Johnnie Mercer’s is a landmark pier for fishermen and beach goers
This month’s Cape Fear Pride series takes us to Wrightsville Beach where the surf is up, and the beach is pristine. Johnnie Mercer’s pier is a point of reference for most beach goers, but fishermen come from all over the country to fish off the pier.
When you think Wrightsville Beach, you think Johnnie Mercer’s pier. It is a landmark on the beach. When you are meeting somebody there, you’ll usually say, “We’re hanging out to the right or left of Johnnie Mercer’s.” But the pier is really there for the fishing crowd. Owner of Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, Matthew Johnson said, “You’re out here possibly with hundreds and hundreds of people fishing, who all have something in common. It’s extremely social.”
Fishermen looking to hook their catch off this pier feel like their fishing off solid ground. “I’m used to the wooden piers, and I don’t know, I just feel safer on it,” said Anne Pittman.
Bill Liford said, “The other piers in this state are wooden and they rock and shake with the wind.”
It was double trouble for the pier back in 1996, when hurricanes Bertha and Fran destroyed the old wooden pier. The original Johnnie Mercer’s dates back to the 1930s, and even with it’s new look, owner Matt Johnson hopes the pier will keep it’s community charm well into the future. “Mercer’s is a good association; we’re that place at the beach that gives people something to do other than the beach.”
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