Monday, September 12, 2011
The Beacon Drive-In: 65 Years of Doing Burgers in a Big Way
Returning from our beach week in North Myrtle Beach we decided to finally try out the historic Beacon Drive-In and treat ourselves to some burgers with a long history. So we drove the three miles off Highway 26 on John B. White Sr. Blvd. which was renamed in 1999 after the Founder of the Beacon.
The Drive-In is much larger than I anticipated with a sprawling parking lot to handle the crowds that obviously flock here to get their intake of history too. The seating capacity is 350 and they advertise that they can handle groups of 100 or more. There are several signs within the building of various groups that meet there regularly. McDonald's look out . . . the Beacon takes in a million customers every year!
The menu is more diverse than only hamburgers and is fairly diverse. Think more in terms of an old time diner with a variety of burgers, sandwiches and plates (including gizzards and livers!). There is also salads, catfish, chicken, ribs, ham, turkey, breakfast biscuits and the list goes on. Also noteworthy is the Beacon Iced Tea. It is sold throughout the South but the Beacon brags of making 62,500 gallons of the tea each week! And of course, remember to leave room for the Dairy Bar offering a variety of ice cream, shakes and malts.
The ordering process at the Beacon needs to be mentioned as well. It is intimidating for first timers since they have their own lingo and you have to relay your order to J.C. at the counter who shouts it out to the open kitchen for the staff to hear and prepare. Fascinating. You have to 'talk' and 'walk' using terms like Beacon burger and 'a-plenty'. But once you have it figured out, ordering is a breeze and a little fun.
For the first time visit, I decided to order the Beacon burger which consists of two large hamburger patties on an over sized bun with mustard, mayo, tomato and cole slaw. The sandwich comes with fries or if you order it 'a-plenty' it will come with the addition of onion rings as well.
It's a large sandwich and I'll admit that I couldn't finish it all. What a shame since it was so good. It is easy to see why the Beacon has been so popular for a life span - good food, prepared fresh by people who care. Try it six days each week but not on Sunday, they're closed.
You can also connect with the Beacon Drive-In on Facebook.
255 John B. White Sr. Boulevard
Spartanburg, SC 29306
The Beacon Drive-In