Coco’s on the Beach, 663 William Hilton Parkway, Hilton Head Island, SC

We stopped by Coco’s for lunch today, 7/21/16, as we were spending the day on the adjacent beach. I had been wanting to try it out, as it definitely has a nice “local” feel to it. Lots of hand-painted decor directly on the walls, as well as the tables, plus the open air seating within sight of the beach make this a great lunch option.

The menu is limited to burgers/hotdogs/fries, but Coco’s seems to stock a variety of beer, and offers a nice selection of beachy cocktails. We were lucky and managed to queue up to order when there wasn’t a line, and were able to place out order quickly. It took over 30 minutes for our food to be ready, but the wait was worth it. We all had burgers, plus a side order of fries (which can easily be split two or three ways).

What can I say…the burgers were delicious! They seemed to have been hand-pressed, were quite large, and were served HOT and cooked exactly as requested. The toppings were also generous. The price ($8 for any burger, regardless of toppings) plus the side order of fries (split among the group) seems comparable to other casual restaurants in the area.

Now for the negatives…my main complaint was the incredibly bad drink refill service. We were given our (non-alcoholic) drinks when we ordered, and sipped on them while we waited. Issue #1: Coco’s offers ONLY ONE refill. Issue #2: We took our cups with us when we went to pick up our food and were told that, for refills, we had to go to the back of the line of people waiting to place food orders. WHAT? We had to wait in a (fairly long at the time) line to get the drinks we’d already paid for while the food we’d just received sat there getting cold. The only other option was to eat lunch with no beverages. Issue #3: After waiting in line, we finally got our refills, which were served WITHOUT ANY ICE. Obviously more staff is needed to provide an adequate level of service for patrons. While I’d eat at Coco’s again, I would skip the drink and plan to eat on the beach with unlimited refills from my own cooler.

Another (more minor) issue was the Great Ketchup Quest. You’d think that a place that serves only burgers and hotdogs would make sure there was ketchup on each table, but ours was missing. We tracked down a bottle on a nearby table, but it was almost empty. The next bottle we found (on the other side of the restaurant) was runny, but usable. Perhaps the new staffer(s) that Coco’s should hire could make sure that the condiments were refilled regularly, in addition to handling drink refills.

Another issue I had with Coco’s was the smoking. Since the establishment is entirely open-air, I assume it is exempt from the usual restaurant smoking ban. However, this doesn’t require them to allow smoking! Why not at least leave the main seating area smoke-free, and restrict smoking to the back area, if it has to be allowed at all? Even better, let anyone who wants to smoke do so on the surrounding sidewalks or beach area. We were lucky enough not to have any smokers nearby (although I had to walk through a cloud to get to the restroom). But it was pure luck; I would not have been pleased if I’d had to eat while inhaling someone else’s fumes!

Overall, four out of five cheddar chunks, but only because the burgers were so good!



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