Tybee Business Spotlight: Sea Wolf Tybee

A halloween decoration hanging from a string of lights.

Tybee Business Spotlight: Sea Wolf Tybee

Sea Wolf Tybee is a local establishment known for their delicious dogs, outstanding oysters and creative cocktails. Locals and tourists alike flock to Sea Wolf to try their appetizing and ever-changing menu, which features hyperlocal ingredients, ultra-fresh seafood and inventive vegan options. There’s much to love about Sea Wolf, and if you have yet to dine at this island eatery, you’re definitely missing out. 

Hot dogs & champagne bar.

Sea Wolf opened on the island in September of 2020, which was a trying time for everyone, but perhaps even more so for restaurants, because of the pandemic. Nonetheless Sea Wolf persisted, cementing itself as a mainstay of the island’s culinary scene. The owners, Andrew Jay Ripley and Tom Worley, decided to open up Sea Wolf after opening the Lone Wolf neighborhood bar in Savannah’s Starland district back in 2018. 

“We opened that place as a neighborhood establishment, and we have always loved Tybee. One of the great things about living in Savannah is to have Tybee be so different and so geographically close, 20 minutes away. But to have something totally different here, we always enjoyed our time hanging out on Tybee and we wanted to be a part of the community here,” said Ripley. 

Sea Wolf definitely contributes to Tybee’s vibrant restaurant scene with its captivating atmosphere and exciting menu items.

Two mugs with ice and orange slices on top.

“We have this really beautiful smoker and we have really popular smoked fish dip. We change how it’s prepared and what the fish we use is. That’s seasonal depending on what we’re getting from our local fisherman. But that’s very popular,” said Ripley before sharing about their sensational hot dogs. “The hot dogs are Wagyu beef, and we use a really beautiful split top roll from up north, kind of like what you’d get with a lobster roll. We griddle them so they’re delicious. The toppings are always changing on that. We get cool preparations and the chefs come up with different themes.”

The hot dogs are delectable, but Sea Wolf’s oysters are equally worthy of praise. 

“The oysters are almost all Atlantic oysters. Most of them come from up north like Prince Edward Island or Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia, up that way. But now we also have the Tybee oysters from Bull River, which are exceptional. And they’re extremely popular,” said Ripley. 

If you have a preference for plant-based plates, Sea Wolf has got you covered in that arena too, boasting several vegan options to accommodate plant-based patrons. They offer several shareable plates that are vegan-friendly as well as a few tasty entrees.

Oysters on ice with dipping sauce and crackers.

“There’s a really nice local purveyor of lion’s mane mushrooms . . . and we get really beautiful lion’s mane mushrooms from them. We’ve done Maryland-style crab cakes with them and a variety of other things featuring those mushrooms as a protein,” he said. 

Some of Ripley’s personal favorites on the menu include their salt bomb oysters from Bull River, among other things:

“People flock here to get those. They end up going to pretty much every table . . . because people are excited about having a high-quality local product like that. Other things we love around here that are local, obviously the shrimp we buy right off the dock here on Tybee. . . and the Sapelo Island clams are such a great ingredient, so we’re always excited to feature those.”

He added, “one of the things that’s kind of a mainstay of our menu and is always changing — we call them smorgasbords, but it’s basically the charcuterie, the cheese, the dips and pickles plates. You can buy them individually or all together on a large board. . . We do a lot of the meat options here in-house like curing methods and using the smoker for the bacon and things like that.”

Whether you’re an omnivore, a pescatarian or vegan, there’s something for everyone at Sea Wolf. And their drink menu is just as accommodating. 

“We’re not trying to get pretentious with them, but our cocktails are just really nicely balanced. They’re fun and kind of thematic in that they’re based on a song lyric or something fun with the way we describe them in the menu. We don’t just list the ingredients. . . We give you a vibe of what the cocktails are like, and then one of our staff members actually paints them, so the menu has watercolor paintings of each cocktail with a little description. . . It’s approachable because you know what the cocktail is going to look like before you get it, and the description is more like the mood for it so you can think of and plan ahead what you’re going to eat with it,” said Ripley. 

Sea Wolf also has a unique and thoughtful way of dispensing their wines and beers, offering 250-ml crafts and half-size pints.

A hot dog and potato chips on a tray.

“It’s a nice way to be able to share with somebody . . . or just get a third of a bottle for yourself. . . It’s a neat way to get around our wine menu quickly,” he said. 

In addition to their regular offerings, Sea Wolf hosts a weekend brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“We call it the CBGB brunch, so country, bluegrass and blues, and we feature those styles of music, the rotating cast of folks. Brunch starts at 11 a.m. and then the live music goes from noon until 3 p.m. It’s really great,” said Ripley. 

Ripley and Wormley encourage the public to come out to Sea Wolf for a memorable dining experience in an inviting atmosphere. 

“It’s an interesting experience on Tybee. Tybee itself is a destination, and we try to do things that are fun and unexpected. It’s constantly changing. It’s not like we printed a menu three years ago and that’s the menu. It changes every day. . . The preparations are always changing. We change nationalities, identities every once in a while. We do Italian food around Christmas time. And we do a steakhouse supper club around Valentine’s Day. We just vary things up all the time. We might do Southern food. We might do Asian food. . . What it means for locals is that it’s a lot of repeatability because there’s always something new when you’re coming here. But for the people who are visiting Tybee, it’s just an eclectic kind of experience. Our service is very high end. People get taken really good care of while they’re here. There’s a good attention to detail about things coming to your table, making sure you leave here in a better condition than when you showed up,” said Ripley. 

A halloween decoration hanging from a string of lights.

Beyond the flavorful fare and stellar service, there’s a special sign that encapsulates what Sea Wolf Tybee is all about.

“One of the most photographed parts of our restaurant is behind our bar, we have a neon sign that says ‘Hot Dogs and Champagne.’ That’s what we bring to the party. It’s a fun time, a fun place to go. We’re having a good time,” said Ripley.

You can keep up with Sea Wolf Tybee by following them on Instagram @SeaWolfTybeeIsland, and on Facebook, and by visiting them online at seawolftybee.com/. Let them know we sent ya!

Photo Credit: @sv_images

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