Lawsuit filed over vendor permits ahead of spring bike rally

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Businesses are preparing for the upcoming spring Harley rally, but one restaurant's plans are hitting a roadblock.

While one local business is having a tough time getting permission from Horry County to hold special events next weekend, others say they're excited for the event and haven't had any issues.

"It's a lot of fun. I thoroughly enjoy it," said Leslie Beaver, who's gearing up for her ninth spring rally at The Beaver Bar. "It's just like a core group of family. Everyone works really well together. We have a meeting before the event."

The Beaver Bar is one of the three businesses in Georgetown County that was issued a special events permit, so the bar can have live music and vendors outside during the rally.

"Typically, applying for vending permits is pretty much the same. It becomes easier through the years. We try to keep the mom and pops but we get the bigger vendors in too, just so there's a little bit for everybody," said Beaver.

In nearby Horry County, Broken Spokes, SBB, Mr. Fireworks and Myrtle Beach Harley were all issued permits for the spring rally.

The Whiskey Fish was denied a permit, leading the restaurant and bar's owners to sue the county.

According to court documents, The Whiskey Fish did get a special event permit in 2017.

Those documents read, in part, "On April 25, 2018 the Petitioner received an email from Mr. Randy Webster, Director of Horry County Government Emergency Management, indicating a denial of the Petitioner's application for the permit, claiming that the issuance of the Permit would conflict with a Zoning Board of Appeals order, disallowing outside, live, amplified entertainment."

It goes on to say, "The denial of the application for the Special Event Permit will cause great financial harm to the Petitioner, with estimated amounts in the tens of Thousands."

While Horry County cannot comment on pending lawsuits, documents from Horry County show the 2017 special event permit was only for outdoor dining.

Horry County officials say the restaurant also applied before the zoning board of appeals to extend their hours, but were issued a board order that stated they were not allowed to hold any outdoor entertainment.

WMBF News reached out to Whiskey Fish's owners and lawyers that represent the bar, but neither could be reached for comment.

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