Brad and Helen Phillips bought The Hut at 209 Pomeroy Avenue in Pismo Beach in 1953, making Brad's among the oldest Pismo Beach restaurants. This first restaurant was a small hamburger stand, probably the smallest restaurant in Pismo Beach back then. The Hut burned down in 1955 and the new Brad's Restaurant was built in 1956 and has been a landmark in Pismo Beach dining ever since. Brad, Helen, and daughters MaryAnn, Sharlene, and Gerry were all actively involved in the day-to-day operations. In 1973, the family purchased the lot adjacent to the restaurant for use as a parking lot. After 20 fruitful years, Brad and Helen retired in 1976, leasing the restaurant outside the family. Following Brad's death in 1979, the family began talking about re-opening the restaurant in Pismo Beach. In 1981, Helen Phillips, with the help and support of her daughters and grandchildren, opened the third edition of Brad's Restaurant. The parking lot turned into a patio in 1983 and forever changed the business. Brad's continues to offer the largest patio dining among Pismo Beach restaurants, even to this day. Formerly known as a coffee shop with a strong breakfast trade, Brad's became a full-fledged restaurant with a growing reputation for seafood, clam chowder and barbeque, the trademarks of Pismo Beach dining. Helen Phillips died on Christmas Day in 1990, and the restaurant passed to her daughters. Brad's Restaurant closed for five months in the fall of 1994 and re-opened in March of 1995 following a complete restoration. Brad's in Pismo has always been managed by a family member and has always been known for delicious home cooking and "member of the family" service. Brad's is a 59-year-old Pismo Beach tradition that lives on!
Only a few short steps away from Brad's Restaurant, the Pismo Pier is one of Pismo Beach's major attractions. Although it's currently used for recreational purposes, the Pismo Pier was built in 1881 for commercial use to save freight fees on lumber and other commodities. In 1882 alone, 38 cargo vessels were loaded at the Pismo Pier, saving the county $35,000 in freight. The pier was active up until 1890, but gave way during a heavy storm a few years later. A new pier was built in 1924 which was much longer than it is today. It extended out into the ocean far enough that even large Navy ships could tie up to it! Because of its extreme length, it sustained damage many times, but finally in 1983, a strong storm tore up most of the pier. The Pismo Pier was rebuilt once more in 1986 in its current shape, and continues to be one of Pismo Beach's major tourist attractions.