By Elaine Henson
The Ocean Inn and Café at Kure Beach
Kure Beach founders Hans and Ellen Kure emigrated to Wilmington via Charleston, S.C. from Denmark in the 1880s. They had four sons, William Ludwig, Hans Adolph, Lawrence Christian, Andrew Emile and a daughter, Elene H. Kure Shands.
Their son, Lawrence, who built the Kure Pier in 1923, later built a two-story, white frame building he named the Ocean Inn and Café, south of the pier. The café took up most of the first floor with rooms to rent on the second floor. This early linen post card, c. early 1940s, shows the Inn and pier.
In 1944, our region was brushed with an unnamed hurricane referred to as the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1944. The worst damage was sustained at the Outer Banks. At Kure, the pier suffered a lot of damage and so did the Ocean Inn. The pier’s pilings slammed into it and left the building sitting on the beach.
After the storm, Lawrence decided to move it just north of the pier facing the ocean. He bought the lot from his brother Andrew Emile Kure offering him $5,000 when most lots were going for a few hundred dollars.
On the end near the ocean was Mrs. Davis “Home Cooked Meals featuring her famous ‘Mrs. Davis’ Homemade Hush Puppies’.
Left of her restaurant was the Trading Center where you could buy beachwear, novelties and drug store items. On the other end was the Fishing Hole Tackle Shop with everything you needed to fish in the surf or on the pier.
Above the businesses were rooms to rent on the second floor of the old Ocean Inn. The little girl sitting on the bench on the far right is Linda Kure, daughter of A.E. “Punky” and Jean Kure. Linda later married Clarence “Sonny” Danner whose father had Danner’s Fish Market which was located a couple of doors left of the tackle shop in the card above.