Beck’s Restaurant, at the corner of River Road and Beach Drive Southwest, caught flame around 10pm.
Beck’s was the first restaurant in Calabash. Known for the Calabash-style seafood we all know and love, it was an original piece of Calabash history that burned that night.
The exact cause of the blaze is officially undetermined, but it is believed it occurred when a smoldering electric wire in a false roof at the rear of the building caught flame.
Beck’s was founded in 1940 by Ruth Beck, a member of the family that invented the lightly battered, deep-fried manner of cooking seafood that later became synonymous with Calabash. Beck’s was a family owned and run business that has been in the family for decades.
The current structure was swapped with where a portion of the parking lot sits now, and has been added to throughout the years. Town officials said losing the restaurant could have a negative effect on Calabash’s economy.
There are six Calabash-style seafood restaurants in the town, down from 23 at one point but losing another one would be a major hit to the Calabash economy.
The family doesn’t plan for the restaurant to be closed for very long, though. They plan to have it reopened by Easter.
Five fire companies responded to the blaze – Calabash, Grissettown, Horry County (S.C.), Ocean Isle Beach, Sunset Beach, Shallotte and Waccamaw provided backup coverage while those companies fought the fire. The companies battled the fire for nearly an hour and a half, continuing to put out hot spots throughout the night.