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The Fat Pelican in Carolina Beach – An Eclectic and Quirky Beer Bar

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The Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –

When it comes to bars, I’ve been to more than a handful in my life! So it’s rare that I run across something that blows my mind. But a visit to Carolina Beach (just south of Wilmington, NC) did just that. Some friends had recommended the Fat Pelican to me, so on a warm Friday evening, I headed on over for a visit! It’s a small storefront on Lake Park Boulevard and as I pulled open the door…   Well, read on if you want to find out more!

Bar at the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –

Step into the Fat Pelican and it feels like you’re traveling to a different time and dimension (cue in the Rod Serling, Twilight Zone voice). Maybe not another dimension but wow, it’s something I had never seen before! The Fat Pelican features a small bar (five seats) to your left and behind that is the beer and cider walk-in refrigerator. The Fat Pelican has a tremendous selection of canned drinks, grab your favorite, pay for it at the bar and she’ll open it for you!

Refrigerated walk-in at the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –
Ceiling decor at the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –

From that point on, it’s all about finding a place to sit down in to relax and enjoy this odd and quirky space. The Fat Pelican spans 6 or 7 rooms inside, strung up with holiday lights, knick-knacks, and random decor that might be befitting a Goodwill store! Surfboards, flags, street signs, outdoor furniture, and more. You’ll even find a small room with a handful of cabinet video games inside.

Interior of the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –

Oh, and you’ll find signatures and graffiti everywhere. I’m guessing that maybe people just bring in their own pieces of decoration and leave them behind? I mean, who would ever know otherwise? But guess what intrepid bar explorer, there’s even more outside to enjoy!

Interior of the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –

As you walk in, you may not have noticed the chain link gate to the right of the storefront and that’s where the REST of the Fat Pelican is! A large outdoor space littered with more lights, seating, cubbyhole areas, and things to discover. I imagine the Fat Pelican gets super busy on warm weekend evenings if it needs all this overflow space.

Outdoor area at the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –
Outdoor area at the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –

So what can I say?! I’ve been to a handful of bars (sarcasm, let’s say thousands) and the Fat Pelican definitely threw me off. It’s a dive bar, beer bar, outdoors garden and more all wrapped into one space. And definitely a must-do if you’re visiting Carolina Beach and enjoy adult beverages. While it may not be for everyone, it should be a mandatory visit for any curious adult at least one time in their life! So rock on, Fat Pelican!

Outdoor area at the Fat Pelican, Carolina Beach NC –

The Fat Pelican

8 Lake Park Blvd S, Carolina Beach, NC 28428


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