Pickle’s, located at 2236 East County Hwy. 30A, is celebrating three decades in business at their original Seaside Central Square location.
Founded in 1993 by Bill and Heavenly Dawson, of The Dawson Group, Pickle’s began with only 48 square feet and a limited menu consisting of hotdogs, beer, and pickles. The locally owned and operated eatery quickly became famous for their burgers and hand-spun milkshakes. Throughout the years, Pickle’s has become an unofficial landmark in the Seaside community and is one of the few establishments that has remained in the same location along Seaside Square. In 2023, 30A’s® Hot Spot Awards named Pickle’s the Hottest Spot for Burgers.
After 32 years in business, the Dawsons sold their company consisting of the five notable Seaside restaurants, including Dawson’s Yogurt, It’s Heavenly Shortcakes and Ice Cream, Pickle’s, The Shrimp Shack, and Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs, to Clark and Ashley Beecher of Houston, Texas.
Since the acquisition, the Beechers along with their local operating partners Baron and Courtney Fields, have remained true to the roots of The Dawson Group while also incorporating innovative systems, additional menu items, modern concepts, and merchandise to each of the restaurants, including Pickle’s. They have developed a new brand identity for Pickle’s that remains true to its history yet shines a new light on the retro diner that appeals to a younger audience as well as their long-time customers.
“As Texans, there were a lot of special dishes that we loved and wanted to bring to 30A,” Courtney Fields said. “We introduced Kolaches, a classic Texas breakfast item, along with breakfast tacos that have turned out to be our top seller every day.”
When taking over the business, the Beechers wanted to ensure community support was at the foundation of the company. In Houston, the couple are avid supporters of their alma mater, the University of Houston, along with local organizations like A Shelter for Cancer Families. Ashley currently sits on the board of directors of the Seaside School Foundation and is a passionate supporter of South Walton Academy. As a company, the new owners have made it a priority to get involved with local events whenever they can. Most recently, both the Beechers and Fields participated and won first place during the Seaside School Foundation’s Taste of the Race, the kickoff event for the Seaside School Half Marathon and 5K.
“Whenever we get involved with something, we are all in,” Beecher said. “As owners, we want to put our face with the company and be there to meet people and talk to the community.”
“It’s been important to us from the get-go, so we are always the first ones to sign up for something,” Fields said. “We are always looking for new ways to get involved, donate our time, our food, and immerse ourselves in the community.”
The newest addition, The Sandbar officially opened on February 15, 2023, and guests can now order both their drinks and food from either the bar or restaurant. The Sandbar features craft cocktails, including the Savannah Street Skinny Rita, named after the Beechers’ beach home address, along with the Pineapple Express made with local Campesino Rum. The menu also includes craft beer, wine, and frozen drinks.
The Sandbar opens each day at 8 a.m. along with the restaurant and has happy hour daily from 3-5 p.m. offering discounted draft beers, half-off select wines, and $7 house margaritas.
To learn more about Pickle’s and to stay up to date on new merch drops, menu items, and special events or promotions, follow their Instagram and Facebook pages or visit www.dawsongroupseasidefl.com/pickles.
“People from all over the world visit Seaside with their families,” Beecher said. “We are lucky to be a part of their stay and it is such a privilege to be a small part of their family memories at the beach.”