Handley’s Pub & Grub

I was going to start with telling y’all about Andrew Handley, a GRT who owns Handley’s Pub & Grub with his wife and parents, located in Myrtle Beach, SC. But after talking with his dad David “Dave” Handley I decided to lead off with him.

He’s a RAF (Royal Air Force) Veteran and worked most of his life in the Middle East. They started this family owned operation in September of 2004 and most of their employees have been there since the Pub was opened so you can tell everyone is family. Family as you will see in this story is very important to the Handley’s.

After chatting a while I asked Dave what the difference is between an English Pub and a Irish Pub. He told me “not as many fights in a English Pub”. This is what he shared with me about Andrew in his Sheffield British accent.

“He does Crossfit to train for GORUCK events and is healthier now then he has ever been in his life. GORUCK pushes him two steps above the norm. It gives Andrew a break from the phone and work. Takes all the stress away. 

When I was close to retirement, I am 80 years old now, Andrew came to me and said ‘Dad, we need to build a PUB.’ I asked why and he replied, ‘Well, there is not one’. There was nothing around here but a Kroger. I thought, ‘he is right, we need a Pub here.’ We bought the land and built the damn place. 

I appreciate you coming and I appreciate what you do. It helps Andrew, I know he is at the front, pushing it, pushing it, pushing it, next step, next step, one step at the time. It is the right thing to do. I only wish I was that much younger. I would be doing it. “

I had only interacted with Handley on social media and he has the good kind of horrible sense of humor I love. I did not get to meet him till the JWBH and I watched this guy kill the whole event. After the Heavy we traveled down to Myrtle Beach to meet his wife Kelly, their kids Ella, and George, along with their two pups. They invited Nick and I to be their guests for our stay and we enjoyed sushi with the family that Sunday evening. This is a close knit family and despite their busy schedules they still manage to have meals together. Kelly gave us the inside scoop about Andrew’s Ruck addiction, supposedly he has too many of them, but we all now that’s not a thing. She also told us his phone rings constantly, he’s always working, he works hard, takes good care of his family, and GORUCK events give him a chance to check out and exist outside of his world for 24 hours. Kelly is amazing, I am pretty sure she RX’s more WOD’s then Andrew does. It is evident she is his best friend and soul mate. Being able to spend time with them at their home was an honor. Seeing everyone chasing each other around the pool with Nerf guns was a blast. Andrew loves spending time with his kids even if it is just taking them to school, after dropping them off Kelly and him hit Crossfit before he heads into the Pub. Their dogs Lola B and Bruce welcomed Nick’s puppy Ripley into the pack and the pool. Nick and I both appreciate them taking such good care of us. 

Ok, let’s go back in time a bit. Jason knew I was going to the JWBH (Joe Warner Ft Bragg Heavy) with Nick, GRHQ’s photo and video guy, to cover the Heavy. In the early days of GORUCK,  Jason was out there himself listening, telling stories, and traveling. This was what he calls GORUCK Summer. Go forward a few years and he has kids and a lot on his plate. So he is sending Nick and myself out to meet GRT’s and tell their stories. GORUCK America is born. He tells us go and check out Handley’s Pub & Grub. Below are some photos of Andrew having a good time at the JWBH. He is a semi-handsome man even covered in mud.

Fast forward back to first thing Monday morning, just two days after the Heavy he invites us to Crossfit Aperitas where he proceeds to RX the “{M4 Sherman” WOD unbroken.  His wife Kelly is a bad ass, Nick kills it, and I made sure to underwhelm everyone there.

We visited for the rest of the day and later that evening he arranged for all the local GRT’s to have a meet and greet at the Pub. You walk in and this place feels like home. Customers of all ages and backgrounds are enjoying the food, music, and drinks. People are celebrating a birthday, playing trivia, having family dinners, almost all of them know Andrew and stop and say hello. I can’t stop staring at all the memorabilia on the walls and ceiling. To include a GORUCK flag and a super rare GORUCK Nasty flag. I did notice lots of Special Forces flags and patches, yet not a single USMC piece at the Pub. I took the time to order a USMC flag for him to make the collection complete.

We walk through the packed bar area and end up on the patio. He has a huge spread of food for everyone that came out. These are all local GRT’s that are regulars, F3 Nation, EMT’s the owner of Crossfit Myrtle Beach, and of course lots of beer for all. It was a great time and everyone got to experience the Handley’s hospitality.

Handley’s Pub is the kinda place that you do not want to leave. The kinda place you walk around and Dave Handley shows you the Geoff Hurst jersey from the 1966 World Cup. It is the jersey he wore when he scored the only hat-trick in a World Cup beating Germany 4-2. Every wall has a piece of history on it, every wall has a story and stories are what makes Handley’s the kinda place you love.

This is what Andrew shared with me at the end of our trip as we sit on the patio of his home.

Q. Is there a reason you only have 68 beers and 27 TV’s instead of 70 beers and 30 TV’s?

A. We just do not have the space.

Q. What is the most popular item people order after a GORUCK event?

A. All and everything on the menu. 

Q. 2004? You have been around awhile. How have you sustained longevity?

A. By taking care of those who come through our front door. 

Q. How many GORUCK events have you done?

A. Close to 40 I think. 

Q. Are there any that are your favorite?

A. I enjoy the Ft Bragg events, Myrtle Beach events because they are local, and the the ones I get to travel to. 

Q. Favorite beer, yoga pose, and GRT?

A. Tito’s Vodka is my beer, handstand, and my main man Keith Borg in Charleston. 

Q. Favorite food you serve?

A. Chicken wings are my go-to. 

Q. This place feels like home. Are your customers family like GRT’s are family?

A. Yes, they are family.  

Q. Does Mum actually make the Mum’s Homemade Dessert of the Day?

A. Yes she does, today it is carrot cake with cream cheese icing.

 

The best part of GORUCK is the people. People like the Handley family make GORUCK what it is. So if you find yourself passing through the Myrtle Beach area stop by Handley’s Pub & Grub and make sure you have some of Mum’s Homemade Dessert of the Day. Tell them GORUCK America sent you.

 

 

 

Christopher Goad
AKA Bomber

 

2 comments

  1. Jim says:

    Sounds like my kinda place!!! Buffalo Trace on the Bourbon menu? My fav bourbon… well, and some Blanton’s when I can find it!!!!

  2. Awesome post! I’ve been following them on Instagram for years and drool every time they post. Would love to swing by if I’m ever able to make it out there. Everything looks damn good!

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