Jimmy’s at Wrightsville Beach

Author: Isabella Peadon

March 4th, 2023

If you are looking for a good place to grab a drink on Wrightsville Beach, there is no shortage of beach bars on the island. From the Shark Bar on the north end to the local taps at Sunday’s Café on the south end, you are sure to find a way to quench your thirst. All the bars on Wrightsville have their own unique history and stories to tell. This week, I was able to meet with the owner of Jimmy’s and his wife, Keaton, to get some insight on the iconic beach bar just over the second bridge on North Lumina.  

Jimmy’s was first opened in August of 2014 and is a local favorite spot for casual drinking during a beautiful sunny day, a refreshing slushie after a day in the water, or a night out for live music and great conversation with friends. Jimmy’s is well known for it’s logo, which features a black lab and iconic white lettering. This logo is no mistake. If you’ve been to Jimmy’s before, you’ve probably noticed the great-natured black lab, Cruiser, moseying around the bar and even hanging out on the bar top. When I asked Jimmy and his wife about the story behind Cruiser and the logo, he gave me a little insight on how the logo came to be.  

“In the beginning, I was always telling Cruiser to get off the bar. Then I noticed that Cruiser became a crowd favorite. People loved the dog and thought he was entertaining, so we became known for it. Cruiser became the mascot.”  

According to Keaton, Cruiser is living the dream and loves all the local friends he’s made. Cruiser is adorable, but also not the only notable Jimmy’s staple. Jimmy’s bike drive has become a local favorite yearly event. The bike drive began just a few years ago to collect toys for the Toys for Tots charity. It became such a hit, that Jimmy’s has now officially registered itself as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.  

“My good friend Eric Miller, the lead singer of Penguin, had been doing a Toys for Tots drive for an event with his band. He and I had worked together before, and I really loved the charity so I asked him how I could get involved. He told me the only thing I could do was stick a box in Jimmy’s and hope for the best. In the first week, there had only been three toys dropped off in the box, and one of them was from my mom, so I decided to post them on face book and tell everyone that if we had ten bikes donated, I would match up to ten. I posted pictures on Facebook when people donated too. Thank God I put a max on it because after the first drive I had collected over 200 bikes. In the second year we got 492. By the third year, every kid in New Hanover County that wanted a bike for Christmas got one. Last year we got over 1200 bikes. We’re now officially a 501(c)(3) which is really cool because big companies can donate if they want.” 

And who could forget about the infamous Jimmy’s slushie? A delicious, frosted mix of yellow red bull and grapefruit Deep Eddys Vodka. The slushie is a fan favorite (and a personal favorite of mine as well). The uniqueness of Jimmy’s doesn’t end there. When I asked Jimmy if there were any interesting Jimmy’s secrets, he was happy to provide me with an inside secret. 

“About 60 years ago, Jimmy’s was a pharmacy for residents of Wrightsville beach. If you walk to the right, you’ll notice that the bar is split up into two parts. On the east side there’s a cubby hole where we keep the nice liquor. The liquor is actually in a big safe that has been here since the location was a pharmacy. They locked up medications in there. The safe was just too heavy to move so we left it. It’s been there ever since.” 

Jimmy’s is also a frequent host to local bands and various genres of live music. Stop by on Wednesday March 8th to see Los Angelos PLUS and Jared Micheal Cline. Head over on Saturday March 11th to see the Brown Dirt Cowboys; a cover band that plays Elton John, Ben Folds Five, Bruce Hornsby, Stevie Wonder, UB40, The Cure, and many more. On April 8th, Jimmy’s will be hosting Tumbao; a 9-piece Latin band with a new, fresh Latin-infused sound that’ll keep you dancing. 

To catch a glimpse of the local legend Jimmy, his wife Keaton, or their cuddly black lab Cruiser, you’ll find them most days hanging around King Neptunes (the newest restaurant addition to North Lumina) or at Jimmy’s catching up with the regulars. If you’re visiting Wrightsville Beach and you’re looking for a great place with a friendly, inviting atmosphere, make a stop at Jimmy’s for a cold beer, tangy slushie, and a good time.  


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