Beefy’s was the first real fast food drive-through in Ocean City, opening in 1970. Located on Philadelphia Avenue between 17th and 18th streets, it preceded McDonald’s and other national chains by several years. Local kids made up over 80% of the help and for many this was their first job.
A Beefy burger was the top attraction and consisted of five ounces of beef with lettuce, tomato, onions and cheese. It sold for 99 cents and during the months of July and August people would line up around the block to get one with a side of fries. This was during the big building boom in north Ocean City and construction workers would drive down every day for lunch. Owner Tony Carozza recalls, “Those construction workers brought in so much business we were able to stay open year-round in a time when the town pretty much closed down after Labor Day.”
McDonald’s came to town in 1976 and other fast food chains soon followed. By the early ‘80s, it had become difficult to compete and Beefy’s became another memory of vanishing Ocean City. The building still stands but today is the site of Cowboy’s Roadhouse.
Photo courtesy Tony Carozza