Pickle’s Burger & Shake welcomes new management
Bill and Heavenly Dawson, owners of five Seaside establishments — Pickle’s Burger & Shake, Dawson’s Yogurt & Fudge Works, It’s Heavenly, Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs and The Shrimp Shack — were among the first entrepreneurs in Seaside. The Dawsons opened Pickle’s Burger & Shake in April 1993 in a modest snack shack with a cute name. Pickle’s Snack Station, which started out as a 48-square-foot hut, was referred to as the temple. Since its early days, Pickle’s evolved and expanded a little over the years, and is now known as Pickle’s Burger & Shake, with a complete breakfast, lunch and evening dining experience. The restaurant has a casual ’50s-burger-joint-on-the-beach vibe by design. While new general manager Bud Glover wouldn’t reveal the secret ingredient in the restaurant’s famous hilly dilly sauce, he did share the changes he’s made since coming on board last October.
Glover was tasked with building a new team, which he says has become like a family. “I think we’re on the road to building it,” he says. “Without the front of the house, the back of the house is nothing and without the back of the house, the front of the house is nothing. So we have bridged that and are slowly building a great team here.We made the place brighter with new lighting, and changed the music. We play No Shoes radio all the time, all beach music.”
Pickle’s most famous item is the pickle burger, made with grass-fed beef and topped with a fried pickle wedge. But the hilly dilly chicken sandwich, with relish and a secret dill sauce, is catching up. The hand-cut double fried French fries served with the hilly dilly sauce are a crowd pleaser. And while you wait for your meal, you can take a shot of pickle juice or enjoy a hand-made milkshake.
The breakfast menu includes the restaurant’s famous Hangover Omelet, as well as French toast dredged in vanilla ice cream and kissed with confectioners sugar, served with a side of syrup if you need it. “I don’t have insulin on hand,” Glover adds with a chuckle.
Pickle’s fans can purchase a souvenir T-shirt with the restaurant’s famous pickle on it. And Pickle’s sells Koozie bottle coolers. “Every beer looks better with a Pickle’s Koozie,” Glover says. “The Pickle’s souvenir stickers are also in high demand.”
Pickle’s farm-to-table menu ingredients include White Oak Pasture’s grass-fed beef and local farmer, Farmer Paul’s produce. White Oak is the largest USDA Certified Organic farm in Georgia, and has been in business for 150 years. The Dawsons take employees to the farm to educate them on the humanely produced meat in Bluffton, Ga. “It took me a while to find the right farm,” Heavenly says. “I wanted to be confident we could provide a quality product and meet the large demand of our customers.”
Heavenly next ventured on a quest for the perfect bun and found it at Masada Bakery in Atlanta, which ships fresh brioche buns to Pickle’s every day. “With all our businesses, we carry items that are good for you, making sure they come from good sources,” Heavenly says of Pickle’s and Dawson’s Yogurt, as well as the Dawsons’ other Seaside eateries.