By J.M. Copeland
For Hometown News
The Beaver Bar on U.S. 1 in Ormond Beach is quickly becoming a local favorite.
"We are a restaurant," owner Leslye Beaver said. "We have a full menu and a full bar, not just a bar menu."
Ms. Beaver describes her customers as an eclectic mix, much like the customers at her two South Carolina restaurants also called "The Beaver Bar."
"We have that at Myrtle Inlet, too," she said. "We cater to everyone from old school bikers to seniors and children."
The diversity was obvious as we sat down to a dinner of Banging Spicy Fish sandwich combo and the all you can eat Fish Fry. Monday through Thursday features a different "all you can eat." Older couples, bikers and folks stopping by after work enjoyed the food.
Between the laid-back atmosphere and support from patrons in South Carolina, it appears this restaurant is here to stay.
"When we opened for our first motorcycle rally in October 2012, there must have been 200 bikers from Myrtle Inlet waiting here for me," Ms. Beaver said. "I am floored at the local support and the biker support I have received."
Diners must decide whether to sit inside and enjoy the large screen TVs or outside under the live oak trees dotted with picnic tables and wooden rocking chairs. Chairs that have names, including "Mama Beaver, Papa Beaver and Time Out." Some of the chairs have been named for customers.
"The big old oak trees to me makes everything," she said.
As customers rock under the oaks, they soon realize they are not alone. A variety of different animals are attached to the trees, providing a whimsical flair and the challenge to find as many as possible.
Finding the location was serendipitous.
"Somebody saw this (property) and called me and told me to stop by and see it," she said. "We saw it in June and opened in October. It's just awesome being on U.S. 1. To me there's no better place than U.S. 1."
The two-acre lot provides ample free parking for Bike Week events.
"We have $2 beer and we do not raise our prices during events," she said.
Tuesdays and Thursday nights are dollar taco nights and on Sunday the $5 breakfast buffet serves more than the customers.
"Our Sunday breakfast is all you can eat for $5 and proceeds are donated to families in need in the area," Ms. Beaver said. "The food is donated by the bar so that all of the money goes to families. Recently we gave $500 to the Children's Home Society."
Our server, Mary Foss worked her way up from customer to bartender.
"I live close and enjoyed coming here and one night I asked, do you need any help? I've been here since," Ms. Foss said. "It's a fun place to work."
Weekends include live music, starting with Kids Rock the Nation, a group that promotes self-esteem though music and gives guitars to children during the open jam sessions. Entertainment continues on Saturday and Sunday with local bands
Wedding receptions have also been at the Beaver Bar.
"We don't charge you to use the restaurant," said bartender manager Jeremy Griffin. "We will set up an area with buffet tables. We also do birthday parties."
"The key is the rocking chairs and picnic tables, the oak trees and the laid back environment, Mr. Griffin said. "All we need to do is get them in the door and they come back."
The Beaver Bar is at 1105 N U.S. 1, Ormond Beach. Call (386) 673-3400.