Bev’s Better Burgers opens Newberry drive-thru 

Customers order at Bev's Better Burgers in Newberry.
Customers order at Bev's Better Burgers in Newberry on Friday.
Lillian Hamman

“Heavily anticipated,” is how one customer described the new Bev’s Better Burgers drive-thru in Newberry as she carried a brown paper bag full of burgers on Friday’s opening day. After breaking ground in May 2023, the newest link of the family-owned and operated chain is flipping up sizzling business at 24974 SW 4 Ave. 

On Wednesday, Bev’s owner Beverly Miller hosted a soft opening for the community from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Newberry location. Staff served customers free burgers and fries while training employees and testing out new equipment.  

Jason Waters, the Newberry Bev’s contractor and a relative of Miller’s, said they anticipated a trickling of people to show up. But after the first customer got in line over an hour before opening, the trickle grew until the line poured into the street. 

Become A Member

Mainstreet does not have a paywall, but pavement-pounding journalism is not free. Join your neighbors who make this vital work possible.

“I thought what in the world do we do with all this traffic? How do we make this work?” Waters said. “A deputy showed up, and he got them all off the road and made it a lot easier…I asked him, ‘you want a burger?’ He said, ‘Y’all don’t have time for that, I gotta go.’” 

A line of cars at Bev's Better Burgers on Wednesday.
Courtesy of Bev's Better Burgers The line of cars heading to Bev’s in Newberry for free burgers and fries during the July 3 soft opening.

Miller first took the reigns of Bev’s Better Burgers in 1984 after working at the original location in Alachua. In 2008, she expanded to High Springs with a cafe and drive-thru. 

Bev’s is famous among locals for serving hamburgers weighed out by hand, cooked-to-order how the customer likes and topped with tomatoes, lettuce and onions chopped fresh each day. Waters says Miller’s dedication to quality and simplicity makes her and Bev’s Better Burgers a “fixture” in the community. 

“It’s not fast food. It’s good food fast,” Waters said. “Beverly is very simple…if you keep it simple and you keep it basic, things work out great.” 

Talks of opening the Newberry location began when Miller and Waters were in the middle of drafting an addition to the Bev’s drive-thru in High Springs. That got put on the backburner when AMJ Group Inc. developer Anthony Lyons approached her about expanding Bev’s to the line of buildings going up in the lot where it now operates across from Oak View Middle School. 

All Miller needed to do to was find a contractor to finish out the space for what she needed. The connection happened fast since she and Waters already knew each other.  

“It’s all about relationships in construction,” Waters said. “Beverly gave me her trust, and I did the best I could and got it done as fast as we could.” 

Bev's Better Burgers Newberry drive-thru menu.
Photo by Lillian Hamman Bev’s Better Burgers Newberry drive-thru menu.

The Better Burger crew planned to begin serving Newberry in October 2023. But multiple setbacks, including obtaining permits to build and engineering the drive-thru order board, caused delays along the way. The parking lot also needed to be rebuilt after a hole opened up in it after an April rainstorm. 

But the challenges did not stop the crew from still completing the project in six months, or customers from craving a burger from Bev’s. 

“When the hole was there, that was the only time I didn’t have people pulling up asking, ‘you aren’t open yet?’” Waters said. “As soon as that was fixed, I started having people show up in the parking lot even when we had work trucks everywhere.” 

Just like the other Bev’s in Alachua and High Springs, the Newberry location runs in the family with Miller’s granddaughter Kristen Keene serving as manager. The hours of operation are 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sundays. 

At the groundbreaking last year, Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe said the city would make sure the drive-thru line of the new Bev’s wrapped around the building with customers. Already off to a promising start, Waters said Miller is confident that continuing business as usual is the only spark needed to make the news of Bev’s Better Burgers in Newberry “spread like wildfire.” 

“I told her we can get TV crews, we can reach out to all of these different people,” he said. “[Beverly] said, ‘I don’t want to do any of that. We’re going to have people start coming around here. That’s all we need to do. People will come.’” 

Customers place orders at the Bev's Better Burgers drive-thru in Newberry.
Photo by Lillian Hamman Customers place orders at the Bev’s Better Burgers drive-thru in Newberry.

Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good coverage 😊