MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The City of Myrtle Beach wants to give the phrase "a guy walks into a bar," a whole new meaning, especially if the occupancy level of that bar is over 150 people.
Myrtle Beach City Council has been investigating proposals to limit the number of patrons that can enter a bar to 150 if the bar is along Ocean Boulevard, but Wednesday the city's Planning Commission decided against the proposal, while trying to create a broader definition to nightclubs within the city limits.
While getting rid of the 150 person cap, the commission defines a nightclub as an establishment with a majority of its sales coming from alcohol, a dance floor larger than 150 feet, and an occupancy higher than 150 people.
"We're not a nightclub," said Gil Reibenbach with 8th Ave. Tiki Bar & Grill. "I see ourselves as more as a restaurant with a large bar. Yes, we have events with live music, and people may want to dance. I can't help it if people want to dance in the restaurant."
Reibenbach says he had enough stress over the proposed capacity cap, but he doesn't believe his bar could be considered a nightclub because most of his sales come from food.
However, city spokesperson Mark Kruea says many of the bars in the downtown area of Myrtle Beach could have to reclassify if this proposal becomes law.
The proposal has merely moved on as a recommendation from the planning commission, Kruea says, and has not yet had its first reading before city council.