Fast Food

BEACH BITES: Hamburger Joe’s | WBTW

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — At Hamburger Joe’s in North Myrtle Beach, doing it right means doing it with family and just a few ingredients.

For more than 30 years, this Grand Strand staple keeps it simple — and it works.

“We’ve just become, maybe not a household name but a family tradition when you come down to the beach you come to Hamburger Joe’s maybe once, twice, maybe five times,” said Richard Brooks, who owns Hamburger Joe’s.

In five trips you could almost have the entire menu covered. It’s short and sweet, and maybe a little salty and savory, for a reason.

“We find if you give people a limited amount of choices, they find what they like, and if they do they’ll come back,” Brooks said.

They do come back, for the food, but also Hamburger Joe himself.

“They love Dad. Dad’s 85 next month, and he retired last year-and-a-half, before COVID started, but he still comes in every day. We do the crossword puzzle together,” said Brooks. “But he loves talking to people. He loves it.”

Hamburger Joe’s started in October 1989. It was supposed to open in September, but Hurricane Hugo had other plans. As for the Brooks family, changing and adapting is something they’re good at.

“Back when I came to the beach in 1980, we opened a place called White Point Seafood,” said Joe Brooks, AKA Hamburger Joe. “It was where the House of Blues is now. It was very successful, but we had 400 seats and couldn’t operate in the winter time. So for 15 years we were just open nine months a year. So we were looking for something else to do. I had a friend who was a chef and we decided to open Joe’s Bar and Grill. In ’84 we opened that up and operated that for nine to 10 years. In doing so we needed more parking and leased space and we had room to put a hamburger place. Because more people eat hamburgers than filet mignons.”

Wear what you want, suit and tie or flip flops and a swim suit. They cater to everyone, and everyone keeps coming back.

According to Joe, “We do more now in a month than we did in the first year.”

Hamburger Joe’s in North Myrtle Beach only accepts cash. There are two locations, but the Surfside spot is run by a different family.

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