Pisgah Fish Camp - Pisgah Forest, NC 28768


130 Hendersonville Highway
  Pisgah Forest, NC  28768 

             Pisgah Fish Camp, a family seafood restaurant located at the entrance to the Pisgah National Forest, is celebrating its 45th anniversary in 2011. It has the distinction of being the oldest continuously-operating restaurant in Transylvania County, as well as the first family seafood restaurant west of Morganton. Through the years the restaurant has been owned by the Hawkins family, first Dan and Frances, and now children Dana and Jeanne.

            The restaurant is based on the “fish camps” which originated in the Piedmont area of North Carolina during the Depression era. These restaurants featured ample servings of local seafood, taken from rivers and lakes, provided “family style” in unpretentious settings. As the years went by the concept modified, and fish camps became staple restaurants in many central North Carolina towns.

            In the mid 1960s Dan Hawkins was working as manager of the old Brevard Bowling Lanes, located at the site of the current Ingles Grocery. He wanted to start a business of his own, and through food vendors he learned of the fish camp concept. After visiting several fish camps to learn the operations, Hawkins struck out on his own and opened Pisgah Fish Camp on May 25, 1966.

            The Fish Camp’s first location was at the old Brevard Country Club, the current location of Hickory House Restaurant. Hawkins became dissatisfied with that location and began looking for alternatives, finally choosing an empty space in the Gibbs Trading Post building, located at the entrance to the Forest, at the spot where Pizza Hut is today.  “People told me I was crazy,” Hawkins says today. “They said people would never drive that far (from Brevard) to eat.”

            In 1968 Hawkins moved to the Gibbs location, where the Fish Camp would remain for 25 years. In 1993, after the property was sold for the new Wal-Mart development, Hawkins moved the Fish Camp 400 yards across the US 64/276 intersection to its current location.

            At one time there were Pisgah Fish Camps in four cities – Brevard, Asheville, Greenville, and Black Mountain – but over the years Hawkins sold the out-of-town locations and concentrated on the Brevard restaurant. He is now retired, and his son Dana and daughter Jeanne are the restaurant’s owner-operators.


 Submitted by Mike Hawkins
Pisgah Enterprises/Hawkins Properties
130 New Hendersonville Highway
Pisgah Forest, NC  28768

Share this