HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Veterans Day is just one day away, and in recognition of the holiday, News13 will feature local restaurants owned by veterans in the community.

There are hundreds of veterans who have put down roots in Myrtle Beach, some of whom are helping grow the community by opening restaurants and serving a different way.

From serving our country to serving our community.

George Nicholas, owner and operator of Wooden Spoon Eatery said he served in the United States Navy from 1977 to 1984.

“I try to engage with everybody that comes in,” Nicholas said. “I love what I do.”

Nicholas’ last duty station was in Greece where he spent four years as an interpreter for the Navy. He then eventually made his way to the Grand Strand.

“My wife and I always loved this corner,” he said. “We always loved Surfside being a family beach and everything.”   

Nicholas owns and operates Wooden Spoon Eatery, and while it might be a slight change of pace, it has kept him quite busy the past few years.

“I love it,” Nicholas said. “The growth has been amazing. It’s one of the largest growing areas in the United States right now.”

Experiencing the growth, and more so amongst the Veteran community, the Veterans Café and Grille in Myrtle Beach celebrates 14 years of service on Veterans Day.

Owner Lou Mascherino was a combat engineer during the Vietnam era stationed in Germany. The café offers hot coffee and warm meals and also houses military memorabilia.

Cpl. Cassie Goldsmith, who works at the cafe, said the goal was to just provide a place where veterans and the general public can come and be around like-minded people, get a good meal, and remember their time in the service.

Both businesses said they receive an overwhelming amount of support from fellow brothers in arms.

“You get to see a lot of the same people over and over and over and learn a little bit of their history in the service as well as all the things that are dealing with now,” Goldsmith said.

“We all have the same thing in common,” Nicholas said. “That was to sacrifice our freedom to go ahead and fight for our freedom. It’s a beautiful thing to me.”

Wooden Spoon Eatery and many other businesses in the community give a military discount to Veterans throughout the year, and the Veterans Café & Grille gave away free breakfast to the first 100 veterans who entered on Friday.

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Adriana Cotero is News13’s weekend evening anchor and a morning reporter. She joined the team in July 2023 after working in the island of Guam. Adriana is from Saline, Michigan, and graduated from Central Michigan University. Follow Adriana on Facebook, X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram and read more of her work here