story by Liesel Schmidt
When you think of a burger joint, you likely think of someplace that serves up the classic combo of hamburger and fries, with all the traditional fixings—and maybe a few twists thrown in just to keep things interesting and on-trend with the increasingly adventurous palates of foodies. Sure, there’s something great there, right there on the plate. But when Al’s Beach Club & Burger Bar opened out at the Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island in 2016, burgers and fries weren’t the only thing that this beachfront eatery planned to serve; and instead of sticking to their expected duties of simply making food, they thought they’d shake things up a bit…Not only with killer menu of shakes, but also with a killer list of never-ending weekly and special events that make Al’s one place where FOMO is for reals, y’all.
Offering live entertainment seven days a week on the outdoor stage, Al’s menu of must-see entertainment includes everything from acoustic artists during the week to lively local and regional cover bands every night of the weekend. Keeping things family-friendly, Mondays are far from mundane, with a free pirate show from Capt. Davy & The Crossbones that includes magic tricks, songs, games, and other pirate-themed fun. Tuesday nights mean Movies on the Beach, with classic family movies being played out on the restaurant’s 20-foot inflatable screen. Fireworks displays soaring through the night sky off the Okaloosa Island Pier keep Wednesday’s booming, and Thursdays bring pre-pre-weekend excitement with luau parties complete with hula dancers, face-painting, leis, fire dancers, and a full-on Polynesian pig roast.
“Al’s truly is unique in the ways that it breaks out of the box of what people expect from restaurants, and we keep it lively and entertaining for everyone,” says Marketing Director Misty Rae Ruthrauff. “For us, it’s about more than just the food—although burgers and hand-cut fries and the homemade custard milkshakes are something everyone should experience. In fact, the Travel Channel even featured our Key Lime Pie milkshake and Island Chicken Sandwich on one of their hit shows in 2017. Really, though it’s all of it together that makes it so great: the entertainment, the casual beach vibes, family-friendly atmosphere,” she goes on.
And while their lively events calendar could certainly draw a crowd on its own, the downtime between shows is far from boring, as Al’s also has its very own splash pad and beach games like corn hole, life-size Jenga, and king-size Connect-Four that keep kids (and kids-at-heart) occupied while the grown-ups are “adulting”…possibly with one of Al’s signature cocktails or a boozified-milkshake. After the sun sets and nature’s houselights go down, Al’s state-of-the-art, show-stopping lighting system livens up the entire Boardwalk with live bands and a house DJ. “Al’s is all about family, food, and fun on the beach!” says Ruthrauff. From burgers and fries to live bands and pirate shows, Al’s is one place where fun isn’t just a side item—it’s their signature dish.
Al’s Beach Club & Burger Bar is located at 1450 Miracle Strip Parkway SE, Ft. Walton Beach, Florida 32548. For more information on the restaurant and the events calendar, call (850) 226-4100 or visit www.alsbeachclub.com.