MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On Tuesday, three business owners were working hard to open new restaurants on or near the Myrtle Beach boardwalk. They say they decided to located in the downtown Ocean Boulevard area specifically because of the new boardwalk.
Rick Sarver was getting ready to open his new coffee shop near the boardwalk in just days. After visiting just a month ago, he said he saw so much potential for business near the boardwalk that he relocated.
"We used to own a couple of coffee shops in Charlotte, and I just thought it would be a great place for a business, right along this new boardwalk," Sarver explained.
He says he has already seen the large number of people the boardwalk attracts. He hopes that translates into customers for the Boardwalk Coffee House.
"I've seen a lot of 'boardwalkers' - what I call 'boardwalkers' - coming out in the morning too," Sarver said. "So I think a coffee shop is going to be a fit for not just the tourists, but the locals as well."
Just down the boardwalk, more work is going into having another restaurant open by the weekend. The owner of Dirty Don's Oyster Bar is putting a second location there.
"I said I would only do another Dirty Don's in Myrtle Beach if it was the perfect location," owner Don Cauthen said. "If it hadn't been on the boardwalk, directly on the boardwalk, we wouldn't have done it downtown. Definitely not."
Even a block behind the boardwalk, Gjergji Behaj says the boardwalk was a big reason he is opening a new restaurant on Ocean Boulevard. The Ocean Grill and Deli will be a family-oriented business, Behaj said.
He said he is especially excited because he and his family came from Albania five years ago, and this will be their first business venture.
Behaj believes the boardwalk will give people a place they can visit year-round, and that could mean more people in the general area and in his restaurant.
"Even though there are restaurants right on the boardwalk, I still think there are enough people around here that they can support the other businesses on the other side," Behaj explained. "I do have good faith that we're going to do very well."
David Sebok, the executive director of the Myrtle Beach Downtown Redevelopment Corporation, says now every space along the boardwalk between 9th Avenue North and Plyler Park is filled with a business. He says several of the businesses that have been located there for years are now making improvements to embrace the boardwalk.