Duck’s Restaurant Dynasty

The small town of Duck has some of North Carolina’s most captivating scenery.
The small town of Duck has some of North Carolina’s most captivating scenery. John Picklesimer

Sam McGann and John Power took a gamble on the North Carolina Outer Banks. Twenty-six years later, The Blue Point restaurant is a destination in itself.

On a brisk February night in 1989, the sleepy resort town of Duck, North Carolina, wasn’t hiding any secrets.

It looked deserted. Wind whipped around the Currituck Sound, and rain turned to sleet as John Power gazed into the Atlantic Ocean.

He had one tough sell ahead.

“Hubris,” Power says of how he got started.

It took only 24 hours, and a drastic turn of weather—typical in the state’s Outer Banks—to convince his high school friend from Virginia, Sam McGann, to buy in. That July, the Blue Point Restaurant was brought to life with 50 seats, a six-person oyster bar, and the challenge to survive in a community that typically houses fewer than 400 year-round residents.

“It was pretty darn quiet, but we were the only game in town back then,” Power recalls. “We were the only ones serving the kind of food that we served—with the staff that made sure people had a good time. We didn’t have any competition, which certainly helped a lot.”

This past July marked 26 years for the Blue Point, which like the town of Duck itself, has transformed quite a bit over the years.

A 2006 remodeling stretched the restaurant to 125 seats. The diner-style black and white floor is gone, replaced with warm, natural tones, and textures like cork, slate, and wood. A trellised deck and bar were also added on the sound. The Back Bar in the Yard is a popular spot for drinks, sunsets, and live music.

The red booths stayed, however, and so did Chef McGann’s take on Atlantic Coast cuisine. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, McGann is well traveled. His trips to the Oriental Thai Cooking School in Bangkok, Thailand, the Perrier-Jouët House in Champagne, France, and The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, inspired him to focus on regional, seasonal, and creative dishes.

When the Blue Point first opened, Chef McGann would wheel a cart “two minutes” to a farm stand in the parking lot of the nearby waterfront shops, load up on vegetables, and head back to the kitchen.

His supply list has extended over the years, but McGann still tries to keep everything local.

The seafood, for example, comes from Virginia and North Carolina. One of the first-course staples is the Blue Point’s Traditional She Crab Soup, which McGann says sells an average of 300 orders per week in-season.

The dish is started with live Blue Jimmy crabs or Sooks. The stock is then simmered for 90 minutes, rested for another 30, and strained. A mirepoix of vegetables, Spanish sherry, cayenne, nutmeg, cream, and crab claw meat seasons the dish, and a garnish of jumbo lump crab, more sherry, and a dusting of Old Bay seasoning is added at service ($13.50 for the bowl). When available, McGann also adds female crab roe, giving the course its name.

Customers are clearly responding.



My favorite Resturant in the outer banks!
Try to have lunch or Dinner on my way from and to My Beach house in 4x4 area!
Always delicious food and happy friendly atmosphere !


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