Growing up, Philip Myer would frequently visit North Carolina’s Outer Banks for vacation. He had a dream that one day, he would be able to be a “beach bum” all the time. After a career in public safety, Philip and Penny decided to make the dream into a reality. Their son, Christopher, had a dream of running his own restaurant, having 18 years of experience in the industry. Together, Philip, his wife Penny, and Chris opened Beach Bum’s Grill and Bar on Memorial Day weekend in 2016—a bright, fun restaurant that not only serves up great food, but provides a place for the community to gather and have a good time. But starting up the restaurant was not easy. Obtaining financing for a startup restaurant proved nearly impossible, with lenders telling him that the amount of financing he needed was too small for them to provide. Finally, Philip found Carolina Small Business Development Fund. With their help, Philip and Penny were able to purchase a property that was in the perfect location on North Topsail Beach. The restaurant is thriving, and has provided a source of financial stability for Philip and his family. Philip and Penny expect to move to NC permanently in the next two years to finally fulfill their dream of being year-round beach bums.
CSBDF: How did your business get started? What was the inspiration that started it all?
Philip grew up visiting the Outer Banks for vacations. It’s been goal of Penny and Philip’s to one day live at the beach. He regularly joked that he just wanted to be a beach bum, which was the inspiration for the name. While vacationing in Holden Beach with Chris’ family, they decided it was time to start a family business with Christopher who has 18 years of experience in the restaurant business. It’s been Chris’ dream to run his own restaurant. In 2014 we purchased property near Holden Beach for a future home site, which is the basis for our corporate name, Holden-On, Inc. From there we developed the concept, branding, and theme for the Beach Bum’s Grill & Bar. From there, we needed to find the right location, and of course funding support. Penny supports the ongoing aesthetics, Philip supports the corporate / finance needs, and Chris is the daily and operations manager.
CSBDF: Where do you see your business going in the next five years?
We would like to add another location within North Carolina, also in a beach area.
CSBDF: How do you define success in your life?
Success is meeting our goals and being happy with our family and friends. We’ve started to achieve some of our goals with this business, and we hope to move down to Holden Beach, NC permanently within the next two years.
CSBDF: How has Carolina Small Business helped you?
I first went to the Small Business Administration website and learned about the Community Advantage program. I started going through the list and contacting lenders. It was nearly impossible to get funding for a startup restaurant. Also, the size of the loan was too small for many other lenders. I had exhausted so many potential funders when I found Carolina Small Business. Once I found them, it was like immediate relief. Everyone was supportive and understanding right from the start.
Carolina Small Business allowed us to purchase this property. There had been a restaurant here for many years, and it was a perfect fit for our vision. Without Carolina Small Business, we were dead in the water. We encountered some challenges with permitting and things that the previous owners had done, but everyone from Onslow County and the Town of North Topsail and Carolina Small Business have been fantastic to work with. Now we have our business up and running, and it’s doing great.
CSBDF: What were the most difficult issues you faced?
Being at the beach, the weather is always a factor. We had a tropical storm over labor day weekend, and most recently there was Hurricane Matthew. We were very lucky that we avoided damage and only lost some customer business because both events were on weekends.
Visit Beach Bum’s Grill and Bar on Facebook here.
“Success is meeting our goals and being happy with our family and friends. We’ve started to achieve some of our goals with this business, and we hope to move down to Holden Beach, NC permanently within the next two years. ” -