signature margarita. The stirred drink is simple in design, but there’s one tequila of a twist: Frayed Knot has its own Patron.
“We get somewhere between 320 and 400 bottles of personalized Anejo Patron that we make our margaritas with,” Brooks said. “The bottle says ‘Frayed Knot Justin Brooks.’ ”
During the warmer months, the bar plays host to three major blowout events a year: Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day, with concerts on the water that draw anywhere from 6,000-7,000 people.
“A lot of people just stay on their boats, listen to the music and have a good time.”
As for future plans, Brooks is looking to either revamp the location again or build a new, bigger bar in its place. Either way, sounds like this frayed knot is pretty solid.
Frayed Knot Bar & Grill
WHERE: 1701 Dreher Island Road, Chapin
WHEN: 11 a.m.-midnight Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday
WORTH NOTING: In addition to food and drink, you can get ethanol-free gasoline for your boat. And, you can arrange to rent watercraft like jet skis and paddleboards on-site and sign up for fly boarding lessons.