It’s not the same camp where the Young brothers, decades ago, would charge beachgoers to enjoy the Dana Point stretch of sand and surf. Instead, the new beachside concession stand that reopened Tuesday, Feb. 21, offers a vamped-up eating option for all visitors right on the sand.

“This morning, we had a crowd ready to go,” Chief Operating Officer Kurt Bjorkman said. “When we opened the windows and had people waiting for us, it was super special.”

The team behind Young’s Beach Shack are no strangers to Orange County’s coastal culinary scene, they already transformed the concession at Aliso Creek beach in south Laguna Beach and operate The Ranch, which is inland across Pacific Coast Highway.

No one quite knows what happened to the Young brothers, Bjorkman said, but some tidbits and photos of their history on the beach were discovered during construction, which kicked off last March.

The county-operated, 1,000-square-foot-concession at the bottom of the steep hill that leads into the tucked-away beach was constructed in the ’70s and expanded in 1989. Zack’s Salt Creek was the previous occupant.

The new operators signed a 10-year lease for Young’s Beach Shack, which has two 5-year options to extend. It allows for beer and wine on the patio, also a new trend for beach concessions that in previous years were prohibited from selling booze at the beach.

The contract also includes using that stretch of grass and the beach in front, up to the high-tide line, to host weddings and other gatherings.

Chef Kyle St. John’s menu has an array of offerings similar to the Lost Pier Café menu, with fish and chips acquired from local line-and-hook anglers out of Dana Point and Newport Beach.

“That’s sort of our ethos at Lost Pier and The Ranch, keeping everything local and fresh caught,” St. John said. “Everything is scratch made, nothing is boxed, frozen or from a package.”

Other can’t-miss items, he said, include a house-made clam chowder, a hefty burger, a breakfast burrito with smoked bacon and a “legitimately decadent” short rib grilled cheese.

Locals mentioned an “apple pie burrito” on the menu from one of the concessionaires decades ago, so a version was added to give another nod to the past.

“We figured it was kind of like one of those deep fried apple pies, that’s kind of special to that beach specifically,” St. John said. “We’ll play with the menu as we navigate along and get a feel for what people are loving.”

The Dana Hills High surf team asked for acai bowls, so those were also added to the menu, and for the morning crowd, the stand has brewed coffee and espresso.

And for those who want to watch the sunset dip into the ocean with a drink in hand, there are seven beers on tap, mostly from local breweries such as Docent and Brewery X, as well as a watermelon lime seltzer and a Rosé wine also on tap.

For Bjorkman, who lives a mile away from the beach, the long-awaited opening Tuesday was an emotional one.

“My kids have grown up surfing there, I go down there all the time. It’s personal,” he said. “It’s everyone who walks down there every day, the surfers there at dawn, the area is so special for everyone, it’s theirs. Now, they get a little ownership of this jewel box sitting on the beach.”

Young’s Beach Shack is at 33521 Ritz Carlton Drive at Salt Creek Beach, Dana Point