CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. (WBTW) – Good food fast is easier said than done. But there’s a breakfast joint in Carolina Forest where you can order and eat in a matter of minutes. While Early Riser Diner features breakfast and lunch staples, owner Alex Prnokaj can cook a lot more than what’s on the menu.

“I studied for cook back home in Croatia for four years,” said Prnokaj. “I went for four years and studied for cook. I traveled a lot through Europe. I was in London, Spain, Czechoslovak. I have friends all over the world and they love food. A kitchen connect let’s say. And that’s my passion. That’s why this is not hard for me.”

Alex owned a restaurant in New York before moving down to Myrtle Beach in 2021. While the days are still long, the hours are much better.

“You come at 5:00, you work until 2:00, that’s eight hours. But you never stay until 2:00. You stay until 3:30, 4:00. You have things to go and buy. You need clean everything,” said Prnokaj. “You know, sometimes I come home at 5:00, 6:00. Again that’s 12-13 hours of work. But it’s okay. At least I’m home at 3:00 or 4:00. I can spend time with my kid. In New York I couldn’t do that. I had no time.”

While he gets to spend more time with his son, he gets to spend even more with his wife. And he loves it.

“Of course she’s a huge support. And she’s the main in front, and I’m the main in back. And that’s how we level everything” said Prnokaj. “It’s always gonna be a spark, don’t forget, kitchen and waiters, they don’t like each other. That’s everywhere, but I’m blessed to have her here.”

And Prnokaj is even more thankful for his regulars.

“We have a lot of regulars. I am thankful for every regular we have here. And they are amazing. I really do have amazing customers. They are really okay with us.”

They’re more than okay. They love this diner.

Early Riser Diner is open from 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every day. They’re in the Forest Crossing shopping area at Carolina Forest Boulevard and River Oaks Drive.